Milan Fashion Week makes room for young talent
Fashion Week for women's wear is about to invade Milan from February 19 to 24 and is said to be a transition phase before the great revolution promised by the Chamber of Italian Fashion. The schedule is an intense one, packed with runway shows, showrooms, store openings and special evening events.
On the program are 144 ready-to-wear collections for fall-winter 2014/2015, compared to 147 last September. With 65 runway shows and 72 presentations, the fashion marathon will run five and a half days, alternating between big names and young designers.
Striking is the presence of very young emerging Italian designers, who began appearing on the scene a few seasons ago and now seem to be ensconced on the calendar — a shake-up for the traditional Milan Fashion Week, which is primarily focused on big names.
Is this a symbol of change? For the first time, the week will kick off with a show by Milanese designer Chicca Lualdi, who will present her Chicca Lualdi Beequeen line Wednesday, February 19, at 9:30. Also part of this new generation of Made in Italy designers are Cristiano Burani, MSGM, Roberto Musso or Uma Wang.
Other rising stars to watch include Marco De Vincenzo, who has been making a name for himself the past few seasons, as well as two people in particular: Fausto Puglisi, Emanuel Ungaro's stylist, and Italian-Haitian designer Stella Jean. Their shows will be among the most popular of the week!
Many names are also having the first-ever runway show on the Milan catwalks, starting with Au Jour le Jour. This new brand was launched in 2010 by Mirko Fontana and Diego Marque and is known for its cool and ironic style and pop prints. The show will take place in the Giorgio Armani theater.
Another new name is the Korean brand Heohwan Simulation, whose show is part of a collaborative project between the Camera della Moda and the city of Seoul.
And the Chamber of Italian Fashion has selected four novice designers in their early twenties as part of its "Next generation" competition that gives promising talents access to a runway show. This year's winners are Davide Grillo, Daniele Vigiani Martina Cella and Marco Rambaldi.
"We are promoting as a completely new initiative that offers a fashion school a space in which it can showcase the most creative work of its students. This season, we have invited Istituto Marangoni. We are open to welcoming other schools, including foreign ones for the next seasons," said Jane Reeve, CEO of the Camera della Moda.
The economic crisis did force a number of brands to give up their spots. Small Italian brands such as Paola Frani, Jo No Fui or Milan Schön have shown in Milan for years but had to cancel their runway shows for this round. . Meanwhile emerging talent Bratis Angelo had to settle for a showroom presentation. Last September, he had a runway show, thanks to the support of the Chamber.
Otherwise, the biggest names in Italian fashion will participate in the Milan marathon as usual. Gucci opens the ball Wednesday, February 19, followed by Prada, Fendi and Moschino Thursday, February 20. And the fashion world is avidly waiting to see the first Moschino collection by Jeremy Scott.
The schedule for Friday, February 21 includes Blumarine, Etro, the first collection by Graeme Black for Les Copains, and Versace, followed on 22 February by Bottega Veneta, Ermanno Scervino, Roberto Cavalli, Antonio Marras and Jil Sander.
Sunday February 23, Marni, Trussardi, Missoni and Salvatore Ferragamo will show their collections, with Dolce & Gabbana showing outside the calendar. And closing the week are Dsquared2 and Giorgio Armani on Febraury 24.
The one big absence this year is Gianfranco Ferré, who also abandoned men's Fashion Week in January. At the end of 2013, the Dubai company Paris Group, which bought the Italian brand in 2011, fired designers Stefano Citron and Federico Piaggi and sold the Milan headquarters of the famous couture designer, cutting all the brand's ties with Italy.
Besides the catwalk schedule, Milan Fashion Week features a packed roster of events and parties, starting with the announcement of the winner of the Woolmark Prize competition on Friday, February 21.
A number of store renovations and openings will also add sparkle to the evening program. February 19, Giambattista Valli and Golden Goose Deluxe Brand will host store openings. On February 21, Giorgio Armani will inaugurate a store just for accessories.
Other openings include Atos Lombardini, La Perla, Maurizio Pecoraro, and Gherardini with special guest Jade Jagger. On February 22, Marella will celebrate its new store with an appearance from Milla Jovovich and Robert Cavalli will open its largest flagship store in the world on Via Montenapoleone.
A number of fashion showrooms will also run in parallel from 22 to 24 February: White, Super, Mipap and the new Milan trade fair for accessories, Fashion Factory.
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