Italian fashion contrasts: Audacious Pucci, modest Max Mara

By , on February 24, 2017


Red accents are lighting up the Milan runway, from blood red ensembles to red contrasts in footwear or a simple stripe of colour. But not on the lips. (Photo: Emilio Pucci/Facebook)
Red accents are lighting up the Milan runway, from blood red ensembles to red contrasts in footwear or a simple stripe of colour. But not on the lips. (Photo: Emilio Pucci/Facebook)

MILAN—Red accents are lighting up the Milan runway, from blood red ensembles to red contrasts in footwear or a simple stripe of colour. But not on the lips.

Milan Fashion Week previews for next fall and winter entered their second day on Thursday, with runway shows by Max Mara, Fendi, Pucci, Prada and Moschino.

Max Mara opened the show with deep red ensembles of matching overcoat, trousers and top, while Karl Lagerfeld opted for red boots to set off his creations for Fendi. In both cases, the designers opted for natural lip coloring.

AUDACIOUS PUCCI

Ever feel audacious, but don’t want to draw too much attention?

Pucci has just the looks, and the ideal target customer taking the front row: Lindsay Lohan.

The collection was a parade of solid acid tones of green, pink and blue from the brand’s archives in slinky fits and 1960s kaftans, that morphed into new Pucci psychedelic paisley prints.

While many looks were sprinkled, even splattered, in crystals, the accent de resistance was long fringe. Bouncy, colour-drenched fringe finished trouser legs, hung off shoes, and, most enticingly to Lohan, cascaded from big-rimmed raffia-inspired hats to create a privacy screen against the outside world.

The “Mean Girls” actress rushed to her seat just as the models were beginning their strut, raising protests from photographers.

“I want to get one of the hats. I think they are very cool,” Lindsay said outside as she waited to be taken to a photoshoot.

Solid colour is the brand’s statement of the season, and a bold change for Pucci, a brand known for its prints.

“I really think that Emilio Pucci could be not only a print brand, but also a solid brand,” designer Massimo Giorgetti said backstage before the show. “I love this show because all the colours are originally from the archive. It is the right balance between past, the present and future.”

Giorgetti took colours from the 1950s and 1960s and added an acid tone. He updated shapes with cut-outs and fringe, including on the boyfriend jeans. And the prints were all new, gracing everything from bodysuits to suitcases.

“You have to respect the brand. But at the same time you have to go with your instinct and your mind,” Giorgetti said.

FASHIONABLY MODEST

The Max Mara looks were of a modesty that made them an easy match for the hijab, an item rarely seen on the Milan runway.

Somalian-American model Halim Aden wore a camel ensemble, including a long belted cashmere trench coat and trousers, finished with a hijab in matching tones and convention-defying white pumps for winter. She also walked on Wednesday for Alberta Ferretti in a black-and-deep blue trench cinched at the waist with a golden buckle, her head wrapped in a dark hijab.

Fashion editor Fatima Helal of the Arab women’ lifestyle magazine Zahrat Al Khaleej said that seeing the look on a European runway was encouraging.

“It is nice because we like to find clothes that fit a covered woman, so when you see it on a model it is the best way to buy it. So it is a nice thing,” Helal said. “That is the interesting part. It is in Europe with everything that is happening.”

DEMOCRATIC FASHION

The Max Mara manifesto for next fall and winter is to keep it essential.

Designer Ian Griffiths said in notes that the concept was inspired by “Scandinavian ideas about democratic design,” meaning things should look like what they are.

The rigorously monochromatic looks comprised luxury basics of a deceptive simplicity that ran the spectrum from dressy to sporty. The looks were completely void of any decorative touch, and the only contrast was derived from the pumps, from nude to metallic to white, or bags.

The battle horse of the 65-year-old label continues to be the overcoat, appearing also in hybrid forms of camel hair tailored with shearling and knit, or the youthful cardigan coat.

The silhouette was defined by the long pleated skirts and loose-legged trousers peeking out from the overcoats, paired with sheer matching knit turtlenecks. The colour palate ranged from an “emphatic red” to grey, camel and cognac. Comfort fashion included big mittens and long hooded knit sweatshirt dresses.

Taking in the show from the front row were “Vampire Academy” actress Zoe Deutch and model Ashley Graham.

“I am here representing curvy women across the world,” said Graham, a brand ambassador for Max Mara and its sister brand Marina Rinaldi. Of Max Mara, she said, “they have always been a staple in dressing women of all shapes and sizes. I have always worn them as well.