Milan Fashion Week: Pussy Power Takes the Runway at Missoni, Bottega Veneta's Forties Femmes

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Missoni fall 2017

The pink hats turned out to be the boldest accessory at Milan Fashion Week.

No allusions here. Missoni doubled down on the political message that has threaded through Milan Fashion Week, sending out models in the pussy hats made famous by last month's Women's Marches and calling on audience members to band together to fight for rights. It was a rallying cry of sorts on the fourth day of Fashion Week, which saw Rodolfo Paglialunga’s last collection at Jil Sander and retro-tinged looks at Bottega Veneta.


In case it hasn’t been clear — from Moschino, Prada and Versace — fashion is making a statement. At Missoni, designer Angela Missoni sent out models in pink pussy hats inspired by the recent Women’s March on Washington before the clan took to the catwalk.

“In these uncertain times, we join together,” she said as the entire family joined her on the runway. “The bond that unites all, that respects all human life. Please join me and my family on this catwalk and let’s show the world that the fashion community is united and fearless!” Guest had been given knit cat hats of their own and jumped up to join the Missonis onstage to chants of “People have the power.”

Show notes said that the collection was “prepared to confront the conflicts and dilemmas of our contemporary society: the conditions, needs and rights of all women and minorities.”

Opening with Gigi Hadid in a plaid coat, the brand showed off its traditional knits to a remix of Gil Scott Heron’s powerful “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and Missy Elliott’s “One Minute Man.” One standout look was a whisper thin argyle knit dress, send out in three colors — red, white and blue.

Bottega Veneta

The early morning show welcomed Michelle Monaghan and Elizabeth Debicki for a combined men’s and women’s collection for the glamorous guy and gal.

Creative director Tomas Maier sent out retro 1940s-inspired shapes, with a classic French twist updo and soft front wave that recalled Ingrid Bergman. Eva Herzigova opened the show with a touch of old money elegance in riding jodhpurs and a knit sweater with a strong puff shoulder before a series of rust and gold capes and coats in caramel and coffee.

Adding more evidence to the theory that a Milan fashion show can’t take place without a Hadid or Jenner, Kendall came out mid-show in a sleek cinched-waist black dress and the sheer polka-dotted tights we’ve seen everywhere. These should already be in your closet, as they're the easiest accessory for fall. 

Monaghan, who spent many seasons in Milan when she was a model, said returning to the city always brings back memories. But modeling might seem more intimidating now following the invention of Instagram. “It’s an entirely different world than when I was in college,” she said. “It was a lot more relaxed back then when I would travel around and model in the summers.”

Men’s looks were anchored by oversized bow ties, a nod to formal daytime dressing.

A gold and black-striped dress was a particular stunner, as was a delicately studded cape and a copper Lurex dress. The strong shouldered suiting would be perfect for all your evening cocktail party needs or joining the resistance.

Jil Sander

Shoulders were also the focus in Rodolfo Paglialunga’s last collection at Jil Sander. While exquisite, Bottega's earlier suits seemed to be an outlier in a season that has seen more voluminous cuts. The Sander shoulder was also larger and exaggerated, but they were soft and sloped here.  

Mostly monochrome in variations of deep autumn tones, the last looks were dresses of sparkly Lurex, which is fast becoming the fabric of the season. Though forgiving, some of the padded coats might be a tough look for anyone not model-thin, but they were warm and cocooning, a trend we’ve seen elsewhere — because in these turbulent times, we all need a hug.

Louboutin Eyeliner Launch

To celebrate the launch of his eye makeup line, Christian Louboutin held a cocktail party in the hidden gallery of design collective Leclettico.

Walking through the nondescript doors of the unmarked showroom space, located in a former industrial area of the city, was like falling into Wonderland, with each room full of oddities including a lifesize gorilla statue, a dining set with miniature chairs and perfectly Instagrammable quotes such as "My reality is just different than yours." On display was the brand's sparkly, sixties-inspired collection, with models lounging in retro pajama looks. The house decided to hold the event in Milan instead of Louboutin's hometown of Paris because “there’s something in the air,” with Milan feeling more energetic this season.