Just Cavalli: For a lover of pomp, loud luxe and over-the-top attitude like Roberto Cavalli, sending out an ode to the “contemporary czarina” is a natural. At Just Cavalli, his perfectly lush, perfectly-Cavalli melange worked folkloric skirts, fur-trimmed vests and swaggering jeans glittering with crystals. Of course, under different circumstances, these bold items could have built the backbone of a rich hippie collection or melded with any of Cavalli’s favorite rocking themes. But that’s the point. This designer’s customer loves a flashy jacket and her denim done right no matter what the designer’s whimsical theme of the moment might be.
This season, while she’s not likely to flip for his more overtly costume-y fare — when was the last time a Cavalli customer wanted to hide her perfected body beneath a heavy belled skirt? — she’ll find enough sparkle and flair to keep her fabulous through a Russian winter.
Blugirl: A frosted runway and a backdrop depicting Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid set the mood for Blugirl’s trip to Northern Europe. But rather than bulky shapes and meaty fabrics, Anna Molinari sent out a collection that was, as she described it, all about “dreams and reality.”
For the most part, that meant Cinderella-meets-Ice-Queen. Blonde and fair-skinned, Molinari’s girls came out in a plethora of dresses, tops and spunky miniskirts cut from dreamy silks or crushed velvets. These were paired with fur après-ski boots and trapper hats, as well as fur-trimmed capelets and puckered nylon jackets. Throughout, the clothes were showered with sequins, baby rhinestones and beads.
Molinari then headed to North Tyrol with ample loden capes à la Little Red Riding Hood; to Scotland with tartan and velvet party frocks, and Hungary for purple and gold brocade dresses trimmed in passementerie. Molinari’s Snow Princesses were pretty enough to thaw any deep freeze.
Mila Schön: It’s never easy to take over the creative direction of a mature brand and make it current. Just ask the design team at Mila Schön. With the company’s namesake sitting in the front row, eyeing every look, the anonymous team had more than a tangible reminder of the gap they’re trying to bridge. After presenting a directionless spring show, the designers came through for fall with a collection as pretty as it was contemporary. Printed, crushed-velvet skirts, camel pants sparkling with Lurex and plush belted coats gave a soft glaze to the feminine collection. At times, such embellishments as pompoms on a coat’s hem, jeweled studs and satin bows seemed derivative of other designers’ personalities, but overall, this was a solid effort as the design team dug deeper into their own creative vaults.
Debora Sinibaldi: Debora Sinibaldi’s striking sophomore effort deserved a better time slot than early Sunday morning, but, then again, calendar issues are just one of many challenges a designer new to the Milan collections must overcome. The former assistant to Michael Kors showed an evolved eye for fall. Sinibaldi dropped last season’s tricky staging and focused instead on mixing up great pieces, such as geometric-print coats with painted raw silk skirts. A knot here and a nip there displayed her tailoring skills and the fact that she has enough sense not to over-indulge them. Judging by her eclectic mix of raw-edged shantung dresses and slim tailored waistcoats, this Italian designer, who’s a mother of three, has plenty of spunk.