Milan Fashion Week: Day Five
Marni in Bloom
If you are quick, the flower market is open to the public until 8pm tonight.
Ferragamo’s Ode to Artisans
The purse was an oval shape, its colour a swirling watery green. It toned with a graceful dress streaked with lagoon blue. And by the time I reached backstage at Ferragamo, I had grasped the inspiration: Venetian Murano glass.
In fact, the glass bags on the display table were not the only idea behind the collection of designer Massimiliano Giornetti.
“I was thinking of the world of Salvatore Ferragamo in the Forties, and of all the artisans of Italy working with straw and raw materials.”
Giornetti was referring in particular to a historic pair of wedge sandals from the war era, which he translated into modern footwear for spring/summer 2015.
In past seasons the designer has tried themed collections. These clothes were just that – gracious and elegant garments, those out-of-fashion words that now seem relevant again.
Giornetti mostly used a silhouette that fitted the body at the waist, flaring out at the hemline. Using animal skins, as befits a leather house, there was also very fine knitting that followed the body line on a mid-calf dress.
But the real story was in the artisan work – not just the watery Murano glass effects, but straw woven into a jacket as both a nod to Italy’s exceptional handwork and to Salvatore’s imagination.
Arthur Arbesser: Pairing Art With Fashion
The idea of fashion as art, inspired by art or in collaboration with an artist is nothing new. But Arthur Arbesser’s concept of pairing clothes with existing work is far more original.
Last season’s show had his winter collection facing off art in the apartment of the architect Luca Cipelletti. That was followed for spring/summer 2015 by an art/fashion show in an abandoned Milan garage.
There the modernist work of Carlo Valsecchi, mostly on loan from museums and private collections, was hung as if in a gallery, with models in appropriate pieces from Arbesser’s collection.
So a sporty semi-sheer dress, apparently in nylon but actually in organza, was shown alongside images with a misty lightness.
The story was played out in six rooms, each with carefully chosen artworks, so that a smart blazer was seen near what looked like an explosion of light through velvet darkness. Or a fresh green and cloudy white space was paired with red, white and blue overalls.
This artistic coupling is tough to execute because it requires designer and artist to be kindred spirits in using colour, texture – and imagination.
Valsecchi art and Arbesser’s fashion, curated by Cipelletti, seemed a perfect fit.
There was yet another collaboration in the final room, with a video by artist Samantha Casolari. Meanwhile, the sporty, wearable clothes with a twist of originality were suspended from the ceiling for buyers to view.
A few new inspiring shows from a new generation – as expressed in this final presentation for spring/summer 2015 – suggest that Milan fashion has designers for the future. Let’s hope they can be nurtured and encouraged to grow.