CLASSIC, TAILORED AND GLAM

MILAN — High-powered glam, exquisite tailoring and plenty of classics — the Milan collections had something for everyone.
Piazza Sempione designer Marisa Guerrizio took inspiration from her weekend getaways at the beach. In an informal showroom presentation, she said that the iridescence of seashells inspired her fabric choices: cotton and silk blends, rayons and glistening taffetas. She loves the freshness of navy and featured it in a variety of textures — denim, soft napa and flat-ribbed knits — for casual separates. While Guerrizio also showed plenty of her top-performing suits, she eased back into a softer mood with apron dresses buttoned down the front or side-wrapped. As for coping with that evening sea breeze, her feather-light jeans jacket in white stretch cotton offered a delightful solution.
At Iceberg, creative director Paolo Gerani followed a simple equation for sexy dressing: Start with something bright, show lots of skin and cut skirts thigh-high. Much of the collection looked quite fun, particularly the electric swimsuits and tops that opened the show, the latter toned-down by being shown with oversized khakis and duster coats. When a girl’s really feeling casual, she can slip into cheeky, sassy shorts, extra-hot under bandeau tops or peasant blouses. Some of these were shredded tab-like to resemble Post-It notes, a trick borrowed from Tom Ford, who played it last season at Gucci.
The heat was also on at Borbonese, a luxury accessories house looking to make inroads in fashion. Alessandro Dell’Acqua, brought in last season to launch the ready-to-wear, has taken a characteristically steamy approach. For spring, his runway sizzled with itty-bitty bikinis as well as second-skin pants and skirts with super-high slits. He showed these with floaty chiffon tops and even a leopard-printed fur vest. Of course, Dell’Acqua’s glammed-up babes also showed off the house’s forte, great bags. These came structured and covered with macro-sequins or in flat baguettes worked in combos of white napa, denim and the house’s signature bird’s eye.
Loro Piana doesn’t give a hoot about fashion trends, but it takes quality very seriously. It’s got oodles and oodles of that, especially in easy-wear basics. For spring, the company served up a light, airy collection that included a red seersucker trench and matching shorts and a silk polo blouse paired with a linen skirt, cut on the bias. Aside from the buttery cashmere knits, there were a shrunken crewneck that had a peach-soft hand, a treatment exclusive to the company.
Luciano Barbera is another company that knows how to work the classics. For spring, the house showed new versions of those good-looking, precision-cut pantsuits in silk cashmere and silk in gentle colors — sky blue, champagne yellow, white. On a modern-day “Dolce Vita” note, a long shirt was tossed over a knitted T-shirt and worn with a full skirt, perfect for a stroll down the Via Veneto.
Antonio Fusco believes that perfectly-cut jackets in luxe fabrics are always in style, and this season, he gives them an in East-meets-West spin. So for spring he took an imaginary trip, shuttling from Japan to Africa with a stopover in Turkey. Hence the kimono-inspired jackets in silk, crisp safari styles and suits in pinstriped shantung.
At Ruffo Research, it’s got to be tough to step in as the new designer, especially after Sophia Kokosalaki’s terrific show last fall. This season, Alexandre Morgado and Matthieu Bureau of the Parisian label Alexandre Matthieu, took on the role, and they got off to a rocky start. Still, there were some high points: a tunic and pants in perforated suede, which made for a neat optical effect, and their trompe l’oeil pleated dress.

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