MFW: Dolce & Gabbana, Trussardi and Bottega Veneta
Dolce & Gabbana: Metaverse cyber punks
Metaverse mania in Milan took a fresh new visage at Dolce & Gabbana, where the whole cast looked like they had emerged from an augmented reality backstage.
Presented in the duo’s Viale Piave show-space with the runway turned into a huge LED screen, and a backdrop that featured a techy cartoon metropolis.
Most everything made with super-heroine proportions – opening with giant dropped waist men’s double-breasted jackets cut as dresses and big enough to fit three models, never mind two.
In the all black opening, dozens of gals wore balaclavas or wool caps cut super high like pharaoh wives. And when Dolce & Gabbana moved into the boudoir with naughty widow stockings, suspenders and bras, they completed the look with an entirely see-through dress finished with giant shoulders with the padding visible. Other after-hours gals appeared in zippered posh punk pants and bras.
Like last month in the design duo’s menswear show Machine Gun Kelly provided the music, not live as in January but in a great remix of his rock anthem with blackbear ‘my ex’s best friend.’
There was also a short series of shaggy yeti coats with matching bags in giant checks with matching booties, before Domenico and Stefano sent out their crew of dashing developer damsels.
Cyber babes in space age glasses, wearing lycra bodycon cocktails under ballooning down coats, satin nylon blousons and oversized hoodies – everything cut with a cowl. There might have been few Chinese in the audience, but there was no shortage of ladies from the Gulf, both in the editorial and retailer section.
Before the show went into metaverse overdrive - a grandiose silhouette of outlandishly large shoulders and bison size sleeves. Seen in Starship Enterprise orange tunics; DG logo ground-sweeping coats and pinched at the waist electric blue lizard cocktails.
Then again, if any brand believes there is gold in the metaverse it must be Dolce & Gabbana. In October, the house sold a nine-piece digital NFT collection for $5.7 million. Traded alongside some physical couture items, the brand displayed and auctioned its digital Collezione Genesi collection on the digital luxury marketplace Unxd.
Now, in a canny reversal by the Italian gents the virtual became real again in this show.
Trussardi: Street regal
Expressionism is alive and well in fashion and it has found its best contemporary interpretation at Trussardi whose new designers, Serhat Işık and Benjamin Alexander Huseby staged a wow-factor first show.
At first Serhat and Benjamin seemed unlikely choices for an Italian leather specialist, since they are founders of an avant garde Berlin brand GmbH, born on the city’s dancefloors. But one second after the last model exited they were revealed as an inspired choice.
Working overwhelmingly in palette of black and tiny doses of silver and white, the duo whipped up a series of great flowing dalmatikons in serge wool; puffer jackets cut like archers tunics; anthracite surcoats made of shaggy matelassé, cut in a chevron pattern.
They paired military punk pants with streamlined bodices; and sent out Maid Marian in Berghain mini coat dresses worn with buccaneer’s thigh boots.
“Techno feudalism,” commented Işık in a packed backstage, where the pair were deluged by compliments. Though at times theatrical, the clothes never looked literal, on the contrary truly modern and dynamic.
The debut was staged in Trussardi’s historic boutique next door to La Scala, with chunks of plasterboard cut out of ceilings and walls; cement and glue on the terrazzo floor. The audience of barely a hundred perched on compress board blocks, to witness an important fashion statement.
The cast even exited the boutique and walked along the pavement for 90 meters before re-entering the store, igniting at big burst of cheering from over 1,000 onlookers at the finale.
After a slew of designers have tried their hand at Trussardi in recent years – from Milan Vukmirovic to Umit Benan –the house has, finally, found the right pairing.
Their atypical backgrounds – Serhat is Turkish-German and Alexander Huseby is Norwegian-Pakistani– helping to give birth to a duo who have discovered a happy home in a Milanese house founded back in 1911.
Bottega Veneta: Luxury in motion
A second debut in one day in Milan, this time by Matthieu Blazy at Bottega Veneta, though his career path could hardly be more different than the guys from GmbH.
And, if anything, an even more spectacular success – sculptural, though very wearable chic with voluminous clothes that flattered and never overwhelmed, both for men and women in a co-ed show.
Blazy has a great CV. He spent the last several years as design director in BV under his predecessor Daniel Lee; after stints in Celine, Margiela and Raf Simons, where he started his career as men’s director.
His experience showed in the sheer sense of luxury about the clothes, their assured tailoring and the way all the leather looks were so skillfully draped they could have been made of fabric. Often finished with ingenious belt buckles that look like post-modern door handles.
“I wanted to bring back energy through tailoring, especially in Italy. There has been enough streetwear!” said Blazy post-show.
The heart of the matter were great cocoon shaped double-breasted coats, their backs almost inflated. Made in wool gabardine or deerskin they added grandeur and class. Inspired by one particular sculpture by Umberto Boccioni, the early 19th-century Futurist artist, known for injecting motion into his sculpture, and giving them names like 'Spiral Expansion of Muscles in Action'.
“Just because something is over 100 years old, doesn’t mean it is no longer relevant,” said the 38-year-old Blazy.
Artfully staged inside a dismantled auditorium of bare concrete walls, where the audience sat on black leather cushions on top of scrap steel blocks, borrowed from a car dismantling plant, where they will be returned.
His cast dashing around the tea-green carpet, barely eight seconds apart, extremely rapid for a runway show.
“I have not forgotten that Bottega Veneta is a bag company, so its essence is motion, empowered women on the move and travelling,” said Blazy, who selected a highly mature cast, with many veteran models.
“I’m really against the idea of just youth. I’d like to think my parents can come to Bottega Veneta and find things they love,” said the quiet spoken Franco-Belgian.
Not one bum note in a collection that included leather flamenco skirts; a trio of great gestural abstract cocktails worn with intreccio thigh boots; and a divine transparent silver cocktail worn with lilac undies by Vittoria Ceretti. A reference to sensual women in Italian cinema.
“I’d like to think my time has arrived. I feel secure enough, and I know how to do my job. Which is a job. Voila!” he laughed.
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