Iceberg

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Since becoming president of the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana in April, Carlo Capasa has spoken about his desire to bring fresh energy to the Italian fashion scene. So how has he been promoting innovation at Milan Fashion Week this season?

In April, Capasa told WWD he wanted to offer “real support, infrastructures, training and financial support” to young designers who wished to show at MFW. It seems he has kept his promise as, following in London and New York’s footsteps, Milan finally seems to be paying attention to new talent.

Rising star Arthur Arbesser showed his début collection for Iceberg on Friday – injecting a much-needed dose of zestiness into the brand – and commented that “Milan has a recognisably different energy today”. Meanwhile, MGSM’s Massimo Giorgetti’s first design effort for Pucci saw the brand enter a more modern, youthful phase, with its “urban mermaids” highlighted in the show notes.

To add to MFW’s new feel, its headquarters were relocated to Piazza Gae Aulenti, a newly developed area of the city. The Piazza housed the UniCredit Pavilion, another new addition to Milan’s fashion agenda, which showcased the collections of 17 young designers. Versace, Pucci and Gucci, some of MFW’s major players, also benefitted from a venue change, with the latter’s move perfectly timed with its new, forward-thinking design approach.

Since Gucci recruited Alessandro Michele as its new creative director in January, the brand has altered its design direction. Gone is the Gucci woman’s overt sexuality and moneyed appearance, coolly replaced by a more considered, androgynous and thoroughly modern figure – so the brand’s decision to stage its S/S 16 show at a disused railway station spoke volumes about the new-look Gucci.

Another of Capasa’s initiatives was commissioning online shop and magazine LaDoubleJ to create an MFW ‘Survival Guide’, containing insider advice on Milan’s lesser-known fashion haunts and eateries. “[Milan’s] getting a bit more interesting; the spotlight is on creativity and new designers,” said Sara Manio, senior editor at Vogue Italia, to the New York Times.

With Milan being Milan, great changes aren’t going to happen overnight. So while even usually predictable brands like Armani decided to play a wild card this season – exploring a “new femininity” manifested in transparent fabric and almost ombre stripes – Dolce & Gabbana stuck to what they know, with the brand’s army of models taking selfies on the catwalk, sporting outfits that celebrated all things Italian. However, their native fashion capital really is something worth celebrating this season.

Join us at our Milan Summit on November 17-18 to discuss how Italy plans to drive fashion innovation further. Book your ticket here.

Reported by Grace Howard