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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Milan's Generational Challenge

Philosophy for frills, Colangelo for modern fur, Aquilano.Rimondi for tailored strength

2 Марта 2016

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Philosophy: A Frill a Minute 

These black, high boots were meant for walking — yet the white frills cascading over the thighs told a story of frothy femininity. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini took an old story — the man/woman thing — and pressed the reset button. On the male side were snug jackets with velvet collars, black leather trousers and flat ankle boots, but almost everything else was whipped into an exaggerated femininity. Frills escaped from the hem of a tweed coat. They poured in - one, two, three, four - snow white flounces over a black chiffon underlay. Black lace delicately decorated with flowers was made into a pair of shorts. Conversely, the high leather boots below those shorts had a velvet bow tied around the knee.

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

In last season's Philosophy show, the designer had focused on prairie prettiness for sweet summer nights and days. This winter collection was more urban, masculine — and more rock 'n roll. Do bad girls wear frills? Almost every outfit, from shiny scarlet trousers with a frilly white shirt to a dark shade of underwear revealed through a prissy, frilly dress, posed that question. And nothing said it with more wit and dash than the thigh-high be-ribboned boots. It is good to find a designer with a sense of humour and style. Philosophy is part of the Alberta Ferretti empire and Lorenzo Serafini's forceful feminism makes him one to watch.

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo: Scent of History 

Ah! The sweet, musty scent of ancient books — their russet and gold leather covers filling the shelves of the library in Milan's Brera Academy. The backdrop that Gabriele Colangelo used for his show brought back his own memories of studying there as a classics student. The artist in him has melded with his family tradition of fur-making to create beautiful results.

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Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


Colangelo's method is to keep the fur at the heart of what he does — but not necessarily as its all-over surface. So mink might be used half fur/half leather. Or fur would be given a metallic, silver treatment, wrapped around a white cotton dress like an apron. Silver fox, in different shades and cut into small squares, created a mosaic of fur, showing both the deep knowledge the designer has inherited from his furrier father and his own artistic skills. I was reminded of Fendi in the period when fur was out of style and the fashion was to use the skins sparingly. But Colangelo has a 21st-century eye and an intriguing modern take.

Aquilano.Rimondi: Femininity and Sensuality 

The proliferation of shows and fashion, low to high, from stores to online, puts a demand on designers. What different, individual, exceptional clothes do they have to offer? As they stood backstage by the mood board, with their fluffy white dog, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi explained their attitude to a dynamic woman's everyday wardrobe.

Aquilano.Rimondi, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Aquilano.Rimondi, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

I could see the story on the models lined up for the show: impeccable Italian tailoring on soft lines, at their most glamorous in shades of cream and when the upper body was draped in a soft, sashed blouse. But by the time this “tailoring light” hit the runway - and especially when the colours were a sophisticated mix of ink blue with black — the fashion statement was neutral. It was not “gender neutral” as I had expected, meaning a forceful blend of male/female, but rather well-designed modern clothes.

They hit all the right notes — silvered dress, off-kilter shimmering top and a sporty dash of red piping. Nothing was wrong. In fact the integration of sheer and shine, right down to the silver-heeled bootees, looked good. But to stand out, this design duo need to be more dynamic.

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Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Gabriele Colangelo, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


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