Milan fashion week has finally come to an end. With it came a lot of prints, luxurious fabrics, a surprising amount of sportswear, and a sense of longing for the past.

Amongst those who looked to the past was Arthur Arbesser, who literally sent out sophisticated school uniforms: sweaters paired with pleated neon skirts, striped sleeveless dresses, and boots made in collaboration with Fabio Rusconi that looked like they might have belonged to a lacrosse team player.

Stella Jean also touched on sportswear. She showcased embellished soccer jerseys and knit polos. The general vibe of her clothes was airy and light, a stark contrast from previous hyper-styled print-heavy offerings.

At MSGM, Massimo Giorgetti combined athleisure and feminine ruffles. They came off as both street-style insouciant and trying-too-hard. Biker shorts were worn with ruffled shirts, flyaway track pants were worn beneath argyle sweaters, stretchy bandeau’s crisscrossed crisp button-downs and were combined with airy pleated skirts, and ruffles were made from open work knits.

Consuelo Castiglioni’s intellectual take on sportswear for Marni placed her as Italy’s answer to the Parisian label, Céline. There were drawstring dresses with plissé pleats and detachable hip-widening poacher-pocket bags. They may not have been sexy clothes, but women who care about dressing for themselves and not for the attention of men will love them.

Fulvio Rigoni, who replaced Massimiliano Giornetti at Salvatore Ferragamo earlier this year, tried to juxtapose femininity with sportswear. Cropped anoraks were worn with high-waisted narrow skirts with fluted hems. Both came in a techno-spongy fabric. That’s about as interesting as it got. Rigoni played it a bit too safe.

Angela Missoni went very simple for spring. The silhouettes were uncomplicated. They came in the form of long fluid dresses that were color-blocked via layering, or super-short clingy lurex knit frocks.

Shoe designer, Julia Haart, had a great debut at La Perla. For the luxury underwear label, she showed trompe l’oiel floral prints, silk pajamas, made-to-measure fit suits, menswear-inflected tops, and of course lingerie with a sportswear tinge.

The only issue with Gaia Trussardi‘s clothes was that the quality of the execution of the clothes did not match the ideas she had. For instance, there were lurex-knit body suits that were paired with tailored menswear Blazers. Something about that didn’t seem right, even though there were perfectly made. On the plus side, there were sumptuous leathers and great color combinations.

There was a Déjà Vu moment at the Aquilano.Rimondi show. I thought I was seeing the Monse show all over again. The only difference was that while this show was filled with luxurious fabrics (iridescent lamé frocks for evening), that of Monse felt cooler and a lot more modern. That isn’t to say it wasn’t a good outing.

Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez had a fantastic show for their Au Jour Le Jour label. Their Victorian-influenced collection was made modern by their play on layering and the introduction of casual wear. 

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana stuck to their formula of heavy decoration. Their Dolce & Gabbana had the staples: corset dresses, suiting, heavily-embellished jeans, sheer black dresses with visible underwear, and a truck-load of prints. The Sicilian thing they’ve been doing for the past few seasons has worked for them well. There’s really no need to change direction now.

The Caten twins closed Milan fashion week on a celebratory high. Their Dsquared2 collection may have been one note, but it was a lot to take in: sequin or Swarovski-embellished distressed denim, leg of mutton animal-print sleeves, Lacroix-like taffeta miniskirts, and ribboned jewelry & shoes. 

Thanks for all the ebullient energy, Milan. Up next, Paris!

Author: Kayito Nwokedi