After recouping from the madness that is fashion month, I’ve had some time to really evaluate the Milan and Paris FW16 fashion shows. While New York and London FW16 shows left me stoked about outwear and dresses, the bold separates and details from the Milan and Paris collections leave me inspired.
Milan and Paris are known for their exceptional craftsmanship, couture-like details and heritage-heavy fashion houses.Combining these attributes with modern attitudes and open-minded approaches to fashion design and styling make the Milan and Paris FW16 collections even more of a treat.
Summing it up for the season, here’s part two of our FW16 coverage:
Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that Prada’s FW16 collection has a dedicated theme. Featuring an array of 50s and vintage military references, the collection contains mixed materials, bonnets, corseting details, bold accessories and dark colors. Aside from that, fall staples also make an appearance, such as ruby red lips, leather, boots, outwear and knits, which in turn makes the collection as accessible as it is aspirational.
2. Jil Sander
Doing what Jil Sander does best, the brand showcases classic, minimalist pieces that are both modern, feminine and slightly edgy. Take the metallic dress (above), for example, the deep-v neckline, thin straps and moderate hemline create an interesting approach to femininity and sexiness. Jil Sander’s FW16 collection also played with proportions with the addition of slightly oversized outerwear, tall boots and pointy toed heels.
3. Dolce & Gabbana
Taking a break from its traditionally Spanish vibes, Dolce & Gabbana enters into new territory with its FW16 collection with the inclusion of embroidered mice, nutcrackers and flowers upon A-line silhouettes, pencil skirts and blouses. A princess/fairy tale theme is in full force with the addition of bows, headpieces and lots and lots of sparkles. Cinderella would be proud.
Despite the amazing metallics, brocade and highly-saturated hues in Fendi’s FW16 collection, fur with personality is the power-player. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to fans of the brand as Fendi always dominates the fur cateogry. And, with an array of powder blue, orange, emerald and violet streaks throughout its most prominent fur pieces in its FW16 collection, it certainly sets a new standard for bold fall fashion. Even if real fur isn’t your thing (which I totally get), you can’t help but be stoked about the faux versions that are sure to emerge via Fendi inspiration – I’m talking fur ball keychains on a whole new level.
Etro’s FW16 collection contains practical, yet fashionable, separates. This sensibility sets it apart from the many brands that prefer the “more is more” approach. Basically, this is the collection that real people can get away with wearing in the real world on a daily basis, and its done well. Styled in a layered fashion with sleek hair and deep makeup, the collection has a laid-back, boho vibe that’s perfect for sophisticated bonfires, cider mill visits and other fall activities. Featuring an array of floral pieces in earthy tones and soft pinks, greens and blues, the collection also has an air of romanticism that’s sure to pick up steam as we get closer to fall/winter.
6. Louis Vuitton
I still have a hard time believing that Marc Jacobs is no longer steering the ship at Louis Vuitton. Like, I get that it’s been more than a couple seasons since he departed but it constantly escapes my mind. This isn’t because the brand has gone downhill since he left. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Nicolas Ghesquière (the current creative director) has managed to seamlessly assert his vision into the brand’s aesthetic, making the transition to a new designer over the past couple years seem effortless and appropriate. Channeling our inner mall goth and varsity sports team, Louis Vuitton FW16 takes the cake for cohesion and Ghesquière, once again, proves that he’s an expert at his craft.
Valentino is always very Valentino; aka, there’s nothing the iconic fashion house can’t seem to do. The brand’s FW16 collection contains pieces that are not only absolutely stunning (thanks to intricate beading, craftsmanship and luxurious fabrics), but it also carries an ethereal vibe that only Valentino is truly able to pull off. With a mix of pretty pastels, deep burgundies, and neutral earthy tones, the collection is cohesive and brings a new delicacy to fall style.
While Balmain doesn’t necessarily veer away from its iconic figure-hugging sillhouttes completely, the FW16 collection for the french fashion brand does feature a ton of new design details and surprises that have me swooning. Models swapping hair colors for the show was certainly an exciting beauty decision. However, more traditionally feminine details such as ruffles, lace and high necklines displayed prominently throughout the collection have even more of a “wow” factor. Instead of coming off as delicate (which these details have the tendency to do), the addition of them make the pieces fierce and subtly sexy, which the Balmain girl is always able to pull off.
9. Saint Laurent
Truth time: this was not my favorite FW16 collection. In fact, it was probably one of my least favorites. I love the caliber of design that Saint Laurent represents, and, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the work that Hedi Slimane has produced for the house. Yet, this collection seems a little lackluster and random. Yet, given that it is Slimane’s very last collection for Saint Laurent (and a surprise couture one at that), it didn’t seem right to not include it in the lineup. Because although this collection mainly focused on mini-dresses, large fur accents and not-so-subtle 80s references (metallics, sequins, wide belts, bizarre prints, one shoulder tops and large ruffles), its a sign that Slimane was able to reinvent and revitalize the house throughout his tenure. Needless to say, I look forward to seeing how both he and Saint Laurent evolve separately.
While not everybody may get Vetements’ out-of-the-box approach to fashion and style, I have to admit that the brand is on to something. Veering away from the prim and proper attitude of the main-stage Paris fashion darlings, Vetements embodies a spirit that is as confusing as it is compelling. The FW16 collection for the brand features an array of separates that mix and mesh together to create interesting silhouettes, such as sweat suits, thigh-high boots, graphic tees, circle skirts and oversized outerwear. Vetements has a new take on what it means to be stylish, and we’re all for it.
What are your favorite collections from the FW16 Milan and Paris runway shows? Let us know in the comment section below.