It was like a breath of fresh air as clean-cut looks such as shift dresses, man-tailored shirts and sharp trenches breezed through Milan.
Bottega Veneta: Tomas Maier's Bottega Veneta collection wafted down the runway with an air of innocence, but his intricate detailing was anything but naive. The look was breezy, the tailoring sophisticated. And with a sure hand, Maier had designed his best collection since joining the house four years ago.
"I want the clothes to look as simple as possible, and I want everything to be light," Maier said before the show. To that end, he showed scores of dresses in a variety of styles — from a sundress in men's shirting to a white dress streaked down the front with vivid color to a plissé number in fluid silk jersey to pieces layered with Chantilly lace. "The idea of waking up in the morning and wearing one single piece is so appealing," he explained.
Not even camp runway antics — models who reached up to give their bouncy locks a coy flip — could detract from the collection's appeal. The brand's sales figures prove that Maier gives good merch, and there was plenty to choose from. It was like a Milanese show of old: smart leather and suede jackets, for which Maier has a natural affinity, proper tailoring and unabashedly feminine clothes. He even sent out a few evening gowns. Ballgowns from Bottega? If Maier has his way, it might not be such a far-fetched notion.
Jil Sander: New eras are something of a trend in Milan, with one starting at Gucci and another about to begin at Jil Sander. In anticipation of Raf Simons' first women's show in March, trusty Team turned out its final collection for the house, a quiet beauty in which sporty chic achieved a patrician elegance.
Decorative minimalism made one of its earliest presentations last season at Sander, and reappeared here as a breath of very fresh air after the glut of mundane prettiness being churned out elsewhere this week. A crisp beige shirt got multiple white mini pockets lined up in a row, shift dresses had hoods tacked onto their shoulders and a full-skirted frock got into a twist from seemingly random strips of buttons. A palette of mostly whites and pale neutrals fueled the crisp serenity, with occasional shots of color for pop. And if, in one case — ivory pants with big, square white patches on the legs worn with a single-cable turtleneck — the breeze seemed to have wafted over from former Prada Group colleague Helmut Lang, it still felt fresh.Yet in the end, this was a lame duck effort. Whether its Sander-like attitude resonates at all with Simons remains to be seen. But get ready for Jil Sander, Take Four. Or is it Five?
Moschino: Sometimes a designer gets tired of trotting the globe, and yearns for a respite in the cozy environs of home base. That must be the case for Moschino's creative director, Rossella Jardini, whose spring collection paid homage to the house's greatest hits. Working in an almost completely black-and-white palette, Jardini's romp was ripe with Moschino classics, most in a full-skirted Fifties silhouette. A sharp black trench was cut away to reveal an oversized black-and-white gingham skirt, while dresses sported pearl strands or big bow prints. Trompe l'oeil, another staple chez Moschino, was everywhere, from printed tiers on a skirt to cute detailing as a sash on a white maillot. The effect was charming, though repetitive, and at the end of the day, the fresher looks, such as a crisp pleated front shirtdress with a pearl- and brooch-embellished cardigan were the most covetable.
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