Milan and Creativity: A Top Week

Italy needs to convey a positive image, and fashion is a media-friendly tool capable of powerfully putting across such an image. Everyone agrees: It's been a top week.
02/29/2012 01:01 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

At the end of Milan's fashion week, a general assessment of the season has given excellent results. This is of extreme importance, in particular, in such a peculiar time for Italy. It was so great seeing Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo devote to our country their totally well-deserved Academy Award for Best Art Direction for Hugo -- a reason for all of us to be proud and a significant event for Italy's image. The foreign press, speaking of Italian fashion, for once "blessed" us, giving us credit for our creativity and credibility.

Giorgio Armani's show was definitely new. Proposing an extremely colorful and modern collection, young and glamorous. The dominating color was orange, a sunny shade in itself. Almost as a reaction to all the negativity that surrounds us, his woman is cheerful and easygoing. Unusual, more "of today" and playful, never losing her chicness and elegance. Big names have surely nothing else to prove, yet a beautiful collection supports the positive image of the whole fashion system.

Designer duo Aquilano.Rimondi focused on opulence, luxury, glitter. A modern and baroque woman with ample shapes alternating with velvet corsets. Embroideries and brocades in strong colors like yellow and cornflower blue and almost child-like collars, low necklines and very short skirts. They have established their own international style and the foreign press now consider their collections as a "must-see."

A designer duo that has turned playfulness into a brand: Dean and Dan of DSquared2. Their line is almost street-style, but not only apparently, as it actually features details, colors, volumes evoking the '60s, yet without becoming too "didactic." It's a day wear show, featuring ensembles with unusual combinations of colors and fabrics, yet rigorously for the day. But never a dull day. It's quite the opposite.

Another successful duo is that made up of Christopher Kane and Donatella Versace for Versus. We have to give Donatella credit for unveiling the talent of Christopher Kane: Together they designed a collection for a London "it" girl showing references to the Versace fashion house in the Medusa motif, revisited, revamped and applied to dresses and thigh-high boots using many different colors ranging from blue to purple to cornflower blue, from yellow to burgundy. The mix of colors and materials added a rock-bon ton vibe.

Roberto Cavalli closed the shows with a hippie-chic woman clad in leather and fur, long dresses or pants for the day and the evening, without distinction. Walking around a large square runway, partly covered with flowers evoking one of his spotted patterns, the models sported dresses and outfits in the house's signature patterns, totally revisited, from leopard to zebra print. Never too sharp or over-the-top, the patterns conveyed, also thanks to the flounces and the dresses' necklines, a romantic mood. Floor-length garments -- a new sexiness, which added a touch of lightness to the show. Naomi, the last to walk the runway, was also romantic and sexy.

Italy needs to convey a positive image, and fashion is a media-friendly tool capable of powerfully putting across such an image. Everyone agrees: It's been a top week.