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Milan Fashion Week SS 21: Brief Inspiration Guide

By Oktober 6, 2020 No Comments
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Julia Kryshevich

Milan Fashion Week SS 21: Brief Inspiration Guide

What is Milan Fashion Week?

Milan Fashion Week (MFW) enters the famous ‘Big Four’, following New York and London Fashion Weeks and preceding the Paris event. Legally speaking, it’s a clothing trade show but in fact, it’s so much more! Leading designers of the Italian fashion industry such as Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Fendi and others semi-annually gather in Milan to share their creative vision for the future through a series of fashion shows, presentations, and various spectacular events. Women’s Fashion Weeks are held in February and September, while Men’s take place in January and June. Founded by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in the far 1958, MFW won a wider public perception only in the late 70s when the show format was extended to several days with a few venues involved. Before that Florence was deemed the fashion capital of Italy with the majority of events running in the Palazzo Pitti (in the renowned Sala Bianca or the White Salon).

Anything special about MFW SS 21?

This year is special itself, you know. Because of the pandemic February and July editions of MFW (the latter was rather impromptu) moved online. As for the Milan Fashion Week SS 21, its organizer, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana decided to get ‘phygital’: online and offline events, presentations, and fashion shows were running coherently alternated from September 22—28. Curiously enough, some brands limited themselves to online shows only, while those who dared to prefer physical to digital fundamentally took care of precautionary measures. May this news have scared off some of the participants? Well, it was the case for Gucci and Bottega Veneta, who were earlier reported to have withdrawn from the show. Indeed, D&G repeatedly joined MFW (the brand already did it in July) after a few years of absence. Fendi turned its sights on the Milan Fashion Week, sacrificing its plans in Rome to that end. Eventually, Valentino transferred its show from one fashion capital to another (all right, from Paris to Milan), which was a big surprise for all.

Trends recognized 

It stands to reason that wearing a mask has become not only a necessity and a moral obligation but also a fashion trend. Though not bringing too much of that, some brands tried putting facial masks on their models, just like Atsushi Nakashima and Marni did. Exposed bellies and deep necklines seemed to be back in vogue the upcoming spring-summer season. Minimal make-up, just bold red lips (D&G, Max Mara, Versace), but quite a few accessories like fringe bags, necklaces, and Panama hats (Fendi, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Ports 1961). Finally, diversity is being celebrated: a few plus-size were spotted on the runway, let alone people of colour. New section called ‘We’re made in Italy’ established by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana represented art by black-owned fashion businesses, while Emerging Designers Hub showcased young talents, inter alia, Hungarian designers from the Budapest Select.

Fendi Spring_Summer 2021 on Milan Fashion Week. Courtesy of Fendi

D_G S_S 2021 on MFW. Courtesy of D_G

Ports 1961 2021 S_S collection on MFW. Courtesy of Ports 1961

Instead of simply showing mannequins walking down the catwalk, designers experimented with telling stories through their collections. (thanks to the phygital format of the Week). For example, Luisa Beccaria shared a beautiful family history in the 8-minute film, while Emilio Pucci created a featherlight summer narrative (with the help of the rising designer Tomo Koizumi). However, it’s Moschino that really stood out: the brand invited guests to a puppet theatre show (online, of course), where all the mannequins and designers including Anna Wintour sitting in the front row as a VIP guest, and Jeremy Scott, Moschino creative director were presented as …hinged puppets. All the outfits from the Moschino SS 2021 collection were also in miniature, but no less real. Whether a tendency or not, storytelling in fashion might become a good alternative to the traditional runways, carrying the idea of new sincerity and embodying a more engaging form of self-presentation.

Moschino ‘Puppet’ SS 21 Fashion Show on MFW. Courtesy of Moschino_

Moschino ‘Puppet’ SS 21 Fashion Show on MFW. Courtesy of Moschino

Moschino ‘Puppet’ SS 21 Fashion Show on MFW. Courtesy of Moschino

Alberta Ferretti: 

‘My gut instinct was to embrace kindness and a certain seductive softness (Alberta Ferretti)

Special features: fringe bags — short puffed sleeves — focus on the shoulders — high-waisted slacks — sandals — belts with buckles — totem-like necklaces — neat patterns — Sangallo exquisite lace;  

Outfits from the Ferretti latest collection look romantic, relaxed, and imbued with vitality at once. As if you suddenly decided to go for a safari trip feeling nostalgia for the hot summer days. Enjoyable shades like sandy, apricot, jasmine white make it feel warm and desolate like in the heart of a lonely cowboy. Yet Ferretti SS 21 is a very feminine collection: easy, playful, and sophisticated, embodying the brand signature concept. 

NB: Alberta Ferretti designed her first collection in 1973. She launched Ferretti Jeans Philosophy in 1989, which was renamed Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti in 1994. Alberta Ferretti has been participating in Milan shows since 1981. 

Courtesy of Alberta Ferretti_

Courtesy of Alberta Ferretti_

Courtesy of Alberta Ferretti_

ANИAKIKI

‘In the creative world of ANИAKIKI, the future, technology, and aesthetics are no longer independent from each other, but are truly integrated and symbiotic’ (ANИAKIKI team)

Special features: form-fitting jumpsuits — mini dresses with whimsically shaped oversized sleeves — ominously narrow sport glasses — perfect symmetry with some unexpected irregularities — even balaclava; 

The colours are outer space! ANИAKIKI 2021 S/S collection encompasses the whole spectrum of night shades — deep purple, dark, and cornflower blue, metal silver and, of course, His Majesty black. As for the plot of the collection, it was inspired by the Oscar-nominated film ‘Contact’ (1997), where the main character, a keen scientist explores the cosmos being obsessed with the idea to find evidence of extraterrestrial life and establish contact with aliens. By the way, the last year collection by ANИAKIKI also presented on MFW was based on a surreal journey of a girl from the future, who traveled back to the 1980s from the year 2080. Kind of a similar story, isn’t it?

NB: The founder of the brand Anna Yang joined the industry of fashion in 2008, following in her family footsteps. The brand ANNAKIKI emerged in 2013, which title Anna Yang extracted from her own name and the name of her sister. ANNAKIKI was officially added to Milan Fashion Week Calendar in 2017; 

Courtesy of ANИAKIKI

Courtesy of ANИAKIKI

Courtesy of ANИAKIKI

Marni 

‘It is about discovering fragility as strength and emotions as a connection, celebrating the dissonances that make a symphony.’ (Francesco Risso, Marni creative director) 

Special features: long sleeves — U-shaped and short necklines — full skirts — coarse fabrics — stitches turned inside out — signature stripes and abstraction — paint peelings — expressive shades of red — cargo pants;  

Dreaming is not harmful, especially in the times of general uncertainty and anxiety. Marni created a very dispersed narrative telling people’s stories at ease: life, awakening, and links — these are the key words for the concept of the new Marni collection. Francesco Risso doesn’t say anything definite about the show, calling it a pure social experiment. Risso recalls that accidents always happen for a reason, and that could be a motto for the dreamy SS 2021 by Marni. Randomness is intertwined here with patterns, sensuality goes hand in hand with resilience. Also striking are the mannequins featured — really diverse with the beauty of every single model being emphasized and celebrated. 

NB: Marni was founded in 1994 by Consuelo Castiglioni. The brand joined the OTB Group (head company for such brands as Diesel, Maison Margiela, and Viktor&Rolf) in 2013. Francesco Risso has been creative director of Marni since 2016.

Courtesy of Marni

Courtesy of Marni

Courtesy of Marni

Elisabetta Franchi 

‘The power of nature as a rebirth and a real fresh start’ (Elisabetta Franchi team)

Special features: flowing translucent fabrics — mini dresses and skirts — flounces and lace — emphasis on details, such as earrings, headbands, and buttons — gorgeous bows — petite bags — a lot of lilac; 

Tender purple lilac in the blooming garden, a Roman patio, and sensual nymphets strolling around, that’s the vision of the upcoming spring by Elisabetta Franchi. Surely, dresses and skirts prevail, since this story is about a Female, who is seductive, sophisticated, but confident of herself and her desires at once. The SS 2021 collection by Franchi is not very rich in casual elements, just a few models of suits, trench coats, and pants that somehow keep in touch with reality. No doubt, airy cocktail dresses of exquisite shades are a way to escape from reality, but how beautiful and fresh this escape is! A perfect hymn to spring, no comment.  

NB: In 1998 Elisabetta Franchi founded Betty Blue S.p.a and fashioned the CELYN b collection. The homonymous brand Elisabetta Franchi came to life in 2012. ‘The Fairy Tale and The Gate SS15’ was the brand’s debut collection presented on MFW in 2014. 

Courtesy of Elisabetta Franchi

Courtesy of Elisabetta Franchi

Courtesy of Elisabetta Franchi

Versace 

‘Versace SS 2021 collection transports us underwater to Versacepolis’ (Donatella Versace) 

Special features: rebellious colors — revealing necklines — skirts with big flounces — exposed skin (especially, female) — frequent narrow strips — sea patterns — male capri pants — pleated ruffles — sudden cuts — suit jackets; 

Welcome to the subsea imperium of Versace! Past the Medusa head and ruined columns, through the labyrinths — yes, you’re in the guest zone, take your seat please, and enjoy! Donatella Versace didn’t take the risk of providing a live fashion show, however, the digital version will probably make you feel you are sitting in front of the runway. The SS 2021 collection came out just in line with the brand’s philosophy — bold, eccentric, sexually arousing, and clearly gender-differentiated (no unisex by Versace — girls are girls, boys are boys). However, some unexpected tricks also took place like fancy flounces, sea elements, and chain handles, let alone the immersing aura and the scenic background. 

Courtesy of Versace

Courtesy of Versace

Courtesy of Versace

NB: Versace was founded by Gianni Versace in 1978. His sister Donatella Versace inherited the empire in 1997. In 2018 the brand was sold to the fashion holding company founded by designer Michael Kors. However, Donatella still remains Versace creative director. 

Looking forward to Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021-2022. See you there!