From pretty, Forties-inspired dresses to refined pantsuits to striking evening gowns with twisted straps, there were plenty of appealing real clothes on the runways as the Milan collections continued.
Gucci: In her first big ready-to-wear collection for Gucci, Frida Giannini sent a major message: Elvis has left the building. She got the word out loud and clear, finally ushering in a new, gentler era at the house.
While Alessandra Facchinetti had the mandate to continue the Tom Ford legacy, Giannini's is to obliterate it and install a calmed-down, hosed-down operation. As her show notes spelled out, the new Gucci Girl is "unaware of her own sex appeal." That's some kind of turnaround, and Giannini executed it well, even if after so many years of high-heat Elvis gyrations, the gentle strains of a crooner take some getting used to.
The collection had plenty of strong clothes delivered in two primary directions. The designer favored sporty tailoring with tomboy spunk crossed with a touch of rock 'n' roll. That meant smart little jackets over lean pants and shorts worn with cashmere polos or, when the tomboy turned girly, sweet printed tops in motifs updated from the house archives. The second centered on Forties-inspired dresses, sometimes backless and slit to there in front. (The Gucci Girl may have shed her wanton ways, but she's not a nun.) These fell ever-so-gently from a strong shoulder and came in short, flippy versions for day as well as in graceful gowns for the big-event set.
Charming — absolutely. And with their appealing, approachable attitude, Giannini's clothes could develop into a successful commercial counterpoint to her already flourishing accessories, terrific new versions of which she also showed. But the Gucci brass is treading on delicate territory. Wisely, they want Giannini to create her own Gucci identity. Though she's off to a sound start, one could sense the push-and-pull of the commercial side in some of her choices. Gucci is at a crossroads right now. If it is to stay in the forefront of fashion, the fashion buck has to stop in the designer's studio.
Giorgio Armani: TODAY. The word leaped out in big, thick letters from Giorgio Armani's invitation. Yet the collection the designer showed for spring hardly proved a celebration of currency. Neither, however, was it a reactionary romp. Rather, the event offered yet another example of Armani's stubborn approach to staging fashion shows — that is, his way or the highway — to which he clings, whether or not it makes sense for him or his audience.Some stores say that Armani's clothes are selling up a storm, that women who want or need great suits for work — and legions do — feel abandoned by just about everyone else. Yet Armani, who once upon a time flaunted real-life clothes from his runway with pride, now seems intent on hiding that which he does better, and more successfully, than anyone else beneath a pile of tricks. So sad, especially that now, given fashion's minimal mood, a stripped-down, simply chic Armani could have been a timely stunner.
Armani started strong with a series of refined gray pantsuits with small, nipped-waist jackets. He finished beautifully, too, his bounty of dazzling embroidered gowns the first high evening he's shown in ready-to-wear since Privé hit the couture runway. But in between came a barrage of complicated, awkwardly mixed tailoring and flou, all frills, flyaways and endless tiers, often to cheesy effect.
Why Armani insists on subverting his innate elegance beneath such flourish is a befuddlement. If he does so in the name of hip, it's not working. Besides, most of the younger designers who stage those hyper editorial shows would consider Armani's estimated worth of $4.6 billion pretty hip.
Missoni: Missoni is a feel-good label full of eye-popping optimism and the kind of clothes that let the sunshine in. For spring, Angela Missoni took an especially exuberant approach with beachy bold stripes, fractal florals and those perennial knit zigzags. And she did it all with a sense of glee that meant even her most out-there combinations worked. Spangled dresses, some additionally appliquéd with flowers, could have given a "Cleopatra"-era Liz Taylor a run for her money, and baby-doll dresses in sherbet tones came banded with bitsy ruffles or a smattering of beads. These fearlessly flirtatious looks, however, were complemented by more seriously pretty fare, gauze cardigans and simple dresses sashed at the waist.
Throughout, the mood ran from feminine to giddy, though in Missoni's flood of ideas, from time to time, the collection seemed to lack the focus of her best efforts. Out on the runway, one person's eclecticism is another's confusion. That said, gowns with gently twisting straps and wrapping sashes played beautifully into the dress revival that's sweeping Milan.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty