Milan Fashion Week: a mad dash for Sunnei, a nocturnal jaunt for MM6
The third day of Milan Fashion Week was one of highly creative, experiential surprises. Sunnei and MM6 in particular staged two special show-performances to present their women’s and men's ready-to-wear collections for Fall/Winter 2022-23, returning in style to physical runway shows in this post-Covid fashion week.
On Thursday morning, Sunnei's models were faced with a tough challenge: running for 100 metres on a pavement in front of an audience that was initially stunned, then amused, and finally somewhat pitied them. Via Condino, a street in an industrial area to the south of Milan, had been closed off since dawn to film the collection's video. A while later, guests were invited to climb onto bleachers to stand and watch Sunnei’s sprint race with a fashion twist.
In the past, Aalto had staged a similar show on the banks of the river Seine in Paris, the label’s models running along in a sports-like performance. Sunnei's designers Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo have gone a step further, literally replicating on the runway the frenetic pace and headlong rushing we are again experiencing on a daily basis, after a two-year standstill for the pandemic. They wanted to make us think.
Models of either gender fly past the audience, hair blowing in the wind, embodying characters that are a metaphor for each and every one of us: the super-fit speed freak, the good student who has trained conscientiously, the driven one aiming for first place, the hedonist with their supple, elegant strides, the anxious one chasing the future, and a host of less fortunate ones, hampered by platform soles, heavy backpacks and mid-length pencil skirts.
Large colourful headbands pin back the hair of these improvised athletes, clad in tight-fitting body suits made with an ultra-stretch fabric developed by Sunnei to cater to all body shapes. They are matched with ample oversize trouser-skirts, skin-tight biker leggings, denim sets, felt trousers and other trousers with a plush effect. Some of the models wear voluminous, brightly coloured gilet-ponchos in bouclé wool. For this season, Sunnei also featured creations made out of rubber strips, like earrings and spiky, hedgehog-style head coverings.
Not far from where Sunnei staged its open-air urban sprint, MM6, the contemporary line by Maison Margiela, launched in 1997 and designed by an anonymous collective, plunged its audience into a dark underworld inside a warehouse basement barely illuminated by the torches given to the guests, in a similar vein to Y/Project’s show at Pitti Uomo in Florence.
The models zigzag in semi-darkness, weaving through an underground world peopled by disparate denizens. A biker wearing a total-black look in zipped leather, and a biker lady clad in frilled down jacket, the sleeves tightened by reflective bands. A rebel sporting vinyl trousers over a ripped sweater, loose and full of holes. A circus artist with an enormous python coiled around the torso, over a flesh-coloured top for a decidedly naked look.
Elegant night owls party away in their long overcoats, worn over suits or sleeveless dresses cut in thick black wool, while other party animals wear chic taffeta outfits and bare-back sheath dresses, flaunting long white gloves and tops encrusted in luminous stones. The gallery of characters is completed by a group of aliens with silvery faces, arms and ears, clad in pale-pink suits.
Leather features ubiquitously in MM6’s collection, from the tight-fitting pink thigh-high boots to the worn-leather gilet with studded lettering making up the word SIX, and the pretty jacket and superb sleeveless coat dress, both made in glossy bottle-green leather. Black is the collection’s predominant colour, brightened by red flashes, especially for boots and shoes.
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