Eric Wilson's Front Row Diary: A Fancy Pants Ending to Milan Fashion Week
Milan Fashion Week ended with pants.
And not just any pants, but a fancy pants parade at Giorgio Armani, where the designer, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary in business this year, took the opportunity to propose trousers as a staple for fall (pictured, above).
Of Armani’s 85 looks, all but roughly 10 were shown with tapered pants, cropped just above the ankle to show a little skin above the shoes, as if he were adding a visual exclamation point to each look. There were silvery metallic pants shown with fitted blazers, two-tone gray pantsuits, pants worn with knit fur ponchos in iridescent colors like the inside of an oyster shell, pants with big blue or green sweaters, and pants for evening, worn with tops embroidered with swirling motifs or capped with wide cummerbunds to make the waists read high.
He even invented something new – pants with a skirt attached. Several of them were made from a complicated pattern on which the skirt extended from the sides of the knees, with a slit up the front to reveal the trousers beneath. The collection closed with more traditional gowns in bright pink with ruffled bodices, but the pants stole the show, and emphatically so. It’s a strong statement, and Armani made his point. Or point!
By now, most of us have come to accept that Dan and Dean Caten of the energetic label DSquared2 are anything but politically correct. Still, I wonder how much hot water they’ll be in after showing a collection called “tribal aristocracy.” Their models – mostly blondes, mind you – were dressed in fur coats inspired by Canadian Indian tribes, complete with bags that replicated Native American beading and included high-heeled moccasins, mixed with elements of military uniforms with gold rope details that were inspired by “the noble spirit of Old Europe” (pictured, above right). The Catens, I’m guessing, saw nothing potentially offensive here, and even if they did, I doubt that would have stopped them.
Finally, before we move on to the collections in Paris, a note on the Missoni collection (pictured, above left), which had a tougher edge and a punk vibe (well, as far as you can say punk in knitwear). The oversize blazer that opened the show, over knit tights with a veined marble decoration, looked fresh, and the wavy dresses that followed showed that this is one family that will never run out of ways to zigzag.