Milan (AFP) – The fashion ensemble put on its best face on Thursday despite concerns over an invasion from Ukraine, as guests and workers at Milan Fashion Week vowed to keep the shows going.
The lineup, which included Emporio Armani, MM6 Maison Margiela, Prada and Moschino, seemed to be unfolding with all the studied nonchalance expected at fashion events – but some admitted it was hard to concentrate, given the situation to the East.
A Ukrainian designer and art director, Anna Mazzhyk, said she was woken up by her parents at seven a.m. to learn that “Russia is attacking Ukraine right now,” she told AFP.
“I was crying before the first show because it’s hard for me,” said the 22-year-old Kiev native, dressed in a puffy Prada cardigan and surrounded by her equally flirtatious friends.
“We all wear sunglasses to cover our puffy eyes,” she said.
Belgian model Louise Robert said Ukrainian models backstage at Prada were visibly upset, trying to figure out when and how they could return home.
“It was like a bomb — an emotional bomb,” Robert said.
Yet make-up artist Chiara Tipaldi, 24, acknowledged at Max Mara that while everyone was aware of the latest news, the fashion world operated like “a parallel universe”.
“He tries to be cut off from what’s going on in the world,” Tipaldi said.
A French videographer inside the show, who went simply by the name “Etienne”, said it might be better.
“I think most people are crushed,” he said. “But we can’t do politics inside here.”
Indeed, the catwalks offered plenty of distractions for guests, including Kim Kardashian – fashion week’s biggest celebrity so far – in the front row of Prada, sheathed in avocado and black leather, to watch a newly redhead sister Kendall on the catwalk.
At Prada, co-designers Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons paired simple white tank tops with tight, tiered cigarette skirts embellished with sequins, leather or sheer thigh panels.
Shoulders were oversized on black dresses that incorporated slanted chains at the neck, while tweed overcoats offered a whimsical touch with bicep-curled lambswool poufs in green, pink or blue.
– Cages in Cavalli –
Earlier, Max Mara’s Ian Griffiths showed off a heartwarming collection whose brown and cream tones and rich textures brought a reassuring sobriety to the mix – even if an eerily jarring musical soundtrack seemed to echo the news that everyone was valiantly trying to untangle themselves. ‘to forget.
Fluffy teddy bear-style wool was seen on bomber jackets, overcoats, even pants and shorts, while an oversized double-faced quilted coat was just what the doctor ordered in these trying times.
It even looked like it could double as a sleeping bag.
And for those who love loud, face-to-face fashion, Roberto Cavalli on Wednesday night presented a theatrical collection of what designer Fausto Puglisi called “cage dresses,” with strips of fabric barely covering strategic parts of the torso, as well as the brand’s signature on -the top of the animal prints.
Cheetah bodysuit. Imitation reptile capes. Leopard, leather and fringe together – what’s not to love when the world is falling apart?
Lush mohair bodices in emerald jewel tones combined with high leather collars, straps and metal rings – as if an ugly Elizabethan princess suddenly found herself in the dungeon.
Fashion show usher Alessandro Vailatti said he thinks no one should be ashamed of feeling elated by the flights of fancy on display.
“It’s important that we distract ourselves.”
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