Architecture played a starring role in the A/W 2016 womenswear shows at Milan Fashion Week, with sets taking cues from everything from the Bauhaus to the medieval towers of Giotto’s paintings. Here, are the season’s best show spectacles.
Gucci returned to a converted railway shed on via Valtellina this season. Celebrating his first year on the job, Alessandro Michele collaborated with Brooklyn street artist GucciGhost (known for his stylised Gucci logo street etchings) for his A/W 2016 collection. Models – decked out in graffiti-esque prints, and bold, single colour ensembles – tottered along a catwalk flanked by digital screens showing flashing graphics that morphed into ghostly floral arrangements as the show progressed.
A double staircase and a gold scaffolding rig dominated the stage at Max Mara’s Bauhaus-inspired catwalk show in the Neo-classical Palazzo Serbelloni. Creative Director Ian Griffiths called on Chameleon Visuals to design the set for his collection, which featured bold stripes and bright colours.
Fendi’s creative tandem of Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini showed the colourful frills and furs of their new collection in the label’s Milan showroom, designed by architect Marco Constanzi. The space was transformed into a polka-dot, neon-lit runway as models, notably Kendall Jenner, took to the stage.
Miuccia Prada’s A/W 2016 collection explored themes of femininity, drawing on what the designer called ’the different dramas of women at different moments, when she’s happy, when she’s in pain, when she’s beautiful, when she’s horrible’. Dutch studio AMO – the research arm of Rem Koolhaas’ firm OMA – drew on theatres built for public trials of heretics during the Spanish Inquisition for the catwalk presentation at the Prada HQ in Milan.
Designer Jeremy Scott opted for a theatrical runway to showcase his latest collection for Moschino – inspired by cigarettes. Upturned pianos, toppled sofas and furniture were stacked in pyres on a set designed by AMO inside Scuola Militare Teuliè. Models tottered down the runway to a soundtrack of Britney Spears and Talking Heads, wearing accessories including cigarette carton handbags emblazoned with ‘Fashion kills’ slogans and smouldering ragged gowns that looked cigarette-burnt.
Italian design duo Formafantasma created the bold backdrop for Sportmax’s Moroccan-inspired catwalk show at Salone dei Tessuti Via San Gregorio 29. Red, black and white industrial foam towers – drawing on the architectural elements found in Giotto’s medieval paintings – lined the catwalk, contrasting with coats and patchwork sleeves that mimicked Persian rug patterns and ceramic tiles.
Designer Antonio Marras took inspiration from the letters of Adèle Hugo for his catwalk A/W 2016 collection. Hugo – the youngest of writer Victor Hugo’s five children – suffered from erotomania and schizophrenia, and developed a romantic obsession with a British officer who eventually rejected her. A Victorian reed garden was the setting for the show, which featured roll top bathtubs planted with reeds.
For designer Rodolfo Paglialunga’s third collection for Jil Sander, Without Production created a black-and-white catwalk stage at the label’s showroom. The shadowy outlines of illuminated industrial-style windows added an element of drama to an otherwise minimal setting.
Massimiliano Giornetti drew on the bold colours and geometry of the Bauhaus for his A/W 2016 collection for Salvatore Ferragamo. The Italian fashion house used the 20th-century Palazzo Mazzanotte, the heart of the Italian Stock exchange, as its venue and pulled in the talents of architect Alessandro Paterno to create a kaleidoscopic, technicolour catwalk.
The golden hall of gentlemen’s club Società del Giardino – housed inside the 16th-century Palazzo Spinola – provided an elegant backdrop for Roberto Cavalli’s show, produced by Bureau Betak. A golden carpet cut straight through rows of velvet upholstered chairs, while enormous chandeliers set the mood.