During the last round of Milan Fashion Week, we discussed how Carlo Capasa, as president of the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, planned to rejuvenate Milan’s rather tired fashion scene. MFW’s headquarters were relocated and a new focus on young designers was pushed – both steps in the right direction – so what’s happened since then? 2016 first MFW has certainly brought out some interesting changes in the Italian fashion landscape.
See now, buy later
Straight off the back of London Fashion Week and its much-discussed ‘see now, buy now’ fashion shows, offering instant shoppability, Milan was a shock to the system with its resolve to stick to its traditional values. Capasa commented that adding an instantaneous element to the runway would threaten to “crush creativity,” adding that fashion shows have a “dream” aspect to them which needs to be preserved. While most of Milan’s designers dismissed the idea of tantalising customers with ready-to-buy product, Miuccia Prada went against the grain; two new handbag styles, the Pionnière and Cahier, went on sale immediately after Prada’s FW16 show.
Social media shut-down
While things like wearable tech, smart fabrics and 3D printing are something of a pipedream in the mainstream sections of Milan Fashion Week, social media is one thing that even the Italian fashion business appears to have embraced with open arms – surely Dolce and Gabbana’s army of selfie-snapping models last season proved this? Well, it seems some brands are a little more reticent. MGSM’s show, WWD reported, took a no-holds-barred stance to social media this fashion week; Massimo Giorgetti, the brand’s creative director, requested that press and buyers keep their iPhones tucked away during the MGSM presentation on February 28th. “Put back your phone and enjoy the show,” read the invites.
Versace snags Insta-star
Donatella Versace made the wise move to latch onto the overwhelming success of Gigi Hadid, the ‘girl-next-door’ model whose appeal has attracted hordes of fans – 14.2 million followers on Instagram alone, to be precise. The 20-year-old was booked for a Milan exclusive by Versace, which undoubtedly generated a buzz around the show. Versace also welcomed Kendall Jenner on its FW16 catwalk – yet another savvy manoeuvre to snatch social media attention.
Milan banks on millennials
Versace wasn’t the only brand to capitalise on youth culture this Milan Fashion Week. The general mood in the air this February was one of positivity and genuine artistry rather than anything tired and stale. It is inevitable, though, as times have changed. “The first exit on the catwalk must grab smartphone attention. The models must be young enough to attract a worldwide digital following. And, above all, from every angle the show must look on-message,” Suzy Menkes wrote for Vogue. Emporio Armani’s collection certainly seemed to be marked towards a younger clientele, with strong structural shapes mashed together with candy pink separates, fluffy knitwear and geometric, emoji-inspired appliqué and badges. Diesel Black Gold came to Milan for FW16; the brand previously showed in New York, but creative director Renzo Rosso decided to bring Diesel Black Gold to the Italian fashion capital, following discussion of Milan’s pioneering, youth-focused future. “Together we want to make Milan the most important fashion week in the world,” said Rosso, whose latest collection, with its indigo denim, dark colour palette and utilitarian feel, will certainly appeal to the millennial market.
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Reported by Grace Howard
Image Source: Emporio Armarni