Milan Fashion Week Spring 2014: Re-seeing Tod’s, rehashing at Marni, shoe-gazing at Salvatore Ferragamo
The Paris collections begin today: I travel out to catch Dries Van Noten tomorrow, alongside Gareth Pugh and Marco Zanini’s latest collection for the house of Rochas. Rumour has it that this will be his last before moving to the house of Schiaparelli. Nevertheless, today I have space to breathe and think back over the final flurry of the Italian collections.
Marni experienced a power-cut just before their spring show. It didn’t bode well for this, the first womenswear collection presented in a new space, a move presumably engendered by Renzo Rosso’s stake in the business. Luckily the venue was filled with natural light, as Consuelo Castiglioni’s collection paraded through in silence.
The silence gave you space to think, sure. But the distraction of catwalk soundtracks is sometimes intentional, and beneficial. For me, it only underlined the similarity between the work of Rei Kawakubo and number of the outfits. The shirts edged in clotted ruffles and dresses pregnant with pleats both felt like rehash. The heavily beaded dresses and light-hearted print were more Marni. But it was the Comme clones you took home.
What you took home from Massimiliano Giornetti’s spring 2014 collection for Salvatore Ferragamo was shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. I rapidly stopped flipping my eyes above the knee, as the pleated skirts and silky trench-coats felt done before the show had even begun.
But those shoes sizzled with innovation, tiny eyelets and nailhead studs pocking snakeskin, reinventing patterns, resembling chain-mail. Many had a snub, squared toe emphasised with a metal cap, and a high, slightly flared heel with ridge of external seaming. They were great. And although Ferragamo is a shoe house first and foremost, you wish some of that excitement could have translated to Giornetti’s clothes. They felt like slightly void foils for inventive product.
Inventive product is part of Alessandra Facchinetti’s remit at Tod’s. Her collection wasn’t about rocking the boat, it was about reinventing the wheel. It was also far more remarkable up-close than on the catwalk. The difficulty one had in differentiating between perforated leather and laser-cut cotton, for example. “It’s not easy to do a summer collection from leather,” admitted Facchinetti. But she gave it a good shot. She was wearing the show’s best outfit: a wide anthracite cotton skirt with slouchy zipped pockets and puckered-back shirt. On the catwalk the skirt had a beaded trim. Facchinetti chopped it off hers and it looked much better.
Overall the collection had a feel of some of Christophe Lemaire’s best work for Hermes, which is presumably the point. And although a few editors questioned who, really, wants to wear a leather dress in summer, Facchinetti’s aerated calfskin offered a persuasive counter-argument. It even stood up against the snub-edged Tod’s bags and fringed moccasins and heeled sandals that are the meat-and-potatoes – and point – of her Tod’s.
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