MORE MILAN ACTION
Sui by Anna Sui: It took a girl from Detroit to really stir things up in Milan over the weekend. The debut presentation of her new Sui by Anna Sui collection caused a major mob scene — even Naomi Campbell had to wait in line to get in. And if you were expecting pompons and hula skirts, forget it. With this launch, Sui showed a whole new side — you might even call it Conservative Chic. The collection produced by Gilmar features classics with clout, from sleek tailored suits to fake-fur peacoats. And yes, there was a hint of mod in great little sweaters and pointelle knit dresses. The clothes are priced from $170 to $210 wholesale for jackets, $70 to $95 for skirts and pants, and $180 to $220 for dresses, and Sui said she hopes it will catapult her into the international arena. “A lot of people say they love what I do, but they can’t wear it,” said Sui. “Anybody can wear these clothes.”
Gucci: In a weekend of “editorial” shows, Gucci was the most editorial of them all. Think Julie Christie in “Darling” or Malcolm McDowell in “A Clockwork Orange” to get the mod message designer Tom Ford sent out. He covered the era from frock coats to Emma Peel. Pants were slung low and covered the heel; sweaters were skinny, ribbed and sexy; tightly cinched mohair coats worked over everything. The palette harkened back to the early Seventies — brown, purple, dark red — as did the velvet and lacquered satin fabrics. And there was the season’s newest bag, a pouch in bright car-paint leathers or iridescent plastics. With its strong point of view and smart execution, this is probably the best collection Gucci has ever done.
Oliver: Not surprisingly, Mum turned up at Oliver. And when Valentino didn’t fuss over her too much, she looked young and feisty, as in those wide-cut, cropped pants worn just with little wrap-and-tie tops. But the years piled on along with all those extra layers. Valentino also showed smart coats in classic camel variations, and for the first time, a capsule of Valentino Night, which didn’t do Mum any favors.
Lawrence Steele: It was only his second show, but Lawrence Steele attracted a slew of top-notch retailers and editors. Although the designer made no fashion revelations, he does have a talent for details and construction. Standouts included gray flannel jackets and luxurious coats trimmed in fake fur along with a group of wide-leg wool pantsuits.
Etro: The house spun tradition and novelty together, putting a space-age, high tech twist on its new collection. While hidden cameras projected images from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” laminated finishes gave new life to quilted paisley jackets and classic handbags — and boucle jackets in burnished colors shimmered delicately.
Antonio Fusco: Master tailor Antonio Fusco flirted with femininity, shaping his jackets closer to the body over matching bras, which peeked out. He completed the look with cuffed trousers, hemmed above the ankle. The Neapolitan designer stuck to his classic palette of smoky grays, dusty blues and earth tones, but also brightened up the runway with sleek panne velvet pantsuits and capes in bright reds and oranges.