Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini
In his second show for the house, Serafini offered more delicate sensitivity in the form of exquisitely pretty floral prints on wispy dresses, made cool with black Cuban-heeled boots. If it's a sweet dress you're looking for, look no further. Liked his dungarees from last season? There's a new version here in denim with longer brace-like straps. Thinking of buying a romantic jacket? His came in scalloped-trim white broderie anglaise. Serafini is the man who, along with Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, put the blouse on the map for AW2015. And it is back for SS16, looking great in microscopically dainty floral print.
Alessandra Facchinetti’s take on Tod’s is often terrifyingly chic, but this season she served the chic with a lighter, looser, more innocent feel. That said, she opened with graphic black and white stripes, pin-fine or bold, but they looked attainable. The entire collection was lighter on the leather. Only the best pieces made it on to the runway, including full skirts – tooled, fringed and lightly studded. Leather dresses came loose and perforated with tiny holes. Shirts – she does a great shirt – came ruffled around the ribs. And the Tod’s loafer has never looked better, embellished with shards of black and white, more robust in shiny burgundy, or gleaming in silver.
One of the prettiest collections so far in Milan, Etro captured the season’s romantic mood, working the brand’s exquisite fabrics into dresses that shone with metallic thread in the house’s gorgeous prints. The shapes were mostly long, with flounced skirts, gathered sleeves and ruffled necklines. If you’re in the market for a satin dressing-gown coat (one of the major SS16 trends), they were perfect here. The dress variations were limitless, each one lovelier than the last.
Scarlet opened the show, on Edie Campbell. A mini playsuit, no less. With puff sleeves and even puffier shorts. Bold, yes. But this was Fendi, and Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi having a lot of fun with the idea of folk meets modernism (or something). Big sleeves ruled, as did smocking, those tiny elasticated gathers that make everything balloon. High necks and even higher waists, and everything pleated like there was no tomorrow. Unbelievable that Karl Lagerfeld, in his fiftieth year at the brand, is still pulling out all the stops.
Pink and coral? Flesh tones? Not the palette you’d usually associate with Mr Armani, who was clearly in casual mode. Tiny jackets, Bermuda shorts, boyfriend-fit duster coats and blazers with cigarette pants. As the Milan designers are neatly dividing between bold and soft, Armani is definitely in the market for the latter, with his easy-breezy fabrics in diaphanous asymmetric cuts. Check out the accessories: big tan bowling bags, hobos and peep-toe booties with a sneaker vibe.