Sep 24, 2022
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Milan Fashion Week Friday: Versace, Etro and Tod’s

Sep 24, 2022

Fashion loves nothing more than a debut, and in a season of five in Milan, Etro went first. Though the star appearance of the day was that of a veteran, a striking cyberpunk display by Donatella Versace that felt like a major statement.

Versace: Cyberpunk rebellion rules

A new CEO and a new burst of energy at Versace, where Donatella dreamed up a punchy cyberpunk-take on the brand with all the sass, strut and sex one always hopes for in one of her shows.

Versace - Spring-Summer2023 - Womenswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

Staged in the latest massive hanger discovered on the outskirts of Milan, with a dozen supermodels marching down the catwalk. A set that included a series of glass tableaux like a grand piano; sitting of Medusa renaissance gold chairs and an electric candlelit nerve centre.

Gigi Hadid igniting the action in a semi-sheer black mesh gown, with cutouts and a cowl. The first of ten looks all in black, from Adut Akech in a cowboy fringed leather motorbike jacket worn with a mini mini to Irina Shayk in a deep gorge gown dissected by a Lonsdale belt.

A black lipped, brooding and inclusive cast marching on punky platforms, slinky kitten heels or five-inch spike heels.

Before it all went into overdrive in a mega final of Versace vixens in distressed and destroyed jeans, under ripped-up ankle length cardigans; feather bow-like shawls and crystal encrusted scarf skirts.

Climaxing with a series if sizzling hot brides in barely-there lace dresses, suspenders, lace gloves, taught bustiers and veils. Talk about naughty brides.

Ending to cheers and applause for Paris Hilton in a tiny crystal pink cocktail and veil.

“Vero Versace,” commented Donatella Versace, as she embraced Hilton, Chiara Ferragni and Fernanda Lima.

Dozens of paparazzi and scores of fans swarming around to shoot videos, amid a gang of bodyguards.

“There’s lots of things to do, which is great. Donatella is brilliant, so enthusiastic and with such great sharp energy,” beamed new CEO Emmanuel Gintzburger, looking very dapper in an all-black Versace rock gent suit.

Etro: A new take on paisley 

A new designer and a new broom swept through the house of Etro and with the debut at the house on Friday of Roman-born Marco De Vincenzo.

Etro Spring/Summer 2023 collection in Milan - Etro

A sharp change of pace in the clothes, with a dozen denim looks opening the action in a show staged in a agreeably wrecked disused north Milan factory.

De Vincenzo right away knocked a decade off the target segment with a dozen denim looks, not the fabric one necessarily associates with Etro. Denim bras; hot pants, thigh boots, coats, cloaks and cloches. Even if they were nearly all made of paisley - probably the defining print of the house. 

All through the show he cut a whole series of giant pants worn by a cast all of whom marched in towering, pointy clogs. Elongated trousers in jacquard, brocade and black satin - often completed by urban-clubber gold chains dangling from the pockets.

Again a pretty radical departure from the posh hippie chic of his two predecessors - Veronica and Kean Etro.

That said, there were echoes of that aesthetic at the finale, with a beautiful Arcadian print mini cocktail with tassels. In between, one could recognise De Vincenzo’s own oeuvre, bright satin skirts with accordion pleat trim or dip-dyed light-weight Aran sweaters, tanks and coat dresses.

“Etro is known for the richness of its fabrics, and its incredible archives. But by simply following my imagination I tried to tell a new story. And to break down the past,” De Vincenzo told FashionNetwork.com, in a pre-show preview. 

Noticeably, the new creative director lavished plenty of love on the logo - clamping Etro’s winged horse on woollens, handbags, silk baseball shirts and golden earrings.

Not quite a hit, and certainly no home run, but at least a fresh take on Etro.

Tod’s: Back to the 90s, minimally

Back to the 90s at Tod’s, where designer Walter Chiapponi referenced the minimalism and big shoulders of the era in a brilliantly staged show in art institute, Pirelli HangarBicocca.

Tod's Spring/Summer 2023 collection in Milan - Milan

Chiapponi even revived the Di bag, the leather Tod’s tote that was a staple for Princess Diana whenever she went to the gym. 

Though it was former French first lady Carla Bruni who opened the action, striding down the 100-meter runway in a diaphanous trench coat worn over a matching mauve suit, moccasins and tote.

“The nineties is the era I grew up in. I liked its minimalism, sharp lines and simplicity. So no decoration,” explained Chiapponi.

Tod’s traditionally shows in PAC, the main contemporary art centre of central Milan, and the move to Bicocca felt fresh. Especially as the cast marched underneath Anselm Kiefer’s magnificent permanent installation, 'The Seven Heavenly Palaces'.

The artist’s crumbling gray concrete towers, juxtaposed to the precise collection. Which emphasised quality and construction, and came in a warm color palette of skin-tones, makeup, sand, ecru and mauve.

All about manipulating codes, in a co-ed collection that featured menswear for guys incorporated into the womenswear; from oversized boyfriends' coats and blazers or mannish pleated trousers.

Chiapponi also played around with the signature rubbed stud soled Gommino moccasin, and blew up the proportions and contrasting colours so much that Tod’s owner Diego della Valle renamed it 'Babbo'; meaning the Italian for 'daddy'.

The Gommino studs also showed up on parkas; bikers jackets and nylon splash coats. Plus, Walter whipped up plenty of new bags, particularly with his favourite graphic 'T' on pony-skin clutches.

“Using stretch leather in long skirts with masculine shirts, I find very 90s,” smiled Chiapponi, wearing a sweatshirt that read, 'I Support Black Education'.

Indeed, the best single moment was a sculptural black leather sleeveless dress with a jauntily cut funnel neck worn by a black model. Simple, chic and somehow very now. Minimalism for today.

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