In Milan

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.

Show: Prada

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.

Show: Dolce & Gabbanna

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.

Show: Versace

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.

Show: Roberto Cavalli

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.

Show: Jil Sander

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.

And finally, here is a detail shot from Bottega Venetta. (Show notes include Noir inspiration, etc–but this is about flocculence.)

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?

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  • Loving all the shoes!

  • Reptilia

    I´m in love with Dolce and Gabbana show!


  • Robin Cailloux

    Coming to America= famous Byzantine mosaics of the most powerful woman in Roman history, Empress Theodora. Love her rags to riches story of whore turned Empress. Isn’t that the fashion industry’s story for every woman? Hey- I’m just an outsider who wears sweatpants everyday, so what do I know?

    • anonymous as always

      theodora was a greek byzantine empress. my thoughts exactly that “coming to america” was a out of place.

      • yeah pretty much the most badass woman of Byzantine history, love the use of art history in fashion, but definitely far from coming to america

  • Nico

    Great post! But now I’m thinking about the next season colors..mmm

  • Aurélie

    How come you didn’t attend Milan Fashion Week?

    • Leandra Medine

      I had to come home between London and Paris for a family function!

  • Κατερίνα Λεκατσά

    OMG!!those shoes..all of them!want them!

  • its offspring**

  • monkeyshines
  • Katharine Rose

    Wow, I’m really impressed by the snippets of the collections shown here. The buckle on Jill Sander’s shoes are so perfect, and as for those Roberto Cavalli snakeskin stilettos – the dictionary definition of sex should be hereby scribbled out and replaced by a picture of those. In awe. So thank you, Leandra, for making me even MORE envious of those with the opportunity to watch these shows, and for that I only love you and hate you even more than before.

    • Katharine Rose


  • Dolce & Gabanna-my fave!

  • Great photos, love the details. I have some great 80’s pieces on my site that our reminiscent of some the Dolce & Gabanna pieces.

  • In love with the Vunk!! Also, all the shoes. I want them.

  • mmade

    <3 Deedee Pickles comment.

  • Lavinia Maisto

    Dolce & Gabbana TOP!!!! <3

  • Sí al Sí quiero

    Love Jill Sander’s hairstyle, and your comments about everything of course

    Sí al sí quiero

  • Chiara

    I love this but I’m so disappointed that you said “Coming to America” for the Dolce & Gabbana show! Anyone who’s ever taken a trip to Florence or studied art history can clearly see how inspired it was by Byzantine mosaic!

  • Alba B.

    Do you think that missing Milan Fashion Week this year was a pity?!!!

    I personally don’t know(considering the weather), but what I clearly know is that your view and reading your blog is always a fountain of ideas and reflections.

    Suddenly I don’t know if you are a character of Woody Allen or an intellectual english woman with wise wisdom capable to spread ironically and critically oxygen of sublime sapient ness.

    • Leandra Medine

      I do think missing it was a pity! Commenting on fashion shows is extremely difficult but you’re using photos as anything more than simple refreshers. The collections seemed opulent and exciting and fresh. I have to ask myself, though, if maybe I just feel that way because I wasn’t there?

      • Alba B.

        Dear Leandra,

        thank you for your prompt reply, I appreciate it.

        On my side I just have to say never regret what you missed but enjoy what you have and I personally think your feelings are just true feelings.

        The world is full of opportunities and you can shine although you didn’t attend it. (I am sure on this)
        Catwalks are during fashion weeks, but we as normal people have our routine life a mountain climbing catwalk and the year will tell how capable we were to capture the opulence, excitement and the freshness.

        Thank you once again.

  • Style-Squared

    Seriously, the shoes are killing me! Wow!

  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni

    Love the collections!!

  • Amazing accessories at Milan fashion week!

    New post on Oscar fashion is up on Local & Opulent.

  • The skinny chicks without sleeves (that one pic) are really hot.

  • Anna Black

    Wow amazing photos, I love the snakeskin heels, they are lovely!

  • prada footwear – sublime

  • Sarah Enriquez

    It seems as if the trends are now more focused on details of an outfit that aren’t actually garments. The focus of Milan seems to have been accessories (shoes, spikes, handbags, etc.) and hair. This shift in the details of an outfit is great for fashion because it adds an intellectual component. It is no longer just about putting on an expensive t-shirt or wearing a beautiful gown, it is all about how you bring it together with your personal style. Your personal tastes shine through with your accessories or how you style your hair. The things that stood out to me the most were the detailing in the patent python heels and the Jil Sander shoes, which were a staple in Milan Fashion Week.

  • Nataliechristina

    I SO agree with Cathy Horyn, loathes should be wearable, it’s such a waste to make all that crazy clothes nobody ever is going to wear….. 🙂 – check out my blog where. Currently have a cool giveaway 🙂

  • Those Jil Sander shoes are rocking! The rest of the outfit is a bit of a snooze fest but perhaps that model’s rather (in)tense countenance is throwing me off. As far as Prada, D&G, Versace, and Cavalli – beautiful work, good heavens, those couturiers have probably not slept for ages – but it’s a bit more ostentatious for my taste. And the crown feels a bit too contrived. Have you any shots of Marni? I would give up coffee & sex (and by sex, i mean chocolate) to attend one of those shows…

  • for the tenth time today, i’ve self-deleted a post of some sort. love the Jil Sander shoes, the model’s contenance is a little disconcerting. the Byzantine details as well as the shoes and accessories are beautifully crafted (shout out to those couturiers) but am not so in love with the concept as it feels a bit literal. would give up coffee and sex (and by sex, i mean chocolate) to see Marni. and you’re right – ’93 was great if only because Right Said Fred declared he was “too sexy” just one year prior…

  • Domenica Calarco
  • AnaliseVT

    Your post has fuelled my unhealthy shoe addiction to a whole new level! They are all so amazing! absolutely love your blog!!

  • The Dolce and Gabbana show looks amazing!…and I loved the hair at Bottega…xv

  • Felicity

    Dolce and Gabbana is always beautiful. The fur trim leather Prada coat makes me want to sing. I want hair like that (but, also, it looks like a lot of effort.).

  • Yani

    Deedee Pickles! Haha. I love your style of writing. Amazing post, per usual.

  • Reece Andavolgyi

    those dolce and gabbana shoes are incredible! castles on your feeeeet!

    Reece xx

  • Gorgeous heel shoes…just love them!

  • Ana

    Ypur post are always so amazing! What a great writing you have.

    Love the Prada shoes by the way. 🙂

  • So an age thing! I also desperately wanted stick straight hair that flowed gloriously when I was younger, but now, I love my naturally crazy, wavy hair! And since you mentioned Helen Hunt, I still can’t believe she wore a H&M dress to the Oscars – and still looked like a million bucks!

  • Em

    Those simple black snake pumps at Cavalli are major. I’m always blown away by the reinvention of something classic to make it seem fresh and DAMN SEXY.

    xoxo, Em

  • Leila Daiana Llunez

    I loved the Roberto Cavalli show! And the Prada shoes… oh god…!

    The Trend Upsetter

  • Amazing photos. I’m loving “Coming to America.” There are no words. Just “whoa.”

    xox Lara

  • I heard on another blog that Dontella described her Versace collection as “punk” I wasn’t feeling that and my “punk” friends agreed and completely killed the bloggers post of FB when they say my comment. Anyway. The disagreement on the “coming to america” title…I thought of Akeem and his crown when i saw the model with hers. So maybe that’s what she meant but it. But then again maybe not. I’m in love with the Prada shoes.

  • Fabita Punk

    D&G is relying in the same style since 2 years ago and is not that i don’t like the baroque feeling on winter but we need to see something else

  • Marijana

    Love your blog!

    Look at my new sneaker collection, ishikawa, isabel marant…

  • trendandtell

    Dolce and Gabbana- COMING TO AMERICA?!

    The collection was inspired by Sicily’s Cathedral of Monreale….>

  • Elisha Brazeale

    Hindsight can be hideous… and kinky – love Bottega Venetta