MFW: spotlight on color and creativityWednesday, 26 September 2012
Meanwhile, the highlight of this latest edition of Milan Fashion Week, which has just ended ( with 71 fashion shows displaying 68 brands and 53 presentations), was the creativity and craftsmanship of the labels on the catwalk and the brands present at the exhibitions in Via Tortona such as Touch, Cloudnine, and White. Last Sunday, with Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Ferragamo, and Giorgio Armani showing their collections, the queue of buyers awaiting accreditation was particularly long. These fairs are the jumping-off point for original and small brands, which attend in order to meet buyers from China, Japan, or Russia.
Moreover, according to Sistema Moda Italia [fashion industry monitor] data, sales in foreign markets contributed to 54.3 percent of sector turnover (in 2011 Italian women's fashion exceeded 12.2 billion euro, thanks to a growth in sales of 4.1 percent). At the same time, imports saw an increase of 8.2 percent. Domestic demand, on the other hand, showed a negative trend (-3.9 percent) for the fourth consecutive year. “The Italian market remains the great unknown”, said Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine.
Foreign buyers, Americans as well as a great many Japanese sat front row at the shows. The Mila Schön show was particularly popular, with the young and talented Bianca Gervasio presenting a fresh and very colourful collection. The Japanese fashion group Itochu, the brand's owner, entrusted the relaunching of the brand to New Antica Group. Japan provided the main inspiration for Prada this season. Predominant in the collection for next spring and summer are items of an oriental inspiration, i.e. kimonos and wooden wedges. Gucci, whose show was attended by Charlotte Casiraghi, among others, focused on bright, strong colours like yellow and fuchsia, endearing itself to fashion journalist Suzy Menkes, who wrote: “Frida Giannini sent out her best show yet for Gucci”.
Versace celebrated its show with the launch of online stores in Italy, Germany, Great Britain, and France. Pinko took its collection, including the Uniqueness line designed by Alessandra Facchinetti, from the web to the Milan showroom. After the success of the pop up store that opened in London during the fashion week, the Italian company may well replicate the initiative.
Buyers showed a great deal of interest in the Ferré fashion show, which maintained the fashion house's traditional style with an added touch of sensuality. The new owner, Paris Group, has already identified its new headquarters and denied rumours of brand's move to Dubai. “The new headquarters are located in the fashion district”, Aya Mbanefo, business development director of the brand, told FashionUnited. Meanwhile, the company is developing a retail plan for the brand Ferré with new openings in Russia, Moscow, and the UK.
In terms of accessories, this fashion week did not disappoint buyers looking for creativity at commercial prices, as the Furla collection demonstrated once again. Less marketable but esteemed and portable is the first eponymous collection of Eduardo Wongvalle bags, former leather goods creative director for Christian Dior and Bottega Veneta.
From our correspondent in Milan
Photo: Armani and his models