MILAN (AP) Milan Fashion Week opened its third day of preview shows for next spring and summer against a backdrop of thousands of young environmental protesters calling on the industry on Friday for its wasteful and polluting ways.
The question hanging over fashion week is whether, after 19 months, the coronavirus pandemic has brought about real change in a system that revolves around four seasons of ready-to-wear per year, plus cruising and sewing. Yes, the shows are socially distanced and fewer publishers are admitted than ever. But with companies rushing to restore sales to pre-pandemic levels, it begs the question: are deeper changes really underway?
Placards during the climate march in the heart of Milan urged Dress the change, a slogan aimed at the second most polluting industry after energy. Everyone wants to be hot, but Earth is not one of them, read another sign.
Some highlights from the Friday shows:
PRADA DISCONSTRUCTS EVENING OUTFIT
Prada returned to the runway live for the first time since February 2020, when the creative partnership between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons was announced and just as Italy detected the first locally transmitted cases of the new coronavirus.
Fans took to the sidewalk outside the Fondazione Prada showroom and contemporary art exhibition space to greet VIPs and influencers, as old-fashioned rituals resumed.
Inside, masked editors checked with a health pass sat at a social distance that left plenty of room to breathe. Another show was held simultaneously in Shanghai, with images of the obscured skyline being shown in the Milan showroom.
The collection, the third of the Prada-Simons era, was a deconstruction of traditional evening wear – trains, corsets and evening dresses – as a study of sensuality and revealing the female form, the designers said in show notes.
Simons lamented the unreality of an evening gown as beautiful as it is, and it sure is that many dresses have spent the pandemic hanging, unannounced, in closets.
These clothes can get complicated: evening dresses, historical costume. We want it to be simple, easy and modern, said Simons.
The couture silk mini-skirts trailed long sashes, sometimes left floating. More formally, the skirts sported full tuxedo tails. They were worn with sweaters, distressed leather bomber jackets and sleeveless blouses with black and white prints laced up for a punk feel.
The dresses were cinched at the waist and left open at the back in a way that suggested the Prada V logo, while the skirt had a deep inverted V slit. Leather straps over the bare biceps completed the look.
The knits were soft, with breastplate or corset details, finished with the same leather bicep straps. The knit mini tunics were cinched at the waist and worn over matching shorts
The color scheme ranged from navy blue and black to cotton candy pink and canary yellow. The magenta accentuated the acid green, which in turn complemented the feminine pink. The shoes had a low, cantilevered heel, giving a feeling of suspension.
For Prada, it is a mistake to talk about the show in terms of returning to normal.
We have learned that we are engaging in fashion with a much larger world, Prada said in the show’s notes. After all that has happened, how can you just go back?
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