Milan Fashion Week: Moschino's Material Girls, Prada's Layered Chic

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Left to right, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner at Moschino Fall 2017

Jeremy Scott and Miuccia Prada presented thought-provoking collections on Day 2 of Milan Fashion Week.

The personal is political, and so is the packaging. Moschino's Jeremy Scott and Miuccia Prada both seemed to be sending out strong messages at their Thursday shows on the second day of Milan Fashion Week.


Don’t throw out that package just yet. Moschino’s Jeremy Scott sent out a boisterous collection he called “cardboard couture,” inspired by the simple brown box. The show opened with the triple threat of the now single-named new supers: Kendall, Gigi and Bella in looks involving packing tape, “Fragile” belts and a camel-colored pea coat stamped, “This side up.”

But he didn’t stop there, moving on to shimmering gowns made out of bubble wrap (try wearing that around a hot mic), collage looks of old Moschino magazine advertisements and plastic flotsam that could have come straight from the Pacific garbage gyre. Show notes reminded us that plastic has a half-life of forever: “Why should organza be any more permanent than trash-bag plastic?” he asked. “This collection acknowledges the overlooked physical consequences — the fallout.”

An intermission of sorts was offered when a model emerged from red velvet curtains singing to the Rigoletto opera; turns out she was wearing the curtains, too, in true Scarlett O’Hara fashion. “Would you like me to seduce you?” she asked as George Michael’s “Too Funky” came on.

For all the experimental materials — a trash can lid hat, a toilet paper roll bag — the silhouettes were still classic, from ladylike suits to va-va-voom cocktail dresses to a sweetheart prom dress. Scott even sent out Jenner in a power pantsuit with a short black bob that made her reminiscent of her famous mom.

As Gigi closed the show, her heel broke on the runway, and a front row Fergie literally picked up the pieces. She took a selfie with the broken bits, all the while bouncing along to the music.  

The designer came out for his final bow in a “Couture is an Attitude” slogan tee. Was Scott trying to challenge fashion fans to rethink their consumption, or simply solidifying his branding with a new fashion frenzy? 

Trash couture is certainly something that's been done before by other designers, including John Galliano and this house's namesake, Franco Moschino, and indeed by Scott himself. But the conversation around sustainable fashion is rising. And as Scott's notes concluded, “We are what we wear.” Whatever the intent, it was just so damned fun.


The room was an Instagrammer's dream: dotting the seatscape at Prada's cavernous headquarters were beds with vinyl sheets and faux fur blankets and pillows, nightstands topped with Polaroids and stickers. Vintage-style movie posters lined the walls bearing the titles “Desert Rose,” “Velvet Knife” and “The Glass Cage.” But for all the set dressing, Miuccia’s woman had broken out of any easy characterization. 

The first look, a brown corduroy suit, could have trapped her in the ‘Me Decade,’ but while the 1970s references were there, Prada kept it modern with streamlined silhouettes. Fabrics included heavily textured mohair and chunky knits in a vibrant color palette with delicate embroidery. This collection was bold — green topped yellow topped orange, then on to grandma’s wallpaper florals and sketched prints out of old fashioned pulp fiction — and not for the faint of heart.  

Prada seemed moved by the same eclectic aesthetic seen at yesterday’s Gucci show, pattern on top of pattern and a more-is-more ethos. The sense of play was infectious. Lindsey Wixson wore one of the sole sexy outfits in the lineup, a red cocktail dress, while many of the other looks were softly cocooning. Prada would never be as overt as Scott, or show a slogan tee such as Maria Grazia Chiuri's "We Should All Be Feminists" style at Dior. The message is up to the imagination, that's the point. 

Accessories were standouts, too, particularly bejeweled shoes fastened with bright ribbons and buttons and trompe l’oeil velvet bags. The delicate beaded cocktail dresses were topped with seashell necklaces; nothing, it seems, is too precious.


Lagerfeld’s showed a “red thread” — a French film term for a theme that snakes through a script — in the form of red patent leather boots paired with everything from grey herringbone suits to camel colored coats to the white silk pleated skirts in his latest Fendi collection.

He played with proportion, showing petrol blue pencil skirts with tucked-in blouses reaching below the hems, and offered now de rigueur sheer dresses, and a men’s style white shirt and black blazer combo worn by Bella Hadid. Cobalt leaf prints were some of the most gorgeous — and most wearable — looks of the week so far.


The house of Cavalli presented its latest collection in the Palazzo Crespi, with guests wandering through rooms of opulent furnishings and ceiling frescoes, stacks of books (including Al Gore and Thomas Piketty for good measure) and, oh, a few Canaletto masterpieces here and there. It was an angel and devil-themed collection, with sexy sleek dresses presented in white on one side, and near mirror images in black against a backdrop of red roses on the other.

The collection was “sharply focused” according to the notes, and that’s true — but it was designed by a collective of hires left over from Peter Dundas’ brief reign. 

Another room showed modern gladiators, with panel skirts and snake-shaped epaulets keeping the mini dresses in fighting form. While there was still plenty of Cavalli's signature animal print, it was decidedly less “sexy” than in past outings, with Victorian high necks instead of slit-down-to-there printed chiffon.

The brand expects to name a new designer before the September show, which makes you wonder who was helming the house for this solid collection.