MFW: The Purists vs The Maximalists

Photography courtesy of Words by Elizabeth Pollard

This season at Milan Fashion Week designers took their presentations to the far extremes in either creating clean, graphic and minimal clothes or typically Italian print on print on print collections: nothing however was unexpected from the houses.

The Purists

Jil Sander’s studio team designed took creative control this season after Sander left her own label for the third (and final time) last year. They wanted to create clothes that restated ‘the fundamental codes of the Jil Sander label’ but with ‘warmth and tenderness’. Tailored wool in pastel shades were accented with black, orange and teal and styled with chunky heels achieved a perfect balance between classicist with just enough of the seasons trend to feel relevant.

The characteristically minimalist Sportmax was laden with clashing prints in what felt like quite a disjointed show. I’m just going to pretend the collection started at Look 15/50, after the python cuffs and animal print coats as I feel the Jackson Pollock inspired prints were used to create graphic panels in the straight or plunging neck dresses were such a success in comparison I don’t feel like they even belong in the same presentation.

Wide zig-zag colour blocks and graphic shard prints defined Bottega Veneta’s AW14 collection. Femininity felt considered and expertly mastered by designer Tomas Maier who said about the collection: “It’s about putting the color in the right place to make a woman feel good. It’s what we’re here to do.”


The Maximalists

Spongebob, Ronald Mcdonald and Chanel have literally thrown up on Moschino in this homage to ‘trash’ collection. Fast food trays as accessories, heavy gold Moschino chains and Chanel tweed suits in the aggressive red and yellow McDonalds colours makes you wonder who the hell is keeping Moschino from going bankrupt (perhaps this season is sponsored) but regardless stirred an excitement in me the resembled the illustrated sugar rush.

Dolce and Gabanna’s fairy tale was beautifully crafted and designed with signature decadence. Embellishment, lace and embroidery were given warmth with illustrative patchwork characters from regal woodlands creatures to an old fashioned key used to create prints. The silhouette was typically of the label but accented with empire lines and billowing skirts for a more medieval feel.

Wool dyed in every shade of your vegetable box, layers of knitted dresses and topped off with a top knot gave me the initial reaction that this collection would be just as welcome on Worthy Farm as it is on the Milan catwalk. On closer inspection however you realise that the usually bohemian label has polished everything off a little to create a urban-chic 60’s inspired collection.


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