Take a look at the highlights from day four of Milan Fashion Week.
Jil Sander made her name with an austere, chic, but eminently office-ready minimalism: the pant suit, the wool overcoat, the white shirt. Anyone who remembers those halcyon 90s days at her namesake label with fondness will surely appreciate much of AW16, because many of Rodolfo Paglialunga’s looks this season were straight out of the Sander playbook. Particular highlights were the double breasted overcoats which, firmly constructed in the shoulder, well balanced at the lapel, and nipped in at the waist, were indisputably elegant in their mannish solidity. More alien to the house DNA were uber fuzzy mohair sweaters and shimmering space-age metallics cut into constricted looking dresses. From the boardroom of the recent past to a kind of space-age by-way-of-the-1950s vibe all in one collection: a tale of two halves and two styles. Never the twain shall meet.
Always a spectacle, Phillip Plein’s AW16 show was no exception. Show, being the operative word in that sentence. Silver metal trucks invaded the huge warehouse space, pulling trailers filled with models behind them, whilst masked men patrolled the space as if it was a crime scene from CSI. Breaking free from the trailers, Plein’s models danced through the space in signature studded leather, parka coats with thick fur hoods, cut-away dresses, gold panelled biker trousers and patchwork leather all-in-ones. The show finished with a performance from Chris Brown, who had all the models dancing before him, setting the tone for the party that followed.
It was a touch of luxury this season from Anna Molinare at Blumarine, who went heavy on the fur outerwear: the show began, appropriately, with a showstopping pale blue fur coat with wide lapels and a belted waist and went on to feature a host of other opulent coat options, a striped fur skirt suit and even fur heeled shoes (not terribly practical but when has that mattered in the fabulous world of Milanese fashion?). Beyond the rare skins, the influence of Alessandro Michel at Gucci could be felt reverberating here in the form of deliberately fussy librarian cuts, floral suits with wide trousers and, of course, those kooky fur-ball earrings. Eccentricity at its most excessive, it seems, is here to stay.