MFW: The crisis is bringing out talent

Tuesday, 27 September 2011
The fashion week staged in Milan from 21st to 27th September is one with several faces. It’s international: in terms of the brands and buyers that have come from all over the world; democratic: because the initiatives that have involved non-experts have multiplied; difficult: the crisis is making itself felt. In any event, there was no lack of creativity or talent on the catwalks. This fashion week has also been one of the hottest of recent years: the cult object on the floor of the 72 fashion shows was the fan. Italian politics was the central topic of discussion whilst waiting for the fashion parades to start. And with delays from forty minutes to over an hour, they talked about this a lot.

Economic developments
Mario Boselli, the President of the Italian Fashion Chamber, spoke of an economic situation comparable with that of September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed. “Compared with 2008, businesses are better structured to respond to the state of crisis, so much so that 2011 is expected to close 4% up,” said Boselli. For Gaetano Marzotto, the President of Pitti Immagine: “The first six months were tremendous for fashion and clothing, they recorded a 30-40% rise.” Especially for Asia, Russia and the oil-rich countries. “The Italian situation is of more concern, partly because of an economic manoeuvre that will lead to reduced spending.” Recipes for overcoming the difficulties? Federico Zannini, Managing Director of Market Industrie, the company that depends on Jucca, a brand acclaimed by fashion bloggers, has one: “Operate joint ventures with Italian textile producers, focus on quality products and on competitive prices.” For Ermanno Scervino, you need to focus on foreign trade. The salon is expected to finish the year with turnover of 93 million, 60% of which derives from exports. It is not by chance that the collection is inspired by travel.

Trends
Cars and softness are the key words that inspired the clothes for the spring/summer 2012 collection from Prada, which closed the season with a profit of 74.2% up on 2010. The German Philipp Plein strengthened the rock DNA of the brand, choosing Lindsay Lohan as its spokesperson. The collection is a mix of leather jackets and light evening wear. Colours and foulards with floral prints for the last show of the D&G label. The show of the main collection was spectacular: the pair reproduced scenes from the life of a small town in southern Italy. Scarlett Johansson walked the boards. White, black and sombre for the Piazza Sempione capsule collection designed by Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi (this pair no longer providing creative guidance at Ferré). Seabeds and mermaids for Versace. Fringes, pleats and soft trousers for Gucci. This salon was “accused” by the Daily Telegraph of having caused a crisis in the London fashion week by claiming that the models would arrive in Milan early for a pre-casting. The Ppr label stated that no particular request had been made with regard to casting.

New Talent
It is Pitti Immagine that initiated the Not just a label project, selecting eight talented young people from the www.notjustalabel.com international online platform. The creations in organza from the German Howitzweissbach brand are amusing. “We would like to sell our articles here,” said the pair of designers Eva Howitz and Frieder Weissbach.

From our correspondant in Milan

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