Milan Fashion Week Just Made 'Black Mirror' Fashion A Thing

Jil Sander and Dolce & Gabbana show two distinctly different takes on the future.

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Models carrying cloned life-sized heads at Gucci, drones doubling as runway models at Dolce & Gabbana, an imagined AI-driven world at Jil Sander and new levels of digital experimentation at Prada: the experience of watching Milan's AW18 shows has felt oddly similar to my week binge watching Black Mirror the month before, like you're staring into a crystal ball and wondering the meaning of it all.


Italy's designers have had futurism on the brain. But this isn't the fantastical, spaceship silver, aliens walking among us variety we've seen in the past. Instead the vision is much more recognisable; this is an exploration of the near-future, a look at how our lives might look in five, ten years time, not 200.

Luke and Lucie Meier's second outing for Jil Sander was the strongest example of this, with clothes that were tactile, soft and human, rather than clinical and robotic. The duo bring a unique blend of skill set to the brand with Luke having previously led Supreme as creative director and Lucie's career spanning Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

Their combined understanding of the everyday and the extraordinary, the accessible and the luxe, and the commercial and the rarefied came across in the clothes from an opening white, quilted blazer worn over a matching wool skirt that floated around the body to a fuzzy cocoon coat covered in digital florals and voluminous, sculptural knits. These were futuristic clothes that looked approachable and optimistic, an idea that goes a long way these days in this volatile climate in fashion and beyond. Jil Sander's is a future to look forward to.

Dolce & Gabbana also took a cheery view on futurism, but all other similarities ended there. Here, drones (not models) walked the brand's newest handbags down the catwalk with scientist-y looking attendants in lab coats trailing behind. This followed a 40-minute wait in which audience members were repeatedly warned the show couldn't start until everyone in the room had disabled their WiFi.

When the show finally began, and the impressive flying handbag intro had ended, the world Stefano Gabbanna and Domenico Dolce revealed looked remarkably familiar. Their trademark Siciliana was as upbeat as it always is; dense sequins, multi-layered crystals, decadent brocades, and bright lace abounded.

But this time, it all had a slightly religious tone (a model dressed in nun-like black and white wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words, 'fashion sinner,' and a catwalk backdrop that read 'fashion devotion' for example.)

No matter, in Dolce & Gabbana's world, the future is as bright as ever — with the bedazzled jeans to prove it.

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