Milan Fashion Week S/S14 / by Mike Tyle

Alberta Ferretti: I get that the theme was South America but man did the people at Ferretti turn basket weaving Peru into the girliest thing ever! Flowers and lace and ruffles, oh my. Aside from that it was giving me D&G vibes. Take that as you will.

Aquilano.Rimondi: Just when you think tropical flowers, gag me. These guys show a whole new way to go about it and make it awesome and new. Throw in some neoprene THE fabric of the past couple seasons add some jewel tones and voila beauty! Possibly one of the best shows of the season.

Armani: Only 57 looks. I say that in genuine surprise since last season had oh... 85? Finally 28 less colorways. Albeit meticulously made, still has that 1980's power suit silhouettes, that all look the same. I'm just telling it how I see it. 

Bottega Veneta: Oh shit, that was some good stuff. This is how you do pleats and not in a hot mess 80's prom dress way. The best of SS14. I always feel like people don't talk about the genius that is Tomas Maier, like they do Muccia, he always brings it every season in a paired down high luxury classic yet cutting edge way. This season his fabric choices were on point especially the quality seen in the raw edge and feather looks that seemed to melt into the dresses. Don't even get me started on those Japanese-esque pleating techniques, ugh the craftsmanship is killing me. The somber spring colors also were spot on in my opinion especially for the customer and price level. These are items that are unique and timeless. Shut it down! 

Bluemarine: High-end Bebe.

Dolce & Gabbana: Been there done that 5 seasons going now... I would have fine but those gold coins ruined it for me oh and those laughable pillar shoes.

Etro: Someone could have edited this to 40 looks and that still would have been more than enough paisely. I really liked the other prints very retro and nice. I thought the shoes didn't really match the collection, much too flashy where as I was getting more of an explorer, hand made embroidery, fabric mix indian vibe from the rest of the outfits.

Fausto Puglisi: Very Italina. Sexy, summer, fun. I really was surprised by the tropical palm tree motif throughout the show was not overwheling even though it was in a majority of looks and in different techniques. Though I didn't really like the rounded skirts I as I felt they awkard looking and really won't transfer well off a runway, it looked like they took a sphere and chopped it in half. The leather details however were nice and added a sexy juxtapostion to the easy beach theme. hair and make-up were spot on.

Fendi: I feel like Fendi is often looked over also I feel like Karl Lagerfeld is only looked at as the face of Chanel. It's too bad becuase in my opinon Fendi is always much stronger and frankly more interesting than Chanel. I understand it is a different customer, much like his own lines are but still Fendi is where it is at. Usually bright and geometic with intersting fabric mixes this season was no different.

Ferragamo: The pinstripe peices remindiend me of Stella McCartney only I liked hers better... maybe it was becuase of the colorway. I was feeling the 90's minimalism. At first I wasn't too into the snakeskin but I thought it really added a nice contrast to the soft feimine looks and brought life to the otherwise drab palette. This season showed as well how good Ferragamo is at making a trench coat they really rivals Burberry in technique. The skirts and leather peices were very nice as well as the small lingerie detials hinted with the laced up jackets.

Gucci: About as casual as Gucci has ever been but minus sweat pants and add some mesh to the eqaution. Still sexy and perfect for a nightclub mixed with art nevau detailing. Ok, basically those 2 sentences sound redicoulous but it's true. Jeweltones and black coloration helped to mix both themes of port and classic illustration. Some of the looks near the end were a bit tacky and heavy on the shimmer.

Jil Sander: Sad. Mostly becuase I have always held the brand to such a high expectation and it's not to say that this season was bad, I found that the magic was still in the details. The problem is Jil Sander always offered something quite and clean and which unexpecdedly gave so much with using so little and now it seems that the look has grown more and more with many other designer taking on the Jil esthetic and making it their own. One thing for sure those 90's belts with the sliver trim were a bit tacky.

Marco de Vincenzo: A young designer with only a few seasons under his belt but showing stronger collections each season. This time around he still brought a  feminine, italian apporach to luxury. Many 50's style dresses with fabric mix ranging from dangling bits to sewn eyeltes and ombre beading (my fave), I was also really intrgued by his knit pieces (look 31 & 32 I am takling about you) and hope he delves deeper into knitwear next season. A clean strong pallete with metallics and grey undertones brought the line together nicely.

Marni: A different direction for a Marni collection. The pants were cool but sadly not everyone has a model leg length. The accessories were still typical Marni quirky, chunky, atypical and intersting.

MaxMara: The minimalist in me wanted to love all of it but the pantyhose ruined it for me. The handkerchiefs were very Rochas. I really loved the details- fabric, cut, color... but I found the backside of that last look was just... nope.

Missoni: A very un-Missoni collection! Usually when one thinks of Missoni they already know what to expect and I am sure that will never change but for the main womens collection this season they surprised the consumer with something different. Still knit but not as busy and zig-zaggy as usual (it was still there, don't worry!) instead cleaner pallette with warm hues of purple, pink, orange... added to motifs of birds and waves at the beginning which later turned to jutting rock structures. The dresses taking on a more blankety sari look when it came to the drapping often including printed knit structures. Unlike when Wang or DNKY produced items with their name written all over it I found the subtly and artful way the brand was shown on tops and purses cut out in a rubber print or leather looked right. The peices with open knit strands sometimes beaded near the end really took the collection up a notch whereas the crazy ponytails where distracting.

No. 21:  I know it has been around for a few seasons but I have to admit it is always one of my favorite shows each season. The looks are always on point and really nice. This season the clothes started out dark and sexy with sheer looks that were seen throughout and then turned as well to lighter white jewel embellished shirts and tropical print, which I was surprised by but also really liked how they spun it and used the leaves to create embroidered cut outs and printed pieces. A different take on a trend we have been seeing sporadically season.

Prada: The reason why Prada will always be in my top 5 is the clothes really are something that makes you think twice. Usually upon first inspection they can be garish and not commercial but when you really inspect the garments it all makes sense. And again I am in love. This season was no different at first I was not impressed but I let it all sink in and as always STUNNED. The use of  jewel encrusted trompe l'oeil bra tops, multi-color furs, printed women and sporty knit elements just goes to show that Muccia is her own person and creates trends how she see's fit,

Pucci: Pucci meets hip-hop meets Africa. You have to leave it to Dundas for designing a collection that as always is sexy, sporty and full of jet-setting glamour. The heavyweight belts were a bit distracting as well as Julia Nobis and Hanelore, not that they aren't great models they just don't fit the Pucci aesthetic for me. Instead I want to see Victoria Secret type girls not filler. As with almost all high-end runway fashion brands I often wonder how the sell through is. Pucci has the brand history a company needs and are well known for their prints which I am sure still sell well. The runway looks always exude glamour the Pucci print money allows them to be known for for but I sadly can't imagine the majority of the runway collection are money makers since the styles are for a very specific model-esque elite. Plus they aren't well known for perfumes or bags which is how most brands seem to be funded nowadays. Regardless I loved the no make-up and tussled hair look. And another positive note as always Pucci makes a sexy shoe and this season was no different.

Roberto Cavalli: One thing can be said about Cavalli. He is consistent. I can't lie, usually something like Cavalli would go against all that I hold true to my design aesthetic. With most any other designer I would hate on such garish, flamboyant styles but for some reason I can't help but always get into it some Cavalli bling. This season like any other you know to expect sexy, boho-chic, animal print, embellishment, tassels, lace... you get the picture. This season was all about shine. As always you really need to get up close and personal with the garments to see the details and how intricate the pieces are. From afar it was a bit of a textured Tinman effect near the beginning of the show and then a lacy sea foam patchwork hippy section followed by a sharp turn into black and white. Those Muumuus however are something I can not get behind.

Versace: Leave it to Donatella and her hard rocker ways. This season had Versace going back to their rocker roots complete with concert T's, denim and chains. I wasn't feeling this collection as much as I have past seasons (S11, F010, F09, S09 I am looking at you) but as someone who is not the target market I can still see many pieces that the Versace girl and drag queen will love. Hello those shoes! I did like the use of the medusa head on the bags and when mixed with chains on several of the dresses. Also, Lindsey Wixson's hair in it's current state is not Versace worthy.