By Ekaterina Shevlyakova
Fashion Week in Milan has been extremely vibrant and unpredictable as always, full of not only the usual fashion establishment and VIPs, but also of many newcomers. The most elegant and important location, Salone Arengario, in the Royal Palace of Milan was showing all the emerging fashion designers like Vanotti and Colangelo and August Getty was presenting his collection at the elegant Four Seasons hotel.
This years fashion week was very nostalgic and extremely respectful in dedicating tributes to the legendary fashion designers like Gianni Versace and Laura Biagiotti that have been real living legends in fashion. Never has a fashion week had such a sentimental feeling to it. Without a doubt, one of the most memorable moments of this Fashion week in Milan was the fashion show that Donatella Versace staged, dedicated to her late brother Gianni Versace at the Triennale museum. This year actually marks 20 years since Gianni Versace was killed in Miami Beach. After many years, what Donatella wanted was to remember not the death of Gianni Versace, but to celebrate his life and his absolutely innovative and creative genius.
“This is a celebration of a genius. This is a celebration of an icon. This is a celebration of my brother”. With these touching words the show began and it was truly something to remember. First of all, the cast of models was impeccable. There wasn’t even one model in the show that wasn’t well known. Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Douzen Kroes and Natasha Poly rocked the catwalk wearing the new Versace SS collection 2018. It was first time on the runway of Versace for Kaya Gerber, Cindy Crawford’s daughter, who proved on the runway that genes really don’t lie.
All creations had an amazing similarity to the historic Versace collections of the 90s when Gianni was on top. Donatella remade and reinterpreted the main prints and designs of Gianni’s historic collections like Vogue, Warhol, Baroque, Animalia, Butterflies and Icons. Baroque prints on blouses, skinny pants or leggings, long black jackets, little black dresses with golden prints worn with extremely high black boots, trenches, maxi skirts – all this is a big tribute to the fashion of the 90s, but at the same time a totally modern and sensual look that makes women feel powerful.
The main surprise was actually the extraordinary ending of the fashion show. The most famous and glamorous models of the 90s – Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and the former First Lady of France Carla Bruni, united on stage, dressed in long golden gowns to pay tribute to Gianni. Looking as young and fabulous as they did in the 90s, they serve as an example to the ladies of how a woman can look in her late 40s or early 50s – absolutely stunning! It has been a real Golden moment of this Milan Fashion week and a tribute not only to the great Gianni Versace, but also to the history of fashion and to the roaring 90s.
Another amazing tribute was paid to the amazing Roman designer, Laura Biagiotti, by her daughter Lavinia. Laura Biagiotti passed away last May at the age of 73 and the collection that was presented during the current MFW was the collection that she designed before dying. I remember being at the Laura Biagiotti fashion show in February when both mother and daughter came out to greet the guests of the show. By far this collection has been the best that Laura has ever designed.
Dedicated to Rome, her home city, it carries an amazing Roman touch. Extremely feminine dresses and elegant pants made of silk, taffeta and chiffon, Laura’s last collection is a praise to a woman. On linen tunics, iconic “Bambola” dresses with frilled chiffons, structured suits with jackets and broad trousers, elegant trench coats in pastel colors, I could witness the appearance of prints and designs of the most suggestive venues of the eternal City. The main color of the collection is white and tells a story of the hyper feminine and romantic dresses.
The number of VIPs present, especially Italian ones, was really impressive! Valeria Marini, Nancy Brilly, Romina Power, Lorella Cuccarini, Benedetta Parodi, Roberta Armani, Cristina Chiabotto, Carlo Cracco, Livia Firth and the Russian TV presenter, Natasha Stefanenko, who was covering the fashion show for a TV program. Everyone admired Laura because she was extremely kind and humble and very talented. It was touching to see the videos of Laura on the big screen after the show and many had tears in their eyes. It was an awesome tribute to an amazing lady who knew how to bring out and celebrate the powerful feminine side of a woman.
Apart from famous tributes, MFW was booming with important parties and events. The most important, of course, was the amfAR Gala of Milan. Held on the 21st of September at the modern museum la Permanente, it was definitely one of the most important events in town. Actually, the most important. amfAR events are well known for the numerous celebrities supporting it and this year was no exception. The red carpet was literally booming with the internationally acclaimed rich and famous. The amfAR Foundation Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole (a famous American fashion designer) was drowning in the ocean of sheer beauty surrounded by internationally acclaimed models like Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova, Irina Shayk, Hailey Baldwin, Claudia Galanti and others.
An amazing number of VIPs joined the Italian fashion community last night to honor Angela Missoni and help raise funds for amfARs innovative AIDS research programs. Passing in front of the amazed paparazzi, were celebrities like Andrea Bocelli, Chiara Ferragni, Jesse Metcalfe, Samile Bermannelli, Tim Blanks, Derek Blasberg, Jamie Campbell Bower, Dean Caten, Dan Caten, Hailey Clauson, Federica Fontana, Georgia Fowler, Nathalie Rapti Gomez, Giorgio Gori, Izabel Goulart, Elsa Hosk, Jon Kortajarena, Margherita Maccapani Missoni Amos, Teresa Maccapani Missoni, Natalie Ludwig, Rosita Missoni, Lottie Moss and many others.
Everyone on the red carpet event practically stood still when they saw in front of them the one and only queen of fashion journalism, Anna Wintour posing in a very simple manner with the amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole. Stunning Karolina Kurkova, in a blue Missoni dress, opened the evening thanking the events sponsors, and introduced Kenneth Cole, who spoke about amfAR’s efforts to find an effective AIDS cure by 2020.
Between the auction and Angela Missoni honoring the most famous tenor in the world, Andrea Bocelli took over the stage accompanied by the vocalist Ilaria della Bidia. His performance was unique starting out with the most famous Elvis Presley song “Can’t help falling in love with you” and following with the famous “Canto della Terra”. Indeed the extraordinary presence of the great tenor Bocelli made this experience unique and added a special Italian touch to amfAR Milano.
Another important event was held the day after the amfAR gala and took place in a less elegant, but super original and alternative ambience. It was the Vogue party themed by Riccardo Tisci, who was the creative director of Givenchy. To celebrate the magazine’s September issue, Givenchy and Vogue together hosted a party “The new beginning” in the outskirts of Milan. The theme of the party was Dantes “Devine Comedy with rooms decorated for the evening as Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Going through “hell”, “paradise” and “purgatory” were important international guests such as Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Kaia Gerber and Ashley Graham. The title of the evening and the dress code “black tie or naked” spoke for itself and many models turned up wearing a bit of “nothing”.
To end the amazing variety of shows and events was the stunning Salvatore Ferragamo Fashion show. Ferragamo staged their fashion show in the most amazing and powerful location of Milan – the building of the stock exchange in elegant Piazza Affari. The garden of the stock exchange was literally booming with famous fashion journalists and bloggers. The models were walking on the glass pavement that was founded on purpose for the show on top of the grass of the garden. Leading the group of beautiful models was Bella Hadid, stunning as always in an elegant turquoise Ferragamo outfit.
Very picturesque was the sculpture in the middle of the stock exchanges garden. The statue of a pointing middle figure was practically the “funny” part of the fashion show. Following the event, there was an after-party inside the building of the stock exchange where guests enjoyed a light dinner and a real concert. Suki Waterhouse, the new face of Ferragamo’s perfume, was the guest of honor together with the lovely Hofit Golan and many other VIPs. Once more, Ferragamo proved to be the showstopper and a brand that knows how to make an amazing celebration for their clients.
In this endless chain of elegant celebratory events, Milan Fashion Week proved once more that fashion is still out there – not only on the runway, but also in the crowd of emerging bloggers and new stylists, in the crowd of people who came over to Milan just for the sake of seeing a fashion show. Everything in the name of the one and only god – the God of Fashion.