THE FASHION FLOCK HAS MOVED ON BY, AS IT TURNED OUT, PLANE, TRAIN AND AUTOMOBILE, TO MILAN, WHERE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF SHOWS INCLUDED THE D&G AND GFF GIANFRANCO FERRE COLLECTIONS.
D&G: It was a real Headbanger’s Ball. Those rocking Madonna T-shirts Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana sent out with their designer collection last season caused such a riot, that for the fall D & G line, the two gave a major encore. They splashed an unruly AC/ID logo a la AC/DC on everything from wicked stilettoed boots to laced-up, reconstructed concert T-shirts, complete with tour dates and images of the grim reaper’s grimacing visage. Then they sent the models out to swagger across a stage strewn with red rose petals. The tops were shown with super-tight gray, acid-washed jeans and even an electric blue patent miniskirt. In fact, there was also enough leather and lace on parade to make Billy Idol drool. Low-riding leather pants were pleated and buckled, while ruffled black lace tops, skirts and dresses were sheerer than sheer and shown over bikinis. Well, that ought to get the guitarist’s attention. Other great pieces that rocked just as hard ranged from a navy bandleader’s jacket with gold epaulets to floor-length imitation furs lined in fluorescent satin.
But even the most dedicated fan takes a day off every now and again to re-tease her hair or visit the mall. For those occasions, Dolce and Gabbana provided baggy knit minidresses in screaming fluorescent yellow or pretty pink with a scarf to match. The collection is sure to please rock groupies everywhere, but more importantly, it’ll score with D&G’s own.
GFF Gianfranco Ferre: That Gianfranco Ferre sure does take his fun seriously. His GFF collection was full of witty takes on classic proportions and propriety, including a twinset that was elongated and stretched until it took on new dimensions, a clean-cut coat that came to life through its exaggerated, peaked lapels, and the loveliest of all, a big navy peacoat and full-length navy pleated skirt. Along the way, Ferre poked fun at men’s wear of every style, warping his boxy jackets — shoulders, buttons and all — and sending out his pants super-slouchy. Innovations included a coat studded with cloth-covered buttons or extra-long jacket sleeves that were scrunched up to fit. For the most part, Ferre’s severe palette of navy, black and white, kept it all from getting silly, though some looks were mere standup — take my enormously oversized red corduroy suit, please! But when he balanced humor with real-life elegance, it was irresistible.
Byblos: Although the show notes suggest the collection was inspired by a kaleidoscopic view of the Las Vegas strip as seen through a wet window, it was a world away from Sin City. Let’s just say a peek through Hussein Chalayan’s window — give or take the raindrops — is more like it. Not that it matters. Wherever creative director John Bartlett and his team are finding their inspiration, Byblos’s fall collection is younger, brighter and looks better than it has for seasons.
There was a tweed jacket with one tiny ruffle at the collar, slim corduroy pants, some pretty, glittery chiffon dresses and scores of looks decorated with discs in a palette that ran from Alexander the Grape to Bubblicious pink to Jolly Rancher’s apple green. What a sugar rush! Tiny paillettes scattered across a jacket led to a smattering of small felt discs tacked to a sweater, then came big tone-on-tone discs on a black shearling coat and finally little discs fluttering on layered chiffon party dresses. At a certain point, it was enough to drive one dotty — and the engorged pompon sweaters were just far too kooky — but a glimpse of the line’s new whimsical side is certainly a welcome sight.
Trend Les Copains: This season, his third designing Trend Les Copains, Antonio Marras let asymmetry and a touch of artsy attitude do the talking. When he played it safe, he cut classic fabrics, most in brown or black, in wide-legged trousers, curvy suits and fine coats. When he let loose, out came an elegant monkey-fur jacket and a skirt glammed up with a starburst of sequin down its front. The pieces with a real point of view, however, were the high-drama dresses. Sometimes asymmetry got the better of Marras, as with a leather strapless number, but a voluminous dress with flyaway sleeves, tied at the waist with a sash, proved he knows how to do it just right.