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Runway

Prada RTW Spring 2015

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Prada RTW Spring 2015 Images & Source WWD

Desert bleak? Space chic? Huge purple sand dunes fading into a brownish carpet and a harsh, dissonant soundtrack kept guests at Miuccia Prada’s show on Thursday night wondering. Yet few wondered whether Prada would awe them, only how.

Prada billed her spring collection as a celebration of fabric craft. “Why are people attracted to antiquity more and more?” she mused backstage. “That kind of quality, the ability of the craftsmen, is going to be lost. I want to do my part.” That meant sourcing and reproducing 30 brocades dating from the 19th century through the Sixties. Lavish, intricate, gorgeous — you bet. Yet even buying into Prada’s artisanal philanthropy, her shows are always character studies, the stage persona revealed through the clothes. Here, that study played out ultimately as a slyly weird good-girl, bad-girl inner struggle.

Prada sought to modernize her beautiful, stately fabrics by extracting their preciousness. She injected a tough element that read Western, Prairie, a little Badlands. A Seventies ring? Yes, but only partly and always the opposite of mundane. An unapologetic appropriations expert, Prada evokes an era, a mood, a concept, and creates around it.

She got into her fabric celebration deftly, with dark tailored looks, seams and faux tailor’s markings outlined in contrasting stitching: trim notched-collared coat; skirt suit; tunic over skirt. Then came a high-collared dress with inset-floral brocade yoke, the first indication of fabric fancy, followed by inventive incorporations of the rich brocades: leather car coat strung with diagonal stripes of fabric; skirt with intricately swirling front panel contrasting the yellow varsity sweater vest with which it was shown. Many of the looks were polished to the point of prim. But along the way, things started to unravel in unfinished hems and seams that floated in distinct contrast to the brocades’ inherent hauteur. The accessories indicated the girl’s inner push-pull: coy color-blocked knee socks and dangerous sparkly earrings.

There was a lot going on, but Prada reminded all of the importance of design with her penultimate look: a plain, raw cotton dress with dressmaker markings in black, a reminder that schtick means nothing without clarity of design. Prada’s girl worked this push-pull to a fare-thee-well, unleashing her own — and her clothes’ — powers of sartorial seduction.

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Runway

Gucci RTW Spring 2015

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Gucci RTW Spring 2015 Images & Source WWD

Particularly within a large luxury group, every brand has its role. Gucci is Kering’s commercial anchor; its function and that of its designer, Frida Giannini, is to turn out smart, accessible fashion, “mass luxury,” as it was called back in the day.

That’s not an easy mandate. Nor is it a simple concept to refresh season after season on the runway. The spring collection Giannini showed on Wednesday afternoon offered plenty of appealing clothes, but they came veiled in tried-and-true familiarity. They picked up directly from the precision cuts she favored for fall while harkening back with utter clarity to the early Seventies, a reference era with which Giannini and her customer are well-versed. “I wanted to keep the rigor in the lines and silhouette,” Giannini said backstage, behind her a mood board featuring multiple photos of Ali MacGraw.

The Gucci customer will find plenty to wear in the clean, neat lines of Giannini’s tailoring and the crisp ease of shirtdresses. The former featured military touches, either no-nonsense, as in a white high-collared suit jacket with big brass buttons that opened the show, or more flamboyant passementeried versions. The smart shirtdresses in leather and cotton broiderie anglaise will delight latter-day Ali types, while deep-V shifts looked more overtly provocative.

Giannini showed a softer side, as well, in patchwork silk-print dresses, some under collage furs that fell somewhere between artisanal and messy. She also went big with denim — literally, in wide-cut, low-slung jeans. These were interesting and, by house standards, daring of proportion. Whether the always sexy Gucci Girl is ready to loosen up a bit, time will tell, but it was good to see Giannini nudged out of her comfort zone.

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street style

Milan Fashion Week Winter 2014 Street Style

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Milan Fashion Week Winter 2014 Street Style Milano-m-str-RS15-9161 Milano-m-str-RS15-8633 taw-day3-025 14486176592_64c1238e1a_h taw-day3-023 14494235154_19b9b69013_h 14484041261_9a05957943_h Milano-m-str-RS15-8588 14492143081_794c0fe5ee_h Milano-m-str-RS15-7923 14309071957_adcdcb78d8_h 14494248934_7e1c6077d3_hMilan Fashion Week Winter 2014 Street Style Via Buro 24/7 & WWD

Milan Fashion Week Winter 2014 Street Style: Visitors at Milan Fashion Week continue to please the cameras, cleverly pretending absolutely not to attract the attention of photographers.

Men hit again the street with mixes of art prints and Céline. Nike and adidas stripes, bearded guests again demonstrated provocatively bared ankles sticking out of trousers tucked. High heels gave a way to sneakers designer and plastic sandals with socks. 

Runway

Prada RTW Fall 2014

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Images & Source Via WWD Prada RTW Fall 2014

Color and sheer: Prada showed plenty of both, marked by a casual, rugged flamboyance, sensual and eccentric. “I really went bold. I liked this theme.” She offered that simple assessment post-show before voicing headier concepts: “It’s about humanity, it’s about people, feelings, emotion. I wanted to try to transmit that kind of humanity and that kind of thinking.”

Runway

Fendi RTW Fall 2014

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Images & Source WWD

Part sporty, part constructivist, a trifle Nordic and everything else in between. Karl Lagerfeld’s exhilarating Fendi collection was strong on great clothes.

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