Milan: 80s glamour with a twist
Eighties glamour is back in Milan, though with a new sophisticated flourish, and a saucy yet sporty finish. Think a New Dynasty but without the enormous hair, as three non-Milanese designers showed on the opening day of Milan.
Take No. 21, from Alessandro Dell’Acqua. A blend of Neapolitan naughtiness and Milanese intricacy perfectly blended by this Naples-born talent.
Revealing, but never cheap; suggestive but never vulgar, the designer sent out pencil skirts finished with dancing feathers; dazzling large size sequined cardigans or some brilliantly ruched leather dresses. Dell’Acqua also knows how to mingle in sports influences – athletic bras and track jackets – into evening ensembles more seamlessly than any other designer right now.
“It’s me, my DNA but a little more dressed up yet street relevant,” smiled Dell’Acqua, who moved to Milan in the 80s to cut his teeth working for the likes of Gianni Versace. And in case you didn’t get the 80s reference, the soundtrack was a remix of the decade’s greatest rock anthem – Shout by Tears for Fears. It came out in 1985.
And, quietly but defiantly, Dell’Acqua has built a substantial business, with a new headquarters on via Archimede and a reported turnover of some 50 million euros.
For lovers of 80s disco, then look no further than Alberta Ferretti, who significantly changed directions in her signature line. Gone were her romantic prints, in came mono colors and bold metallics and a body-conscious silhouette.
She opened with a half-dozen all-black swimwear looks, but the heart of the matter were her Bad Girls glamour. From a mega paillettes mini cocktail worn under shiny nylon splash jacket to a silver sequined deep-gorge cocktail worn by Izabel Goulart, girlfriend of Paris St-Germain goalie Kevin Trapp.
Farrah Fawcett-Majors should have been sitting in the front-row of this show staged in the courtyard of a marvelous Renaissance hospital. Though the standout was a fantastic silver metal mini party sheath densely finished with crystals. Ideal for a Grace Jones revival. In case you did not get the reference, the show music was the ultimate Disco anthem, Upside Down, written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic and performed by Diana Ross.
A third out of town Italian talent, Francesco Scognamiglio, who comes from the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, rounded out the revival. His show emphasized his pure romanticism but with a major twist. He may work in flirty and feminine lace and cool abstract floral prints but this season his big idea was spray-painting his silk cocktails.
“Actually, it was the same sort of metallic paint you used to spray on Cadillacs,” confessed Scognamiglio after a great show in a room full of architecturally powerful women - the historic Sala delle Cariatidi of the Palazzo Reale in Piazza Duomo, Milan’s main square.
One caution – the giant hair of Dynasty was banished. Today’s Eighties’ revival from Milan, all went with sleek chignons or pulled back tresses.
And how did the day end? With a Swarovski Crystal Wonderland Party, modern day, big-shouldered glamour – and shining brilliance for all. Where at least Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn worked big bouffant hair. Joan Collins would have been pleased.
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