Do the shoes make the clothes?
If I were polling most-likely-to-be-worn Oscar dresses fresh off the runway from Milan, I’d likely leave with all of, I don’t know, three gowns–one mini (I maintain that “mini gowns” do exist) from Dolce and Gabbana for Hailee Steinfeld, maybe a Cavalli for Rooney Mara (it would give the Italian house some Givenchy clout, eh?) and perhaps some Mila Schon, for she who shall remain boldest. Fine, I’d bring back some Blumarine for Helen Hunt, too.
In reviewing the collections from Milan, though, it became rather apparent that though the clothes are great, the metropolitan Italian city may function as the single most important hotbed for interesting, creative, sometimes escapist accessories.
I read something interesting yesterday on the New York Times’ Runway Blog by Cathy Horyn. It was a short blog post titled “Wearable Looks Emerge from The Cocoon” referencing the reversion to more simplistic wears siting Marc Jacobs and Prada as lead examples of the shift. Ms. Horyn said, (in reference to London heavyweights, J.W. Anderson and Simone Rocha), “they are keen to make clothes that are relevant. In today’s world, that means, in part, wearable.” When I got home from London, I had to wonder if New York has become more interesting or London less–I suppose the answer loosely rests in the latter but even in spite of my absence at Milan Fashion Week, the true spirit of…something doesn’t seem to have been compromised at all. Maybe it’s in the accoutrements?
Here is a little baby break-down.
Vibe: Remember those aquatic sandals from last season? Yeah, well, forget them.
Important notes: At Prada, it’s all or nothing. Fantastically ordinary footwear deserves equally ordinary doctor bags. Here’s the thing about Miuccia’s compass of ordinary though: what may seem banal in comparison to what she has already mastered only ever really exemplifies her power at the thread. Isn’t design about the ability to spill your guts, scream at the top of your lungs, put it all out there and in just moments later, take it all back? Also, thou shalt not deny the fur wristlet. Faux at your disclosure.
Vibe: Coming to America comes to America, learns to run a business (cue: the wool), enjoys a saucily scintillating ladies night out (cue: the sequence of red numbers), but ultimately leaves America. For Florence.
Important notes: Dolce and Gabbana has this fantastic way about essentially designing the same exact collection every season (beautifully discarding the notion that maybe women won’t want to wear panties as pants through Fall) and maintaining this curious air of novelty. Is it this season’s rather conspicuous nod to Coming to America in both handbags and combination of gold crown and large earrings? The royal garden inspired footwear? Or maybe it’s the journey aspect–at Dolce & Gabanna, there’s something for everyone.
Vibe: Remember 1993? Well, baby, it’s back.
Important notes: Even in just two brief details from Versace, the punk influence is evident. Spikes and single earrings that feature bold closures, slinky red and white fabrics, the overwhelming chokers, doesn’t it all seem nostalgically reminiscent of what Versace embodied in the early 90s? If Elizabeth Hurley owned the Safety Pin, Cara Delevingne will triumph in its offspring, the iridescent spike.
Vibe: Tom Ford meets Napoleon nightclub that specializes in anthropology.
Important notes: Even the slightest detail–a patent python toe for an otherwise simple black pump can change the game considerably.
Vibe: Jil Sander–no, really.
Important notes: An undeniable air of buy now, wear forever. Also, leprecaun meets loafer and tacks on a heel in what I am going to argue is the most important shoe of Milan Fashion Week. The influences are obvious but it seems so new. How is that? Tell me. Tell me, oh wise one.
If I weren’t really committed to gradually emulating Anne Hathaway’s Oscar night hair, this is precisely the direction in which I’d take longer locks. What is it about age and women and the nature of their hair? When I was in high school all I ever wanted was Japanese-straightened hair that looked like glorified brown loose leaf paper pieces cascading from my scalp. This continued through a large portion of college but at some point, I woke up and asked myself: what’s so bad about looking like Deedee Pickles?
It is an age thing, isn’t it?