I have intentionally postponed the coverage of the fashion weeks, although I have already talked about a few collections here, here and here, because I wanted the information to sink in a little bit, before I could finally decide on my favourites. It always works and I know for sure that, by autumn, there would be other fashion lines I will view with different eyes (there are even a few I have chosen to write about later, when it will be more season-appropriate).
Milan Fashion Week never disappoints and I always find it hard to pick my choices, but if I had to choose just one look from the Milanese shows, then I would go for this one above, from Prada. It is not because I consider it the most beautiful one. But the most beautiful look is not always the most powerful or the most long-lasting one. Just as the most beautiful woman is not always the most attractive or the most stylish one. I rarely talk about Miuccia Prada’s designs. I am not ashamed to admit that this is largely because I don’t always understand them. The message she wants to transmit through her clothes is not that easy to grasp. You usually have to let her own words guide you through her collections and shows. And I would like to quote Brigitte Lacombe, the renowned photographer, who some time ago gave up fashion photography, stating that she was not interested enough in just physical beauty, perfection, and youth: “I find Miuccia Prada makes the most interesting product in the fashion world. I don’t see it as fashion. It’s more connected with architecture, art, and politics. For me it’s a whole and not only fashion, although of course it is fashion. My interest in fashion is through her, because she is bigger than fashion.” Yes, this is who Miuccia Prada is, bigger than fashion.
The autumn/winter 2014 collection was inspired by the films of German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, focusing on The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, 1972. And I may not always get Prada, but I get film, and I could get the connection between this line and Fassbinder’s movies. And one particular fascination of Fassbinder’s was the way the ghosts of the past, specifically those of World War II, haunted contemporary German life. In a quote on Style.com, Miuccia says: “Your culture is done by your past. History is there for a reason.” Fassbinder’s female characters are both fragile and dominant, passionate and dark (just as this first look from the show), with so many underlines and so many ideas to be drawn from in so many areas of life (just as Prada’s clothes say so much more than what the eye meets). In The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, you will find something else, too, that Petra is at her core a human being, not a caricature of a distorted, dominant, irrational person. “People and their emotions are what I’m interested in—that kind of humanity.” Miuccia Prada (Vogue.com)
Giorgio Armani. Thank God to have Giorgio Armani remind us that trousers are an important part of the fall/winter wardrobe! Viewing the collections this past month I often had the impression that designers entirely forgot about this aspect. It’s hardly a surprise that the designer knows how to design women’s trousers. They were gently pleated, loose fitted and cropped this time, it was like he was trying to say that they would be a wonderful choice for your wardrobe, not just your workwear. I liked the structured, cropped jackets and looser silhouettes of the rest of the day looks, all blended together in his classic tailoring; and the spectrum of greys that drew the attention to shape, texture and details, as well as the relaxed elegance of the collection. It’s only natural that Armani has women’s comfort and style, in its purest form, at the heart of his designs.
One of my top favourite collections of the entire season was Stefano Pilati’s for Agnona. I think it was the most beautiful surprise, too. Sculptural, luxurious, of a vaguely retro simplicity. Different. The choice of colours was very inspired, too, navy and black, so classic when put together, or combined with caramel here and there, and pushing it a little further when paired with vibrant hues. As for the pink-caramel-navy-black outfit, that was a colour blocking look worth taking notes from. And last, but not least, I loved the mysterious woman Dree Hemingway embodies, with her majestic poise – one of the reasons for the strong visual impact of the collection.
If Bottega Veneta suddenly decided not to make women’s trousers ever again, I couldn’t care less. Master craftsman Tomas Maier knows how to create a dress to shape on a woman’s body and knows how to do it to make her not feel constrained, but free, attractive and beautiful. What more could you ask for?