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02/03/2021 | FASHION

AND AFTER VIRTUAL FASHION SHOWS...

Posted by: Gisella Borioli

Camera della Moda (Chamber of Fashion) had announced the exceptional effort of the entire fashion sector for this February appointment with Milan Fashion Week. And so it was. A busy week, with a number of appearances, including fashion shows and presentations, nothing to envy to "usual" fashion shows, those that lay down the law and business in happy times when the word pandemic was not part of common language. Seven days of elegance and extravagance in response to a single question: what about tomorrow?

So virtual catwalks, walk-in between buildings and monuments, empty theaters, light runways in the dark, visionary sets, country views, comforting apartments, stunning environments, graphic interventions were the virtual frame of fall/winter 2021/22 fashion. With Italian fashion superstars, international brands, reassuring classics, contemporaries, the emergent ones, transgressive, fashion "niches", accessories. All freely combined, one behind another. A free and varied panorama, an open and punctual evidence between new-classic and provocation, between strict-chic and street-mix.
Among the most coherent and interesting proposals there are those of “Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion” with five PoC (people of color) fashion designers, perfect interpreters of the cultural crossing that the Third World movements have grafted into the Western one.
All the rest does not indicate univocal trends (except for a few signals) but rather an even more exalted freedom of choice and styles where contrasts coexist and create a complex and unclassifiable view.
The black presence is certainly strong, hand in hand with white: a certain severity aware of times we live in that even seems to re-evoke modesty, and then suddenly abandon it with long, high-necked but completely transparent dresses.
Another unmistakable sign of a new normality with does not surprise but wraps with discretion and monochrome abundance: all blue, all beige, all ton-sur-ton. And obviously also its opposite with bold color compositions that bring joy. Very long dresses, coats and trousers, on the other hand skirts are also very short and winter shorts disappear under jackets. Many pantsuits, with generous cut and masculine fabrics to be worn by him too. Men often appear among ethereal and frowny models, and they do not disdain instead wearing grid-like tops on their bare chest, skirts, light coat, printed shirts, heels and handbags and even jewels stolen from their wardrobe. Gender identity does not seem to interest anyone in the very advanced fashion world: so clothes that many offer are perfectly interchangeable without sex distinction.
The lockdown with consequent smartworking has left a legacy of relaxing suits, trousers with elastic waistband, comfortable knitwear, a cozy attitude even on formal occasions.
Between so much strictness and transgression sometimes a hint of romance appears: printed flowers, flower brooches, soft ruffles, white laces, Botticelli’s transparencies. There are many references to the past, both by rediscovering authentic vintage pieces mixed with new ones, and by looking in the 80s and 90s rear-view mirror. And its opposite: wardrobe "pieces" designed with new technologies for ZGeneration: 3D prints, nylon fringes, plastics and polymers transformed into "non-woven fabrics", iridescent effects like the ones of thousand screens filtering the world.
This anomalous Fashion Week’s end leaves eyes saturated and the head full of thoughts. Maximalism? Minimalism? And the famous new-normal so much advertised? Fashion reflects a fragmented, confused, multifaceted, inclusive vision of society, where style is made by the individual and not by designers diktats. Where creativity is shown in a thousand streams and does not necessarily follow marketing directions and business. Niches become important. In some ways it reminds me of the 70s revolution, which took us out of tradition’s strict respectability to direct us towards new horizons.
From the show’s point of view, fashion shows, the essential and spectacular ones, have fulfilled their task, leaving time to enjoy releases. Interesting but to better calibrate videos, small visionary "short movies" that gave only hints about fashion. And for the new entries they invite you to double-check.
It was a good marathon, comfortably seated in an armchair. But once again we wish a fashion "in presence" return with the corollary of that "in absence".

Valentino, Milano Fashion Week February 2021
Prada, Milano Fashion Week February 2021
Armani, Milano Fashion Week February 2021
Antonio Marras, Milano Fashion Week February 2021

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