Fendi, Diesel opens Milan Fashion Week with a sense of renewal

Milan’s five-day calendar has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels with 68 runway shows, 104 presentations and 30 events. A crop of new designers appeared with many colors for perhaps the most diverse week of the Milan fashion show.

Among the week’s highlights: Haitian-Italian designer Stella Jean returns after a two-year hiatus; Bally makes his Milan runway debut with Filipino American designer Ruigi Villaseñor; And Maximilian Davis debuts as Salvatore Ferragamo’s new creative director.

Here are snapshots from Wednesday’s shows, including Fendi and Diesel

Structured cool at Fendi

Fendi womenswear designer Kim Jones stripped the normally luxurious Fendi showroom down to polished concrete floors and painted steel beams and bleachers to show her next warm-weather collection.

Lux was saved for the runway look. The Spring-Summer 2023 collection was a studied balance of construction, texture and color.

Aprons in satin created a flowing layer over tied trousers, while perforated leather versions were like jumpers over sheer dresses.

A model wears a creation as part of the Fendi Women’s Spring Summer 2023 collection presented in Milan, Italy. (AP Photo/Antonio Callani)

Layering was the key to styling. Jones played with texture, wearing an asymmetric knobby wool coat over a sheer top, both in neutrals, saving the eye-popping color for the platform boots. Silken dresses draped and tied form, and carefully constructed satiny coats had peek-a-boo slits and were elegantly tied at the back like an elaborate Japanese bow.

The silhouette combines body-hugging ribbed knitwear dresses with flowing asymmetric silk dresses with demure slits. Square-neck ribbed cardigans give a scholastic accent to skirts with deep, sexy slits, or silken trousers with utility pockets with back pocket closures.

Neutrals of sage, copper and white anchor the color palette, which is bursting with accent pieces in cream-blended versions of seafoam green, cornflower blue, tangerine and flamingo pink.

The final look underlined the simple elegance of Jones’ proposal: a racing-back tank tucked into white trousers was softened by this season’s apron-half skirt — all in silky white.

“What’s particularly interesting to me about Fendi is exploring the idea of ​​femininity as well as functional utility __ because Fendi women are strong women with full, busy lives,” Jones said in show notes.

Fendi’s smallest bag still wore a chain around its neck. Logos were subtle: woven into the inside hems of sweaters and visible only when turned up, or emblazoned on linings like the Double-F logo or the initials on the back of Jon’s newly bowed OB belt.

Shoes feature colorful platform boots or sliders. Jones is moving the brand away from its traditional furs and focusing instead on Silvia Venturini Fendi handbags, which use glossy leather, canvas and shearling.

Diesel blows up the denim look

In a rare open-door fashion week event, Diesel made room for the general public in the arena tier above his runway show, set around a giant blow-up doll wrapped in a full-blown thriss.

At ground level, models walked with their heads bowed, flanking a prone male figure, beneath a squatting female figure.

Glenn Martin’s coordinated men’s and women’s collections expand the meaning of denim.

She pushed the low-rise, high-waist debate right off the bat, with her first look suggesting a low-rise silhouette in a high-waisted panty — the illusion of having it both ways. The look was finished with a matching bra top.

A model wears a creation as part of the Diesel women’s Spring Summer 2023 collection presented in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Antonio Callani)

For him, the trousers were sagged and a slouchy sleeveless sweatshirt in a denim wash was worn.

Denim effects were colored in sheer vest tops, opened with matching denim stilettos paired with daisy duke-style shorts. The male counterpart was considerably more covered, in a double-hooded trench paired with well-worn trousers and denim boots.

The denim itself worked well in innovative washes that suggested the desert and could be accompanied by a bright palette of orange, green or pink.

The collection evolved into a more dystopian look that seemed inspired by the sci-fi classic “Dune,” with sandy colors and isolated styles, as a soundtrack suggested the call of giant sandworms. These included layered and flowing halters and skirts secured by multi-grooved belts, or a gray hoodie over a rag-split skirt. The new iteration of the jeans featured large flapping leg panels, as if to take flight.

Adding to the sci-fi vibe: A model wore a reptile shimmer mini-dress with green makeup.

Hollywood Glam at Cavalli by Fausto Puglisi

As he anxiously looks ahead to Italy’s parliamentary elections on Saturday, Cavalli creative director Fausto Puglisi draws inspiration from the glamor of Hollywood’s golden age.

“I am really afraid of new elections. We’re going to take a lot of risks,” Puglisi said on stage after the show, expressing concern that a far-right party was leading the polls.

To calm her nerves, Puglisi created the look from the finest Lake Como textiles, which she draped, pleated and fanned to diva-like effect. “I wanted this kind of freshness, a kind of naivety,” he said.

The first look appeared as “Ave Maria” played: an angelic white brocade midi dress with a plunging neckline—setting a restrained tone that Puglisi maintained for a few more looks before revealing the Cavalli DNA to a more up-tempo soundtrack.

Then: A strapless cocktail minidress was constructed from an overlapping pleated skirt and bodice, as if a pinwheel had stopped. It’s a construction that has re-emerged with maxi skirt looks and deep slit dresses. Cavalli silhouettes encompass everything from body-confident slinky dresses and bodysuits with diamond cutouts down the torso to beautiful skirts and long silken dresses with pastoral museum prints.

The looks were accented with beautiful pineapple, grape bunch and palm tree brooches and earrings. Motifs also appeared as prints, and in one case, a beaded minidress evoked a pineapple towards spiky leaves at the neckline.

Puglisi said his references were to “the new Hollywood renaissance that started in the ’30s and ’40s. … I didn’t want extravagance. I wanted to play with color, with very classic fabrics.”

Lover of N. 21

Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s N. 21 brand “amante” or lover rushes in, barely dressed, underwear peeking out, hair tousled and mascara smudged.

He, or she, wears sheer material: a sheer shirt tucked under a red sequined jacket, itself carelessly buttoned. The back of a ruched skirt is not fully zipped. The rush is obvious.

Perfect dresses with a 1940s silhouette show off bright red delicate bras and panties, or hang lazily from the shoulders. Masculine touches, like buttons on the bottom of shirts, are borrowed. Is worn with a full pleated skirt.

A curved glass necklace completes the look. The shoes are cantilevered, an architecture that the show notes makes the actual heel “extreme.”

“The collection deals with all the moods of a lover: from love to anger to sexuality to deep emotions. Moods can go from one to the other,” says Dell’Acqua. “The concept is very cinematic.”

Don’t give away the finish, but close the show with torn wedding dresses made out of lace remnants.

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