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M: Alex Badia's Show Diaries 2014

Hello, Kanye! My cappuccino-driven tour of the new collections, feat. John Varvatos, Ermenegildo Zegna, Versace, Gucci, Armani, and Thom Browne.

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A spider

Photo By Barry Blitt

A treadmill

Photo By Barry Blitt

Appeared In
Special Issue
Menswear issue M Spring 2014

Day Three—Milan

 

I am awake, out of bed, and in the hotel gym—only to find a lady who is slowly promenading on the only treadmill. The rules of hotel-gym etiquette are clear, are they not? When there is only one treadmill, limit your workout to thirty minutes, max…


We begin at Emporio Armani, where the designer delivers a collection of skinny suits and tons of faux-fur outerwear. Then we rush to Marc Jacobs’ press-only exhibition, where Mordechai Rubinstein, the terribly amusing PR man, leads us through a collection inspired by Bryan Ferry (my hero): baggy suits, velvet dinner jackets, elongated bathrobe-like coats…


Gucci’s preview, with Frida Giannini, is next. After a prolonged screaming match between Gucci press reps and security guards at the backstage entrance, we are allowed in. Giannini walks us through an inspiration board based on Canadian artist Kris Knight and sixties fashion icons such as Marcello Mastroianni, Rudolf Nureyev, and Alain Delon…


Frida mentions that Alain Delon Jr. will be closing the show. I ask to meet him right away. I am totally obsessed with Alain Delon Sr., so anything that gets me closer to him, I want. Alain Jr. turns out to be a cool kid, as handsome as his dad…


We hit Tod’s at Villa Necchi Campiglio. (I love that place!) To our surprise, Diego Della Valle presents the launch of a complete ready-to-wear collection. It translates Della Valle’s bon-vivant aesthetic into buttery suede jackets and luxe shearling peacoats. Love…


Then it is on to Andrea Incontri. (I am starving, btw. We never seem to eat during these trips.) Incontri, who is someone to watch, goes for a blend of urban and athletic inspirations in a vibrant color palette—from rich mustard to burgundy and teal…


Etro celebrates the tailors who toil in the company’s small factories across Italy’s Apulia region by having them walk the runway with the models. The collection is centered on traditional tailoring and outerwear in English heritage patterns, such as tartans, checks, and plaids. The soundtrack is rooted in the Apulia region, with the obsessive rhythm of the tarantella. My sweet little coworker tells me the name “tarantella” originates in the myth of a girl doing a mad dance after being bitten by a tarantula. I love useless trivia…


At Canali, an adorable old man plays lovely tunes on a grand piano. Velvet blazers in powder pink, aubergine, and teal are among the highlights. The last show is Fendi. This collection is not for PETA supporters, considering the fur-heavy lineup and goatskin runway. I want it in my living room…


At night, we go to Superstudio+, where Boy George is deejaying. Bodyguards surround him, staring out at two thousand semi-naked, semi-drunk revelers…

Day Four—Milan


I awake with Fashion Week Fever. Soon, I am leaping out of a hired car stuck in Milan traffic, and I sprint to Giorgio Armani’s show (I am winded; I need to get to the gym) just in time to see a strong collection of softly tailored three-piece suits together with handsome belted coats and textured knits…


After a major cappuccino infusion, we head to Z Zegna, the younger and more fashion-forward brand from Ermenegildo Zegna. Paul Surridge presents an ultracool superhero on a futuristic set. The soundtrack is techno. I feel an urge to stay out all night. Four-button suits, hooded puffers, and voluminous topcoats are the collection’s most dramatic pieces…


I am relieved when we arrive at Roberto Cavalli, the final Milan show. And Cavalli hits every mark. Then again, I am the biggest lover of snake prints in the universe…


After that, I head off to re-sees, because, of course, I need to spend every waking moment seeing more, more, more! I love every second. Ciao, Italia…

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