Milan Women’s Fashion Week F/W 2018 Part 2

Roberto Cavalli F/W 2018

Animal prints, tailoring and fur – subtle sexiness remains an asset for Roberto Cavalli under creative direction of Paul Surridge

At the end of the day, it probably had to be a men’s designer to bring back life into the Roberto Cavalli brand. The Peter Dundas try out was the obvious choice but as he had worked for the company before, his new take for the house was too literal. Men’s designers are generally more focused on technical aspects and work less with prints and hence use them in a more focused way. As Cavalli is a print and wild fabric house the choice of Paul Surridge surprised at first but with his second collection, a co-ed show, he proved that he is the right man at the right place at the right time. His subtle sex is what made the collection an alluring new beginning for the Florentine house. Featuring master menswear next to the subversive women’s looks added the extra volts necessary to make a fashion statement. He knows how to cut and his sizzling skin-baring dresses felt cool and of the moment even if the nightclub staging did not do much to enhance the new vibe.

Sleek and volume: flowy dresses meet oversized and heavy outerwear – nothing is more sexy than revealing, here on Joan Smalls a black bolero jacket above a slim silk dress and matching black over-knees

What we liked the most?

From his days at Z Zegna we are used to Surridge’s bold play with volumes so all his tailoring with strong shoulders and big collars paired with sexy dresses looked new and made for a surprise combo. Joan Smalls wore a particular strong look in black with an bolero jacket over a bias cut, thigh exposing silk dress or an animal print jump suit styled with a brown crocodile skin bolero on model Nikki Vonsee.

Back to black: Paul Surridge displays his vision of utterly luxurious leather creations on the catwalk for Roberto Cavalli

Black leather?

Yes, it’s back. All black leather looks turn up on nearly every runway but Surridge made them minimal and streamlined accessorized with gold chain belts and nothing else.

Paul Surridge manages to impress with his Italian artisanship at Roberto Cavalli

The DNA?

There was strong feeling of Italian artisanship in the air especially the leather treatment and the embroideries, which looked expensive.

All that glitters is not gold – the Murano glass dresses don’t leave us speechless

The only flop?

The section of Murano glass colored coats and dresses did not work.

Well made – Paul Surridge also showed his tailoring talent in the menswear section of his womenswear défilé in Milano, here seen on model Fernando Cabral


Under Surridge Cavalli menswear has immediately become a plausible option. His experience at Jil Sander and Z Zegna make it clear that he is about cut and line, and his best look came on Fernando Cabral who wore a blue and black abstract animal print coat with a denim vest underneath, no shirt and tough brown croc pants. It sounds louche but it worked.


Prada F/W 2018

Spirit of Change: Milanese designer Miuccia Prada holds her Autumn-Winter Fashion Show 2018/19 in the new Fondazione Prada extension by Rem Koolhaas

Fashion moments are what our industry live for; meaning a collection, which jolts the audience and leaves room for myriads of interpretations. Miuccia Prada is a master at creating them and she did so again last night in Milan with an industrial power collection full of neon colored fetish nylon and unexpected styling tricks. While everyone sees the company in crisis mode, Prada and her design team seem to feed from the negative attitude and raise their design game to unexpected heights. This show was nothing else but simply cool. Opening with a black model and mixing signature odd styling tricks like rain boots and corsets with scallop-sequined multi color dresses and lots of nylon anoraks, Prada made a major statement for the power of freedom for women via clothes. Held in a new Fondazione Prada annex, which will soon feature her private art collection and a restaurant with original Philip Johnson New York Four Seasons restaurant furniture, the mood was upbeat and full of hope for what’s next in the world. Prada wants her women to step out into the night and feel protected.

Radiant contemporary – Prada knows how to respond to current events such as the Olympic Winter Games and therefore created her own Olympic team uniform in an iconic Prada Sport manner

The uniform?

While fashion is still in love with individualization where clothes are hand embroidered and hand painted, Prada makes a big statement for the uniform. As the Olympic winter games are on in Korea, the line up often felt like the unofficial outfits of an imaginary Eastern European Olympic team.

(left) the opening look on Anok Yai, a big black nylon puffed coatdress; (right) a modified Prada logo patch on a white leather jacket with neon-red contrasting fur lining

The statement?

“You know, people ask me about the #metoo movement and all I can say, I have been #metoo all my life. But I acknowledge, it’s dangerous for a woman to walk alone at night, you can feel insecure,” explained Prada post show surrounded by a larger than normal number of journalists and well wishers including Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola. Hence, the protective element of her big anoraks, which featured a new take on the Prada logo, was important.

Back to the future and beyond: with a twist on older Prada Sport designs, Miuccia Prada shows that she still remains ahead of the game

Prada Sport?

Let’s not forget, Prada was first here as well. When the fashion world still speaks about athleisure, Miuccia decided to bring back more looks from her pioneering Prada Sport collection on the women’s runway.

Referencing her own archive has always been Miuccia Prada’s secret recipe, thus she re-vitalizes her masterpiece from SS 2007, the leather fringe dress, into a synthetic neon-green fantasy


Neon is back at Prada in strong yellows and greens to energize the clothes.

Queen of Prints: Miuccia Prada morphes cool and modern industrial motives on coats and dresses

The soundtrack?

Italo disco anyone? Prada served up so much cheese on her soundtrack, which was a perfect counterpoint to the industrial vibe clothes.


Fendi F/W 2018

Not only Karl Lagerfeld celebrates his 50th anniversary at Fendi, for next Autumn Lagerfeld and Silvia Fendi honor the famous monogram of the Roman house

Karl Lagerfeld is seriously upset about what’s happening politically in Germany as he feels Angela Merkel’s soft immigration course has left room for right wing parties like the AfD to flourish. Lagerfeld is panic-stricken about this new right wing movement having lived through the Nazi regime as a teenager. Hence, he often skewers the German chanceloress via his outstanding political caricatures in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Magazin. That was the backstage chatter at Fendi while holding court with a group of German journalists. In fact, there was no need to talk politics but focus on fashion instead as Lagerfeld provided lots of polished and refined day clothes for the Roman house where he has been at the helm for more than 50 years.

Bold and strong: the big shoulder pat trend never seemed so appropriate in times of the #metoo movement


As Lagerfeld is one of the few living designers left who actually hand sketches his clothes before they get made, he is always about a clear and strong silhouette. Paying tribute to the big Eighties trend of big shoulders, his Fendi women came out with big, padded versions in capes, jackets and torso holders.

Fendi demonstrates with its new collaboration with artist Hey Reilly that even a old established fashion house can also surprise with contemporary elements and reinvent itself

What’s new?

Fendi has always been about fun in fashion and not taking itself too seriously. So the new collection featured collaboration designed by artist Hey Reilly, which copies the trademark “F.” F for Fendi or major Fashion. For sure, this shows Lagerfeld and Silvia Fendi’s Zeitgeist radar as sportswear continues to go high fashion. Fendi / Fila.

A fur ensemble, consisting of a tight-fitted jacket and mini skirt, above a big grey turtleneck combined with matching high cowboy boots which feature the iconic Fendi logo

Musical chairs?

Fendi also has a new CEO in Serge Brunschwig who comes from Dior Homme where former Fendi CEO Pietro Beccari has taken over. Lagerfeld loved working with Beccari who speaks fluent German and together with Silvia Fendi they put the house on rapid-fire growth. Brunschwig who speaks a little German has big boots to fill. But then they know how to appoint CEO’s at LVMH.

(left) a knee-length patent leather coat with logo print and checked boots; (right) a transparent nude blouse in combination with greige business pants and dark brown cowboy boots


While current fashion is obsessed with glamour evening wear or sportswear inspired clothes, it was refreshing to see that Lagerfeld and Silvia Fendi actually decided to make a major polished daywear statement.