Nearly 20,000 people crammed into the Piazza in front of the Duomo the night before Italy’s first general election in five years, which took place the following day, on Sunday. Even though it was pouring, they stood together in close proximity, trembling with collective excitement. In front of the towering church, a raised stage had been erected, and on each side were towers of floodlights and two large screens.
Next, a large group of individuals dressed in white puffer coats emerged from the building. The celebration of Moncler’s 70th anniversary had officially started, and it seemed as if the company had invited almost the whole of the city to come together and watch.
In spite of the fact that Italy was on the approach of electing its most far-right administration in decades, Italian fashion has been trending in the other way. The promise that the nation would soon have its first female prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, who is the head of the Brothers of Italy party, would normally have fashion designers babbling on about women in power and what it means to them; however, that is not the case this time. This time, the impending change in attitude has made its way onto the runways in a shape that is somewhat different.
Gaetano Pesce, an artist and architect who developed the whirling, colourful set with its hundreds of individual seats for the brand’s designer Matthieu Blazy, described the idea as an homage to variety and the characteristics that characterise us as he was sitting in the front row at Bottega Veneta. In subsequent years, Mr. Blazy referred to it as “the world in a little space.”
He celebrated that very thing by putting on a tour de force of a wardrobe variety show that ranged from the ordinary to the extraordinary. For example, Kate Moss wore what appeared to be a plaid flannel shirt over a white tank and faded jeans. On the other end of the spectrum was a trio of calf-length dresses in kumquat, lemon, and light blue that were covered in thousands of feathery filaments that seemed to undulate in the air.
In the middle were a variety of pick-your-personality options, such as pantsuits with the seams pinched together to create little raised fins at the back of the calves and arms, and stunning knit jacquard dresses that resembled abstract landscapes and hugged the shoulders and finished in deep-pile fringe. Other options included pantsuits with the seams pinched together to create little raised fins at the back of the calves and arms. A turquoise leather skirt sprang a garden of three-dimensional flowers from beneath a skinny ribbed knit, and filigree ivory slip dresses came scattered with furry pastel blooms and hung with iridescent beading like drops of water. Similarly, a turquoise leather skirt sprouted a garden of three-dimensional flowers beneath a skinny ribbed knit. All of this is held together by meticulous skill and an open-hearted attitude. And the notion that there are no tyrants with a design background operating here.
To answer the question of what goddesses of freedom wear, it would seem that they liberated themselves from the tyranny of good taste in the 1990s by dressing in the same manner as goth moto rebels. That meant frayed and shortened black leathers, ripped peekaboo jersey, animal-print transparent shirting worn over hipster cargos, and miniature lacy lingerie pieces in neon Barbie colours, replete with wedding veils.
And it meant that Paris Hilton strutted her stuff as a surprise conclusion in a shimmering pink crystal minidress. This appeared to be a Teflon gesture to the current trend of re-examining the narrative around the women who were societal punching bags at the start of the century.
Certainly, it permeated the Gucci presentation, which was titled “Twinsburg.” It included 68 pairs of identical twins and was inspired by the designer Alessandro Michele’s mother and her identical twin sister, who helped raise him. The concept of the “other” also had a role in the inspiration for this collection.
In the audience, they planted models who clambered out of their seats dressed in basic mufti and then down the runway to disappear through a revolving door. Their doppelgangers then emerged in entirely new, brightly coloured geometrics like a parade of Supermen from their phone booths. In the end, the show was a success.
In light of everything that took place, Walter Chiapponi’s collection for Tod’s, which was full of buttery leathers in fifty different shades of camel and greige and was displayed in the shadow of Anselm Kiefer’s towering installation “The Seven Heavenly Palaces,” appeared to be shockingly disjointed in comparison. Even with Carla Bruni, who served as France’s first lady during a previous administration, to kick things started.