Milan Fashion Week: Romance sweeps the Fall 2015 runways as a new designer debuts at Gucci

Gucci Fall 2015
Photography by Peter Stigter

It’s a good thing that the organizers of Milan Fashion Week decided to cover the sidewalks leading to Stella Jean’s Fall 2015 show in pink carpet because the streets around the Duomo are so schizoid that no GPS, Google app or search and rescue hound would have ever found her runway without it.

Jean, who has ethics, as well as trends, on her mind, showed a collection that was alive with Himalayan colours and prints, including the yak, heroed up on a sweater, because of its life-sustaining value. Clothes were handcrafted by women in Burkina Faso and Mali, with Moghul-style jewelry done by Haitian artisans.

Then it was on to Gucci, where Alessandro Michele, the former accessories designer, is in charge after designer Frida Giannini and her lover, chief executive Patrizio di Marco, were given the boot. But this is Italy where true-life soap operas are as common as cappuccino.

The looks? Floral and frilly—even on the men. Suits had permanent folds, like they’d been packed away for decades. And loafers were trimmed in fur, giving them a fuzzy slipper feel. Those steamy, sexy Tom Ford days are long gone.

Alberta Ferretti’s show took place with a Muskoka-like backdrop of sunrise and sunset, a time passage that hinted at her Renaissance theme. There was lots of delicate lace, even in see-through gowns, and patchwork dresses of velvet and brocade— all very romantic and feminine, an emerging mood for Fall 2015.

Knit dressing was a major message at No. 21, including a fluffy coat with a gem-studded peacock scene, longhaired skirt sets, and pantsuits edged in gold brocade. There were also asymmetrical layered looks with pleats curving up over a knee or flapping over one hip.

The day ended with strobe lights blinking at Fausto Puglisi’s rocker leathers, asymmetric pleats and cutout dresses, wildly embellished with gold, crystals and coral. It was as if Gianni Versace and Loulou de la Falaise got together up there in heaven and said, “Let’s collab!” Clearly Puglisi was tuned in.