Milan Fashion Week: Missoni turns the creative page; Liberatore real, virtual mix
Five days of womenswear presentations dissolved into other online presentations as Milan Fashion Week began to wrap up on Sunday and the fashion crowd prepared to take to Paris.
The excitement of the live catwalks, the return of celebrities and the explosion of fashion nights have energized the Italian fashion capital for the first time in 19 months, with crowds of young fashion lovers gathering at the outside places to breathe suction.
Some fashion brands are cleaning up and offering lighter collections in this hopeful revival season. But any deep change of pace is hard to see.
“I don’t see any change in reality,” said Missoni’s new creative director, Alberto Caliri. “It’s kind of like someone saying they give up fried foods, but then in a week they start eating them again. There is a lot of talk but little action.
Perhaps this is partly due to the simple desire to be in the world again.
Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele has said he’s had enough of people who see fashion as clothes and shoes, shoes and clothing, “with limited dignity.”
“Fashion is the work of man. He has a great storytelling ability, ”Michele said.
Highlights from Milan Fashion Week of the predominantly female collections:
RITES AND MYTHS OF FRANCESCA LIBERATORE
On this rainy Sunday morning, the fashion crowd paraded through a richly carpeted cinema hall for a full-immersive Francesca Liberatore fashion show, combining real models, hologram images and a film projected on the main screen.
The diaphanous allures richly borrowed from the Renaissance, with flowing trains, puffed sleeves and drapes. Organza, gathers and ruffles create a romantic vibe, while touches of latex make the looks down to earth. They included a slit coat that heaved with each step and tight pants.
The organza, representing romance, was constantly based on more modern elements. A white organza dress was wrapped over a black mini dress. A gathered mini-dress becomes poetic with a generous umber-colored organza skirt and an integrated heather blue cape. A sheer organza coat with a delicate ruffle was paired with matching sheer pants that were worn over high waisted panties, leaving the chest free. Another delicate organza dress appears torn, a violent gesture that revealed a black garment underneath.
Liberatore was eager to return to a live experience to preview their collection, while embracing elements of the digital world that have become a vital connection to the world during times of lockdown and isolation.
“Everything we have been through has made us realize that in reality anything can collapse before our eyes,” said Liberatore. “Here you have experienced the world that has collapsed. After that, there is a moment of fear, during which we are unstable. We are no longer touching the ground.
Yet the collection offers a message of hope. She was inspired by figurative paintings representing the four Christian evangelists as a lion, an eagle, a bull and an angel in the apse of the church of Saint-Michel in Ferrara. The disused church, originally built in the Middle Ages and rebuilt in the Renaissance, permanently houses the works of sculptor Bruno Liberatore, the designer’s father.
“I was the first to try to elevate myself, to completely change my pace,” said the designer. “So the beautiful thing about this new adventure was to have bought with my family the church of Saint-Michel de Ferrara, to create a cultural center, a mix between art and fashion.”
MISSONI’S NEW FASHION PAGE
The Missoni brand has turned a creative leaf by bringing in a longtime member of Angela Missoni’s team to replace her as Creative Director.
The shift to a younger, hipster vibe was immediately apparent in Alberto Caliri’s first collection. There were still plenty of beautiful, colorful knits for longtime brand aficionados, including floor-length dresses, sexy crop tops, and jumpsuits. But the figure was bolder than usual, decidedly young and easy to imagine at the hottest beach parties.
Bra tops led to asymmetrical dresses with large cutouts; knit patterns imitating intricate pearls on halter tops; silver swimsuits with floral details were worn with baggy pants. A bikini top had a long train, worn with jeans, for a perfectly updated hippie look. Missoni also picked up on a trend of the season: straight mini skirts with skinny bandeau tops, this one in leather with the repeated Missoni logo.
Caliri said he integrated Angela Missoni’s vision of femininity with her mother Rosita Missoni’s bold sense of color, including papaya, coral and yellow. The new Missoni woman is a self-confident person who takes a minimum of fuss to get out in the morning.
“My job was to cut everything that was possible, to make it the most valuable and obviously Missoni,” Caliri said. “I think any woman would find a piece in this collection.”