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Milan fashion week: Less is more at Prada, Arbesser keeps it personal

The Prada collection featured a mix of basics with staying power — simple suits, knit skirts and top combos — alongside more adorned pieces like beaded overcoats that can become heirlooms.

Milan fashion week, Milan fashion week The prada A model wears a creation as part of the Prada Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan. (Source: AP Photo)

Sustainability is coming into even sharper focus at Milan Fashion Week. The industry is seeking to show its mettle in big and small ways after 32 leading fashion companies signed off on a set of shared goals presented to the leaders of the Group of 7 industrial nations.

That can mean experimental textiles and ecological materials, or editing a collection down to its purest form, getting rid of excesses. Hitting a balance is a challenge for designers, facing the demand for constant novelty while trying to maintain a socially responsible profile.

Less is more at Prada

Already essential, Muccia Prada is trying a less-is-more aesthetic, also in support of a sustainable agenda. The Prada collection featured a mix of basics with staying power — simple suits, knit skirts and top combos — alongside more adorned pieces like beaded overcoats that can become heirlooms. Prada said the idea she was trying to convey was that the person wearing the garments “is more important than the fashion.”

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The sometimes austere looks at times summoned images or elements of puritans, nuns, and schoolmarms — all with a subversive fashion edge. Textiles formed the leitmotiv of the collection: heavy male wools, rough silk and muslin. The collection opened with a fine-knit grey sweater and straight light rose muslin skirt, introducing muslin as a mainstay of the collection.

A model wears a creation as part of the Prada Spring-Summer 2020 collection, unveiled during the fashion week, in Milan. (Source: AP Photo)

Other pieces included simple, sweet summer dresses fastened at the shoulders with bows, and tiered looks, perhaps contrasting velvet panels at the neck, like a soft judicial frill. Mix-and-match suits featured two-button blazers in blue over grey button-down shirts and wide-legged brown trousers, for a look of classic ease.

The only real adornments were sequin leaf patterns on skirts and overcoats. The work about subtraction, Prada said, is to counter a prevailing sense “that there is too much of everything.” The looks were finished with floppy rain hats — often in gold or silver lame — and flat or heeled loafers and sandals. Shell jewellery had a do-it-yourself feel, as did rattan and bucket bags, with nautical knots forming the handles.

“It’s simple, without being minimalist,” Prada said. Nicole Kidman, rapper A$AP Rocky and director Wes Anderson — a long-time Prada collaborator — were among the front-row guests.

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Arthur Arbesser tells his own fashion story in his latest collection, taking inspiration from his grandmother’s love of textiles and her Transylvanian heritage. “There is so much of everything. The only way to do it is to do it personally, tell a story that is really your story. Otherwise, there is no point is there?” the Milan-based Austrian designer said after the show.

The collection featured patchwork pieces of textiles form Arbesser’s previous collections — dresses, vests, trousers and shirts for him and for her — inspired by a recently discovered trove of his grandmother’s fabrics from her wardrobe spanning the 1930s to the 1980s.

First published on: 19-09-2019 at 05:00:55 pm
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