Viva Highlights: Milan Fashion Week Spring 2019

The Viva fashion team highlight their favourite shows from Milan's spring 2019 runway shows

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FENDI

“It seems like more and more designers are telling me to buy bike shorts, and I’m steadily losing the will to resist. Fendi styled theirs with the favourite accessory of the season (or year) a utilitarian belt bag, and a shirt with oversized sleeves to the elbow. Fendi’s last Spring/Summer collection was decidedly more avant-garde with dark styling, deep blue fringes and more varied prints. This time, they’ve lightened the palette, catering to a woman who wants to look chic but still fashion forward. “We wanted to have functional clothing. Not just for occasion. We wanted something for everyday life: the normal woman, the active woman. A real wardrobe,” explained Silvia Venturini Fendi. It has also been noted they’re pivoting themselves towards the Gen Z market more — the bicycle shorts, the bum bags worn cross-body, the logo mania. With buttery leather pieces, clear rain coats and expertly-cut suits, it’s a combination hard to resist.” — Rosie.

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MARNI

“Amidst a veritable sea of neutrally-toned collections this year, showcases like this stand out in sweet relief. Marni’s artistic, slightly off-kilter collecton was apparently inspired by Dr. Frankenstein and the Venus de Milo, according to designer Franceso Risso, and that seems apt once you take in the chopped and sewn shapes and hems, the Venus de Milo print, the Ancient Greek-inspired twisting column dresses. I don’t normally notice sunglasses on the runway, but in this show they seem vital, the sharply pointed shape on nearly every model adding a slightly futuristic modernity to each look. The prints are so good, especially a white fabric with hand-painted blue flowers and a clashing green polkadot with pinky toned statue scenes. It’s distinctive, and true to the Marni brand and woman. I can already tell this will be very collectable collection, now and in the future.” — Rosie

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MSGM

“MSGM’s cool-kid has grown up, evolving from boxy-fit, oversized silhouettes to form-fitting, graceful and fluid dresses and graphic, digitally-printed suits. Designer Massimo Giorgetti has always had an eye for creating insouciant ensembles that have their own kind of zeitgeisty charm, but with this collection he seems happy to display a bit of purpose and effort. He brings back the tie-dye from his previous seasons, less washed out this time, and I like how his floral print is not what you would call ‘delicate’, although it is very pretty. I enjoy watching the evolution of MSGM every season, it always brings something to the table that I wasn’t expecting, but am very much glad it arrived.” — Rosie

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NO. 21

“When I look at a fashion show, or go to watch one, honestly I don’t really want to see something that I could throw on without a second thought and go out the door. Seeing jeans and a t-shirt on a catwalk makes me mad, for some reason. So I appreciate designers and labels that show me something different, give a new perspective, even if I wouldn’t necessarily wear it myself. No. 21 was like that this season. Although it was anything but outlandish and attention-seeking, I still thought it challenging with its slightly unusual silhouettes and designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s choice of fabrics – faux ostrich feathers, patent leather and tie-dye appearing in yet another collection this season. He cleverly employs small twists in his garments to give even the simplest a quiet statement – stand-outs for me were feathered dresses, wide-shouldered jackets and clever ruching here and there making it a collection that was anything but dull.” — Rosie

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PRADA

"I loved Miuccia Prada's exploration of liberation and conservatism, a topical subject for designers across any field right now. She goes to town on prim lady-like dresses but always with a subversive kick; silk baby doll dresses as if plucked out of Mia Farrow's wardrobe in Rosemary's Baby worn with oversized Alice bands - an accessory undoubtedly to be quickly replicated by the high street. Such is the power of her influence on fashion, yet it's the wider message people often look to Prada for a barometer of where fashion is right now. “Young people are different kinds" says the designer post show. "They’re intelligent, they’re stupid, they’re cultivated, they’re not. I speak to people. What worries me,” she added, “is simplification. Because politics is run by slogans—or not even that, by a hashtag. If you take away content and simplify, at a certain point you can’t say anything.” — Dan.

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

"Heritage family brands out of Italy are forever a pot of inspiration and knowledge such as Ferragamo, a brand that continues to stick to its knitting after decades in business. Elegant silk coats in vivid hues teamed with tan and beige offer a refreshing take on wearing colour for men and women, the casting of which should be acknowledged, the womenswear designer Paul Andrew and menswear designer Guillaume Meilland opting to cast mature models like Stella tenant and Didier Vinson, a welcome sight at any fashion week show these days.” — Dan

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ETRO

"Another Milanese dynasty that I always look forward to is Etro. The print powerhouse is founded on print and textiles, specifically the paisley print. Now for its 50th anniversary, the mood is upbeat and celebratory as evidenced in this joyful collection inspired by Californian surf and skate culture. While it’s a sub-culture so often mined and pillaged by designers, Etro provided a seamless take on the scene with is psychedelic prints and sun-kissed hues. Brightly coloured suiting was a stand out as were floral print dresses that nod to the Japanese-Hawaiian motifs.” — Dan

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MARNI

"It's taken me a few seasons to warm to Francesco Risso's take on Marni after its much-loved predecessor and label founder Consuelo Castiglioni departed from the brand in 2016. The artful prints featuring classical sculptures were a highlight in this collection and there was a little John Waters 50s bad taste coming through with the styling which I loved. Also great to see a label at this level featuring diversity not just in ethnicity, but also size on the runway." — Dan

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