Milan Fashion Week Saturday: Kim X Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, and Bottega Veneta
Fan craziness in overdrive outside the joint collection Kim X Dolce & Gabbana, as thousands of fans screamed and roared while mobile phone filming the arrivals Khloé Kardashian and Kris Jenner, along with four Wests - Chicago, Psalm, North and Saint. All egged on by a dry-ice machine, a camera crane with old style cine-cameras, and a mock ego-manic film director ordering around editors and influencers as if they were extras.
Inside, Kim on the big screen. Shot Marilyn Monroe-style in black and white, leisurely eating a bowl of spaghetti pomodoro, ever so often gently wiping her rouge-lipped with a linen tablecloth. Hair done up like a 50s screen star, dressed in a metallic sequin cocktail and wearing black gloves, she finished off her dish as the final model appeared.
With mum, sister Jenner and daughters West sitting front row, one witnessed high-octane Hollywood boudoir fantasy on the catwalk. Lots of innerwear as outerwear: black lace body stockings; leotards covered in jade beads; silver bugle beads bustiers; black satin bras, endless bloomers. Bodycon fashion throughout.
Before, the show went into overdrive. Just as Kim finished off her plate, out emerged metallic gold va-va-vroom cocktails; transparent gauze coat-dresses cinched with a S&M Lonsdale belt; and a metropolis-like stiff metal bodice cocktail. At which point Kim licked her lips with satisfaction.
Barely a hint of Dolce & Gabbana’s beloved Sicily but lots of Santa Monica-sex appeal. Which ended as Kim took a solo ovation in a glistening anthracite Swarovski crystal column, caressing her legendary hips. To be joined by Domenico and Stefano for a joint bow, as Kim blew air kisses in the direction of her family.
“In my soul I feel like a very sensual Italian mob wife,” Kim emoted at an earlier morning Milan press conference, in full Sopranos-mode.
Ferragamo: A new star is born
Everyone in Milan celebrated the debut of new star on Saturday morning. His name is Maximilian Davis, and he made his creative debut at Salvatore Ferragamo, with a highly accomplished ode to Hollywood glamour that puts the brand right back at the centre of the fashion universe.
“I wanted to delve into the extraordinary history of the house and remember that Signor Ferragamo began his career in Hollywood dressing the great stars, like Marilyn Monroe,” explained the quiet-spoken Davis, post show.
This season they also eliminated the founder’s name Salvatore from the brand, and Davis certainly cut away plenty of clutter. One of his hottest looks was a sinful red mannish lapel-free wrap blazer with hidden buttons that hung perfectly.
Presented inside the courtyard of a neo-classical former seminary on Corso Venezia, set to become the latest luxe hotel in the Ferragamo family chain. All the cobblestones and walls covered in a blend of Ferragamo’s blood red logo.
“Staging it in here felt like the right way to underline both new beginnings,” explained Davis.
Red rippled through the collection; from a postbox red jumpsuit worn with matching water bottles, heels and huge clutch. A clear reference to the 1959 shoes Salvatore made specially for Marilyn. Though at its core was the tuxedo, dress pant and waistcoat - cut with retro panache but styled with real edge. One see-through top even boasting a diagram, with Lucifer on top and Hell on the right hand side.
Shifting from mono-colours to Rachel Harrison’s Sunset Series in silk leotards, sheathes, gowns, semi-sheer shirt dresses and leather totes. Also impressing were hologram-style bronzed jeans and shirts. Plus, Davis harnessed Ferragamo’s leather skills in matching leggings, polo, water-bottles and duster in beige suede. And a great new pump with a circular heel looks like becoming the must-have shoe.
Mind you, Davis’ definition of movie-star glamour is a broad one. For boys that includes hooded and puckered leather jerkins with matching mini shorts and bovver boots or white nylon parkas and pants that look like they should be accessorised with a geiger counter.
A tad eccentric, though it also added spice to this first at bat by a young designer who seems to arrived as a proper star.
Bottega Veneta: Perverse banality
Diversity and the energy; what it brings and ensures were the wellsprings of Bottega Veneta’s collection, the second instalment from creative director Matthieu Blazy.
Conversations with friends and colleagues about diversity led to an exchange with artist Gaetano Pesce who created a truly remarkable acid trip set of molten resin chairs and floor inside a disused factory in south Milan.
Hand-molded at the entrance was the Italian expression: “This is a tribute to diversity. Diversity is what makes people and renders them unique.”
On a day when Italy voted for its next government, it would be hard to minimise the level of concern about the future direction of the country in the fashion community. Especially with Giorgia Meloni, an anti-immigrant extreme right winger who favours denying gays the right to adopt children, the favourite to win and form an extreme right government, for the first time since Mussolini.
BV’s show, instead, featured a diverse cast from kids to veteran Kate Moss, who appeared in a plaid shirt leather jeans made to look like denim - a key ploy in Blazy’s first show.
Clearly keen to underline his skills, he cut a series of beautiful mannish coats, radically lowering the waist and displacing pockets back to suggest movement. While a femme-fatale power suit turned out to be made of grazed leather. His cast walked so fast, a series of scarves attached to several dresses fluttered mightily.
Blazy also played with BV’s intreccio with some enormous hobo bags for its world traveller clientele; over the shoulder clutches; knobby pumps and some brilliant boots with bevelled wedges.
The front row was full of local artists and the mother-and-son characters of the Oscar winning movie The Power of the Dog, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
“The idea was the world is a small room. So we added characters, and more characters to represent the diversity of our world. What you can do at Bottega that you can’t do elsewhere? Leather, so we take the clothes we wear in the studio and then make them in shaved leather. It’s all very technical and they have no stitches. We call it perverse banality,” explained Blazy.
However, what was most striking was the jagged graphic check and print dresses and coats, riffing on Giacomo Balla’s colourful drawings of suits for men.
Like in his first collection, where Blazy harked back to the pre-war Italian artist Umberto Boccioni, this one referenced Balla, another 1930s Futurist. Somewhat ironically, their greatest work was both created in the Fascist era.
“I think the Futurists were at the birth of modernity. They were game changers. And today we have the technology, to realise their ideas and push it to an extreme. This is not looking back, but forward,” he concluded.
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