Since its official founding in 1943, Fashion Week has become a staple in every socialite’s calendar. Industry events are organized around the world throughout February and September, but the true excitement is reserved for what’s known amongst insiders as the “Big 4” – fashion weeks held in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Typically events in New York are the most accessible to the general public, closely followed by London. In the elite fashion capitals of Milan and Paris, entrance tickets are harder to come by. These two hubs of haute couture each hold high esteem in the fashion world, but while Paris is well regarded for its rich history and big names, Milan is more notable for its flamboyant showmanship.
In 2017, Milan Fashion Week will open on January 14th with the first of the menswear shows. The womenswear Fall/Winter 17 shows will commence on February 22nd, and continue until February 28th.
See Now, Buy Now
Fashion weeks have always been held in-between seasons because, in the past, they served as a preview of what was to come. But as technology has evolved over time, so too has the way we shop.
Today’s fast-paced world leaves little patience for scheduled releases, and improved technology in production houses means that designers are better equipped to satiate their consumers’ impatience. Fashion Week 2016 debuted an exciting development in retail, allowing attendees to buy the clothes on display during or after runway shows.
Each designer took put their own twist on this “see now, buy now” phenomenon, with techniques varying from coordinating online releases with the show’s opening to launching pop-up shops on site. A handful of famous names such as Diane von Furstenberg participated last season, and even more are expected to follow suit in 2017.
While tech may be cutting down waiting times following Fashion Week’s main events, it seems there is still some appetite for anticipation, with previews giving audiences a teaser of what to expect at the season’s shows. January’s Pre-Fall 2017 previews have already given us an idea of the trends that look set to dominate Milan’s catwalks this year.
The phenomenon of trends running full circle is well established in fashion, it seems 2017 will be no exception. The 70s are particularly en vogue this fall, with designers such as Jonathan Simkhai focusing on flare, and Coach’s collection favoring retro midi length cuts.
Another comeback fashion seems to be the pantsuit, perhaps spurred on by Hillary Clinton’s re-emergence in the public spotlight. Chanel’s creative director, Karl Lagerfield, champions this classic look as always.
And moving away from the severe in favor of a style more romantic, Italian designers such as Versace and Valentino have focused on sheer fabrics in their new season lines, using clever detailing to work it into ready-to-wear looks.
The Pre-Fall Previews highlighted some of the industry’s most iconic names, but even more are expected to make appearances at Milan Fashion Week. In fact, 2017 is expected to host more shows than ever before.
Since the official Milan Fashion Week was established by the Italian Chamber of Fashion in 1958, it has served as a platform for international designers and a particular point of pride for Italian craftsmen. Luxury Italian fashion houses such as Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi have consistently hosted both menswear and womenswear shows in the city.
It’s also expected that a number of notable names will be spotted in the audiences. Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway and Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Caroline, Princess of Hanover have both been pictured at events in the past.
Another name making waves in the industry recently is Maria Grazia Chirui, who was recently appointed as the creative director for Dior and debuted her first ready-to-wear collection in at the Spring 2017 Paris Fashion Week.
Chirui is the first woman to hold this coveted position, and she used her platform to highlight gender issues with a boldly feminist collection that made headlines across the world. From the t-shirts proudly proclaiming that “We should all be feminists” to the gender-fluid silhouettes that took inspiration from sports such as fencing.
It’s expected that this trend for activism in art will continue, and that more designers will be showcasing collections with a cause at Milan Fashion Week.
Color of the Year
One popular cause that’s taken the art world by storm is environmentalism – and it shows no sign of settling down. In fact, this year’s Pantone Color of the Year is Greenery – a theme chosen for its association with nature.
Pantone announced its first Color of the Year in 2000, and since then it has played an integral role in shaping art and fashion trends. As well as featuring heavily in color palettes, this year’s choice is expected to influence designers and consumers to focus on minimalism. The company quoted Vivienne Westwood’s “buy less, choose well, make it last” as one of the inspirations behind the theme.
From beautiful color palettes to novel shopping options, it seems that Milan Fashion Week will be one full of excitement and innovation.