MFW diary: Day 1 brings Gucci, Alberta Ferretti, N°21, Francesco Scognamiglio, and of course, spaghetti rosa!

Photography by Keystone Press

Photography by Keystone Press

Was it my imagination or did the maître d at the Charleston Restaurant light up when he saw me coming tonight, hugging me and my pasta partner in crime, Newsweek/the Daily Beast’s Robin Givhan, and proudly declaring “spaghetti rosa for you!”

One of the things I marvel about in Milan is the flawless service from a loyal cast of shopkeepers, hotel concierges, restaurant owners, and wait staff who lovingly keep the same job year after year, and have become my Milanese family away from home when I touch down twice a year. But enough warm and fuzzy. You want to hear about the clothes!

Let’s rewind. I hit the ground running from airport runway to the Gucci runway, where Frida Giannini dazzled with an art deco–inspired collection of androgynous luxe/tux looks—big on embellished, tiny spencer jackets and lean trousers—and  ‘20s flapper drop-waist dresses whose geometric prints were defined in sequins and beads. Zebra prints and graphic patterns leant a vague tribal whiff.

Next, to Alberta Ferretti where Milan’s queen of chiffon continued her reign, this time using sheer insets to create swirling tattoo patterns in shades of melon, magenta, chrome yellow,  and a pretty aqua green. A touch of tribal was felt in camp shirts, tropical-print long skirts, and intricately beaded, colour-block knits.

Alessandro Dell’Acqua‘s N°21 was next, and the designer used many signatures he’s known for, from lace to sexy pencil skirts, mixed with boyish basics. Highlights were silver paillettes, on collars and covering pencil skirts, and a Gauguin-esque black-and-white print of a nude woman that covered everything from skirts to iPad cases.

Try saying this one fast: Francesco Scognamiglio. SCO-NEE-YAH-MEEL-EE-O.
You’ll want to practice. (Not since early-’80s Azzedine Alaïa have fashion peeps tripped over a name like this.) However you say it, he’s one to watch right now in Milan. His are glamorous, figure flaunting, racy, lacy clothes for brave, all-out-woman women, this season cut almost exclusively in lace—either back, white, or peach—and if Lady Gaga, Madonna and Rihanna (all have been sporting him of late) have their way, it will be a household name faster than you can say… well, Scognamiglio!