MM6 offers aperitifs in Milan, GCDS hits the club at the beach
Following the sporty runway presentation from Boss, which opened proceedings in a baseball stadium, the second day of Milan Fashion Week ended beautifully on Thursday, with two playful shows that were full of freshness and fantasy. MM6 chose to show at La Belle Aurore, a Milanese bar with a deliciously retro charm, while GCDS revealed a futuristic aquatic film that was equal parts quirky and fantastical.
For its first physical show in Milan, MM6, which has previously shown in London and New York, went all out. Having shown on the Italian calendar for two seasons, Maison Margiela's contemporary line, which was launched in 1997 and is still designed by an anonymous collective, took over La Belle Aurore, an authentic-feeling bar with fashionably outdated decor that's remained unchanged for more than 30 years. In fact, the show commandeered the whole street around the bar, setting up an expansive terrace where guests could sip on aperitifs while they waited for the fun to start.
As waiters in black jackets ducked in and out of the bar with trays full of drinks, the show's spectators could sample snacks charmingly presented in little white boxes, placed atop red and white checked napkins that also served as invitations. "The idea was for all of us to meet up again finally, and to celebrate this reunion with a drink, in a celebratory spirit," explained a house spokesperson.
The atmosphere was good natured, with neighbors stepping out onto their front steps to watch the commotion with curiosity. Suddenly, the first model, dressed in a white suit featuring a jacket with three sleeves, strode down from the end of the street and entered the bar. She was followed by another model in a black satin sheath and long, glamourous gloves.
That's when the party started. The Fellini-inspired soundtrack mixed Nino Rota classics with Italian hits from the 1950s to create a very Dolce Vita ambiance. As always, the collection was inspired by the archives of the inventive Martin Margiela and featured more than a touch of irreverence, as seen in a kraft paper suit that was cinched with a belt made of string.
Then, out of nowhere, the show took a turn, transforming into a kind of Halloween parade with a series of looks featuring a psychedelic harlequin pattern and large clown-like ruffs, not to mention a net top that resembled a giant spiderweb. There was even a pointy witch hat and a gothic black dress with a jagged hem.
It is into an entirely different universe that GCDS seeks to transport viewers with its chic and sexy, dreamlike video, directed by designer Giuliano Calza, which takes place in a futuristic red planet-esque environment with never-ending dunes. "I imagined an island, a fantastical underwater world where I would like to have gone after the dark period that we have been through," explains Calza.
"The aesthetic is light and summery, a bit 70s, with a very glam side and thousands of crystals. As though I've recreated Studio 54 on an island," muses the designer, who has upped his game once again with this ultra-rich collection, which focuses on details and embellishments. Perched on maxi-platform sandals with vertiginous 25cm heels, the models walk through their mysterious environment in sparkly, ultra-short outfits.
Lurex cardigans allude to the sun setting over the sea with a red-orange-pink dégradé that finally plunges into gray-blue. A pair of denim shorts is covered in teardrop-shaped stones, while certain tracksuits are sprinkled with a shower of sequins. Mini tulle tunics are also decorated with crystals. On a handful of pop-print pieces, one can make out characters from hit Japanese manga series One Piece.
The marine theme, as seen through the playful prism of GCDS, runs through the whole of this Spring/Summer 2022 collection. The One Piece "Straw Hat Pirates" skull and crossbones logo is repeated to make up the structure of a cut-out crochet dress elevated with cabochon emeralds. The same pattern also appears in a look combining a top with a maxi-fringed miniskirt. Elsewhere, three panels of organza in the shape of a wave come together to create a jacket featuring different shades of blue, while an impalpable azure blouse recalls the sea.
Coats in pink denim seem to have been bleached by the sun and saltwater. Retro swimming caps are crocheted like fishnets and decorated with pearls. Large raffia hats and bags complete the wardrobe, which has been designed with vacations and a return to happier times in mind. "I had a lot of fun making this collection. Everything seems simple at first glance, but there's a huge amount of craftsmanship and research behind each piece," emphasizes Calza.
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