Max Mara Spring 2016
Nautical has been in style in summer at least since Coco Chanel set sail around the Mediterranean with her lover, the Duke of Westminster, in the '20s—and even she can't claim to have invented it, since earlier examples of sailor collars and boaters go back to Edwardian times. Max Mara's creative director, Ian Griffiths' presentation, had plenty of garments that might fall under the classification of great generics—the sort of clothes that could live with you for years. He threw in a couple of novelty notes—the star-pattern knits (no doubt inspired by officers' epaulets) and prints of ropes on silk pieces—and he couldn't hold back on some quirky styling, extending the sleeves of stripy tees and doing up jackets and coats on the wrong button, à la '80s John Galliano.
Fendi Spring 2016
Fendi is a serious Roman fur and leather house of long standing, but recently Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi have been having some fun with it all. "There are no references," remarked Lagerfeld as he moved through the roiling postshow throng. "Retro is over, no?" Still, even when he's supposedly designing against the mainstream, Lagerfeld's antennae can't help transmitting a sense of the fashion news that is running through Spring. It was there in the silhouettes—the big-sleeved, high-neck, high-waisted, and pleated midi thing that's currently going on. In Fendi's case, they provide the backdrop for ultra-luxurious house materials and skills: summer furs in a rattan-basketwork open-weave technique, cropped jackets in whipstitched patchwork python and braiding and smocking effects. Fendi x Karl Lagerfeld may be 50 years old as a collaboration, but in some ways it's still ridiculously, friskily young. Again, in a good way.
Emilio Pucci Spring 2016
Massimo Giorgetti, the young founder of MSGM, one of Milan's recent success stories, took the wheel at the iconic house earlier this year after Peter Dundas's departure. For his debut today, Giorgetti started at the seaside, which was the right instinct: As the birthplace of Pucci, it was a natural place for a new beginning. Giorgetti uncovered some compelling pieces from the archives; a glance at his backstage mood board suggested he has an eye for the more obscure elements in the Pucci oeuvre. Unfortunately, this show was a bit of a muddle: too literal in its references (there were sea turtles and lobsters tangled up in a fishnet dress), too dependent on styling, and surprisingly low on prints.
Prada Spring 2016
Subverting traditional classics:That was the line transmitted about the Prada collection . Miuccia's aesthetic was fully present in a collection which literally stayed within narrow lines. It was an essay on skirt suits and coats, bisected with a graphic theme of vertical stripes, and accompanied by a wealth of her quirky accessories, signature embellishments and the swish of dozens of dangly earrings as big as Christmas-tree baubles. This collection trod firmly on her home territory, shod in an array of elegant low-heeled shoes, each pair made in its own delicious configuration of pointiness, ankle-strapping, metallic leather, patent and suede.As for the suits, they came in collages of checks, tweeds, and stripes, sometimes in leather and suede, here and there in transparent prints. What to make of this? For one thing, Miuccia Prada pays no heed to weather-appropriateness. In her view—which is a global one—there's as much need for pieced fur coats in summer as there is for skimpy silk slip dresses, which she optionally layers over chunky knits. There's the question of proportions, too—her loosened shoulder line and boxy shapes, and a series of waist-length jackets in brown suede and leather, could well prove influential.
Moschino Spring 2016
Nobody, but nobody is having more fun than Jeremy Scott at Moschino. Season by season, the ideas get zanier, but the productions just keep getting bigger. And why not, when his clothes and accessories are selling so well? True to silly form, tonight's theme was car-wash couture. Traffic cones, barricades, and a genuine car wash that sprayed bubbles instead of water were installed on the runway. "No Parking, Couture Zone," one sign read; another: "Dangerous Couture Ahead."
Also true to form, this was not a show about subtext. But if it was all out there on the waxed and polished surface, that doesn't mean it wasn't smart. Take the full-skirted trench coat with a warning sign on the back—"Open Trench," it read—or the little black dress with the iconic red octagon on the chest printed "Shop," not "Stop." In a he-thinks-of-everything moment, Scott had none other than Lapo Elkann, international playboy and heir to the Fiat automobile fortune, in the front row.
See the shows of the first day here