Milan Fashion week: Spring/Summer2011 – Un Viaggio Esotico

Milan Fashion week: Spring/Summer2011 – Un Viaggio Esotico


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It would seem that a desire for adventure in far away places inspired Milan’s designers this season, as their collections were filled with ‘Orientalist’ clichés and stereotypes. Moorish ornaments, Chinoiseries, Japanese prints, African motifs and New Spain memories expressed their search for ‘otherness’.
The Latin American and Caribbean heritage was a favorite theme.
To begin with, Norwegian-born designer Peter Dundas for Emilio Pucci presented a more romantic than sexy version of the pirate princess: silk printed dresses in almost pastel hues, black and red lace detailing, fluffy ankle-length skirts with baroque touches, the iconic black crucifix necklace and typical Pucci scarves would all make a beautiful Hispanic genre painting.
Following a similar path, Angela Missoni showed Mexican-inspired designs: flashy bright colors, poncho skirts, flounced necklines, asymmetrical tailoring and ethnic-striped prints, an overall daring and brilliantly thought-out collection.
At Moschino, Rossella Giardini carried on with her torero theme, while adding Frida Kahlo’s hairstyle and taste for vibrant yellow to the recipe. Giardini’s well-known Matador jackets were embellished with gold embroidery, as Mediterranean black was omnipresent.  
Also Hispanic but even more Caribbean inspired, was Anna Molinari’s Blumarine show. Colorful as usual, Molinari’s collection took a neon twist, with tropical floral prints, violet and pink raffia trims and flaring skirts with statement earrings and shoes. Palm trees in Hawaii and scuba diving in Hawaii… 
In contrast, Antonio Marras’s remained faithful to his favorite Asian designs and floral motifs while adding a spicy maid touch to the second half of his show. Pastel wallpaper prints, minute fan decorations, giant camellias, and lantern red adorned Marras’s peculiarly retro Chinese collection.
Asian influences were also noticeable in Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, a.k.a Aquilano.Rimondi’s collection, particularly in their use of embroidered flowers, pastel combinations, geometric bands, their lean, vase-like silhouettes and minute prints on saturated, monochrome backgrounds, that reminded us of Chinese folding screens.
African culture and its avatars, the Jazz Age and Art Deco design inspired Veronica Etro’s summer 2012 collection. Her prints have benefitted from an innovative method that involves printing and pleating a fabric several times over to create new burnt ink effects. Geometry and ‘broken collage technique’ have contributed in rendering a vibrant, modern, and young Etro silhouette.
 
Louise Kissa
 
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