Jeremy Scott has never been one to play by the rules, and rather than rip up the rulebook, this season he literally burnt it. He was inspired, he said, by the famous Dominican Monks who started "il falo delle vanita" (the bonfires of vanities). The monks led a mob through the city of Florence during the Renaissance, burning objects of beauty including books, art and clothes. An odd source of inspiration for a man whose collections normally revolve around much more contemporary popular culture, but an inspiration that manifested itself beautifully. Scorch marks adorned tuxedos and ballgowns, whilst several of the models were clouded in puffs of smoke, thanks to cleverly hidden portable smoke machines. The Cigarette also made an appearance, used as a motif on jumpers and dresses, and cleverly turned into hats by the milliner Stephen Jones. There was quite an aggressive feel about the collection, chains and handcuffs used as belts and necklaces, with slogans such as "Warrior" being used on Tshirts. Almost as if this season the Moschino girl is defending herself, and her leader the great Jeremy Scott, against the critics he faces every season. The Dominican Monks, like many fashion critics out there, would certainly have had a lot to say about Mr Scott, but luckily he will always have his hardcore fans to defend him.
A few seasons back there were rumours that Prada was in trouble. Over expansion and slumping sales had the fashion world wondering if Miuccia Prada had lost her spark, happily she proved them all wrong, and has produced smash hit collection after smash hit collection ever since. This season Mrs Prada focused on the 'Vagabond' or the wandering traveller, the hiking boot and the 50's sailors cap alluding to a sense of voyage and discovery. In contrast to the realism of a chunky boot, Prada also provided us with dream like surrealist prints in collaboration with the artist Christophe Chemin. His work is filled with story telling narratives, which helped add to the adventurous feel of this collection. This being Prada, there were elements of symbolism throughout, including bound book bag charms and necklaces, perhaps representative of the fact that Prada has said she feels like as she get older, she should teach more. Silhouette wise the collection was heavily focused the 40's and 50' (cocktail dresses with draped Hollywood sleeves, and full skirts clinched at the waist with multiple belts). Personally we loved the combination of the Argyll tights and the a bottle green velvet heel, we expect next season's street style stars will be racing to get their hands on them.
When it comes to Milan, Gucci is the show we most look forward to, and season after season Alessandro Michele continues to take our breath away. What impresses us the most about his short tenure at Gucci is how quickly he has manage to create his Gucci woman (and man). With mega brands like Gucci, Chanel, Prada etc it is vital that the customer can buy into an image, if she shops in the store, she needs to be able to relate to, or at least understand the kind of woman the designer is looking to dress. Under his predecessor the Gucci woman got a little lost, who was she? Now the Gucci woman is crystal clear, and we are thrilled with her makeover! Michele's inspirations this season were Catherine de' Medici and 70's sportswear an odd combination for sure, but as with everything Michele does, he was not limited to these themes. This collection was like a treasure trove of cultural titbits, with each look containing traces of bygone eras. There are the oriental inspired Kimono dresses, the Ancine Regime style jewelry, the 60's platforms, the 90's biker and the 80's shoulders! This wide range of different sartorial reference points could be confusing, and should not really work, but under Michele's extremely tasteful and well trained eye, it really really does.
Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini
It has been a year since Serafini took over at Philosophy, and what a year it has been for the brand. The blend of girly, ultra feminine lace and chunky knitwear has struck a cord with both shoppers and magazine editors alike, and the collections are selling incredibly well. The clothes have just the right amount of edge (and dare we say it similarities to the Gucci aesthetic) to keep any fashion conscious woman happy, whilst also being classic enough to not scare off one time buyers. The high neck ruffled dresses, and the blend of lace, leather and wool worked particularly well, with the outwear still needing some tweeking.