Off the runways, accessories designers show their fall wares at Milan Fashion Week.
Bulgari infused the same glamorous and elegant spirit of its jewelry collections into its fall accessories, all crafted from upscale materials and enriched with precious details. Snakeskin with a sophisticated dégradé effect was used for a mini shoulder bag with a gold closure embossed with the Bulgari logo. Multicolor rhinestones punctuated a range of styles, including clutches, worked both in leather and exotic skin, while fur accents gave a twist to classic day handbags.
A classically furnished room in the elegant Baglioni Hotel Carlton served as the discreet backdrop to Desa Nineteenseventytwo, a high-end Turkish label that is “all about timeless, understated luxury” using minimalist, architectural shapes, said owner and chief executive officer Burak Çelet. Structured and soft forms combined in a hobo bag that stood up with a solid base and sides, and in a firm cylindrical feed bag with a contrasting suede drawstring closure. Desa introduced this bronze colored satchel with pyramidal handles and triangular leather instarsia panels. The bags have lambskin exteriors and goat suede lining. “If I hadn’t become a purse designer, I would have become an architect,” said creative director Tonya Hawkes, “For me, it’s always about looking for a twist, having something special.”
Giuseppe Zanotti channeled a disco-glam mood for fall. Iconic nightspots, such as Paris’ Le Palace Club and Danceteria in New York, served as inspiration for a range of traffic-stopping styles. These included open-toe ankle boots, platform sandals and cage stilettos embellished with multicolor sequins or sparkling appliqués, such as spheres encrusted with colorful crystals. Zanotti’s day options included suede cuissardes with a graphic metallic buckle, patent leather mary janes in neutral nude and black and Chelsea boots with a front zipper.
Sara Battaglia struck different notes with her new bag collection. Embracing a flamboyant look, she covered a bucket bag with leather-fringed flowers, while maxi bows appeared on graphic shoulder styles. She introduced fur via multicolor mink intarsia decorating the flap of a leather bag with a metal chain. Battaglia also developed a graphic black-and-white range, including options enriched with stripes, as well as exquisite evening bags punctuated with pearls.
A lush neo-Renaissance palazzo-museum set an aristocratic tone for luxe handbags from Bertoni 1949. Styles included miniature structured travel pieces from the 20th century, like leather-covered wood hat boxes, trunks and suitcases. Bertoni’s latest collection taps its ongoing theme of the American Dream, this time in the free-spirited nomadic attitude of American culture. Called Nomad’s Land, it recalls the lives and craft traditions of wanderers through patchworks of precious skins, hand-painted paisley patterns inspired by bandanas, wood-printed leather, and the blue and tan hues of earth and sky. Bertoni introduced this graphic flap bag with a saddlebag shape embellished with leather-covered studs.
The party was packed and the bar open in the scarlet interior of the subterranean nightclub where Italian blogger and designer Chiara Ferragni showed her shoes. “Born to Be Wild” — the song set the mood, and was also the name of the collection, which Ferragni said “is about being brave and wild, about the freedom of choosing your own path, like I did.” Ferragni, who now lives in Los Angeles, drew inspiration from road trips through the deserts of the American West to introduce a series of flamboyant cowboy boots: some with big glittering stars, others with metallic chevron stripes, still others with large grommets. Ferragni is shown here with thigh-high versions with flame stitching up the leg.
“More than an inspiration, it was a feeling for warm materials like velvet, and colors that really wrap you up,” designer Enio Silla said of the idea behind his collection. He offered simpler styles with a distinctive knot detail, Baroque decorations and Borgia-inspired embroideries, as well as a must for Le Silla: crystals. For fall, the brand presented a capsule with Swarovski in gold, silver and ochre hues strategically positioned under spotlights for high-wattage sparkle.
Borsalino showed its newest capsule collection with Italian clothing company and distributor Slam Jam. Under this collaboration, the long-established hat company added a street-culture take on its classic shape, eliminating the headband but keeping a ribbon in the same color. There were also velvety baseball caps and bucket hats in striking red, orange and purple. The main collection, displayed in Spazio Borsalino’s garden on a metallic swing construction, showed traditional shapes in neutral blacks, grays and blues, updated with bands in bright colors and pastels. Top hats, bowlers and a dressage hat from 1800 were part of Borsalino’s Replica project, which brings archival pieces back to life.
“We want to explain the personality of the brand through the women of Milan and their rigorous bon ton,” said Sara Ferrero, chief executive officer of Valextra. But just as the city’s gardens remain hidden behind austere facades, there’s more than meets the eye to the Milanese woman, she observed.
Hence, the lining of the brand’s new Triennale bags in total black — metal details included — came in a surprising shade of bright yellow. Intarsia Bakelite magnets embellished other Valextra totes that were rendered in a fun, rainbow palette — new shades that are not readily associated with the brand, from orange to turquoise.
Another novelty: cream bags with intarsia superimposed panels that created a black “X.” “This can mean: I choose you or not…or, it’s a kiss,” Ferrero said.
Layered arches of nude mesh and indigo strass swooped up to a bow on dorset pumps called Futurism from Rene Caovilla. Art Deco geometric patterns surged across Swarovski crystal-encrusted sandals, pumps and flats. The glittering eveningwear brand introduced its first boots: pearls and chunky crystals embellished the block heels on suede ankle boots, while Parisienne thigh boots, with Swarovski pavé block heels, gloved the length of the leg in navy or gray suede.
A round staircase covered in textured burgundy velvet and a sparkling chandelier served as the stage for Sergio Rossi’s presentation of dainty ankle-strapped d’Orsay pumps and soft velvet platform sandals with jet sequins. “I was thinking of the unconventional, emancipated flapper dancers from the Twenties, and the divas making an entrance walking down the staircase,” said creative director Angelo Ruggeri, who continues in that role under the new ownership of private equity fund Investindustrial. To be sure, an exquisite sandal with a single strap of velvet wrapped around the ankle will take any dancer late into the night.
Standing atop gilded columns in a dreamy golden room, Jimmy Choo’s Belle Epoch and military-inspired collection fused tough with sensual, constraint with liberation, and robustness with romance in exquisite tension. “To me you need to have that [contrast] to stir something up,” said creative director Sandra Choi. The two-piece booties shown “are lace-up, like combat boots, and have a little bit of corsetry. They are restraining, securing something. And the tactility of the velvet gives it artistry — an artisanal quality — with a richer tone than black. The color brings the whole thing alive.”
Church’s added silver studs to its staple Oxfords in brown, black and white, but also introduced velvet slippers decorated with crystals. One pump featured a large flap on the vamp that gave a feminine touch to the masculine style.
At Car Shoe, the pebbled sole of its driving shoe was re-elaborated on a furry ankle boot. Thick-soled sneakers with a black and white cow-spot pattern and sneakers adorned with crystals rounded out the lineup.
Marianna Giusti designed the nature-inspired print for this laser-cut calfskin ankle boot with a block heel by Attilio Giusti Leombruni. The Giusti sisters at AGL pushed toward greater femininity in their androgynous mixes, sometimes achieving the hyperfeminine — like the application of the laser-cut print in low-heel, pointy-toe slingbacks with fur pom-poms. More often, they created surprising contrasts, like combat boots with floral embroidery and hand-painted, gold-brushed laces, or forest green patent leather high tops with velvet laces and fur-covered vamp.
Elena Ghisellini introduced a structured bag with rock-inspired leather and chunky chain interwoven handle, twin fringe tassels, delicate punk studs on the sides and interior. Already a big hit, the pink and burgundy model shown features the Lolita doll accessory in Orylag fur — a specially bred rabbit. Styles run from romantic, flower-printed calfskin — featuring the brand’s trademark feline front — to black and white polka-dot pony. Optical prints of zebra stripes and polka dots dominated new versions of heritage models, including handbags and clutches.
Gold stripes embroidered on sapphire velvet strapped the toes and collared the ankle on this Gianvito Rossi sandal, punctuated with a golden bow. Decorations such as military ribbon embroidery, epaulette-fringed ankle straps, aiguillette embellishments and elastic-looped buttons paraded through a collection that also introduced jewel-tone velvets. The shoemaker also launched two dorset pump silhouettes, and praline pink suede and goat fur decorated day boots and high tops.
An origami vamp laces into a folded ruffle in this cardinal suede Oxford from fledging brand Soloviere. Designer Alexia Aubert’s unisex 5-cm block heels also debut in cap-toed ankle boots, while previous models, like unisex lace up flats, were embellished with masculine kilts and passementerie fringe.
Furla offered a new take on its hit Metropolis bag with the Bolero model, showing a laser-cut design and gold details on the flap with a leather and chain strap.
Paula Cademartori introduced asymmetric loafers with colorful hand drawings printed on leather and a hand-embroidered monkey on the right shoe to pay tribute to the Chinese year.
Casadei’s tall, chunky platform heel in beige suede adapts Seventies disco glitter for daytime in a collection that voyages through the era, also revealing folk, hippy, punk, glamour, androgynous and rock influences.
These makeup-inspired dusty pink and brown wedges by Giannico sport the debut of the fledgling brand’s signature buckle, incorporating its lip and quilting motifs.
Brian Atwood conjured Bohemian deco looks with these thigh-high caramel suede boots with peacock-patterned intarsia in a variety of vivid leathers and metallic details.
Fratelli Rossetti’s stacked heel slip-on shoe exudes the spirit of imperial Russia through embroidered velvet inspired by “Doctor Zhivago.”
Inspired by Marlene Dietrich’s androgynous aesthetic, Santoni elaborated its hand-made men’s lace-ups and brogues, magnifying their laces and perforated piping and transforming the designs into feminine and sensual high-heel sandals.