September 23, 2021 2:57 PM
By COLLEEN BARRY AP Fashion Editor
MILAN (AP) – Milan is once again enjoying the joy of the booming traffic for Milan Fashion Week, a preview of what real normalcy could look like one day.
Health passes are checked at the door of shows and in-person presentations, giving a sense of security to events that not so long ago stood side by side. From now on, masks are worn, social distances maintained.
It’s been on and on for 19 months, and everyone is ready to embrace the reopening, and maybe with a little wardrobe reshuffle. On the runway, the simple fashion answer is denim and knits, and easy-to-wear shoes.
Here are the highlights from the second day of previews for most women’s clothing for spring and summer next Thursday:
EMPORIO ARMANI CELEBRATES ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY
Giorgio Armani celebrated 40 years of his Emporio Armani line with a retrospective in his Silos museum and a new collection for young dressers bursting with colorful optimism.
âThey have been 40 hard, very hard years. But also beautiful, very beautiful. I have to say that seeing these children, as I saw them 40 years ago, made me very happy, âArmani told reporters, referring to the models who represent his young client. “Seeing these children so clean, so simple, so sweet, made me very happy.”
Emporio Armani’s preview for next spring and summer featured both men’s and women’s clothing, opening up to denim suits in dark tones for her and quilts for him, before switch to more vaporous silky looks like chiffon mini dresses, or belted shirts or jackets over loose men’s pants.
The masculine looks had an air of adventure, with maps printed on silk tops and pants, coordinated with khaki or sand-colored separate pieces and worn with travel pouches. For women, there were carefree peasant dresses with scoop necklines and ruffled sleeves in the lightest fabrics.
The collection ended on a strong color note, with jewelry-toned monochromes for him accented by chunky necklaces that Armani said he’d love to wear but doesn’t dare. For her, the final note was on the beaded and glittery partings that bare the skin.
Armani, 86, bowed out with Pantaleo (Leo) Dell’Orco and his niece Silvana Armani, the respective heads of the men’s and women’s design offices for all Armani collections – a concrete gesture indicating future creative succession. They all wore matching navy tops and pants, with white sneakers.
âI have to say that Silvana and Leo have been a notable support for this Emporio Armani for all these years,â said Armani.
MAX MARA SURPENSES FASHION
Another winter of continued blockages has given Max Mara’s creative director Ian Griffiths plenty of time to reflect.
Her latest collection for next spring and summer was inspired by French writer FranÃ§oise Sagan, who, forced by her parents to skip summer holidays on the French Riviera to study instead, challenged them intellectually and wrote a novel idealizing a romantic summer vacation.
âWe did that too, we reimagined our lives. The moment we can step out again, rediscover the sheer joy of being in the world, but with that inner space rediscovered, âGriffiths said backstage.
The new collection is inspired by work clothes with a nod to street clothes. The Max Mara woman shows off a bit more skin than usual with bandeau tops that stand out over loose overcoats and mini skirts to show some leg. Streetwear comes into play in perforated tops and dresses, both easy to wear and easy to pack. The short sheath dresses have utility pockets, worn with driving coats. Long dresses in chunky knit or crochet provide comfort for the first forays into the world. But there were also whimsical flowers, vaporous feathers on straight dresses under short-sleeved coats.
Gigi Hadid closed the show with a denim shirt coat with contrasting stitching, a mini skirt and a headband.
Griffiths said these are looks meant to last for more than a season – perhaps a nod to a shift in mindset that hardened during the pandemic.
The color scheme contained neutral tones of black and cream, navy and sand to flashes of yellow and orange, as well as beach chair stripes. The shoes of choice were sure-footed sandals with rubber soles.
Griffiths also included a model whose shape was more everyday, the proportions of a girl next door, not the tall, ultra-thin gazelles easily recognizable on the streets of Milan during fashion week. Griffiths said the cast “extended the idea of ââdiversity to normality” and said they wanted to “show a woman proud of herself.”
DROME READY TO RESTART
DROMe Creative Director Marianna Rosati took the chance to âfinally reliveâ and feel âthe meaning of fashion week and the meaning of people coming togetherâ.
Rosati took film, music and photography as inspirations for her latest collection, including graphic images and psychedelic imagery, applying them to her landmark pieces, like corsets and jackets. Her Tuscan brand with roots in leather goods found fans in Bella Hadid and Ariana Grande.
The colorful corsets featured zippers and layered over pieces of athletic knit. The bandeau tops were worn with lace-up knit biker shorts for a sporty look. One-shoulder asymmetrical tops wrapped around the bodice and paired with the brand’s main leather pants. The leather has been treated with laser prints for a multicolored liquid effect. The color scheme was basic white, nude, and black against flashes of hot pink, heather blue, and acid green.
The rush for physical events made it seem like little has changed, but Rosati said changes may be brewing on a more inner level. âMaybe there is a difference in the way we approach things. I feel less stressed, more relaxed.