For Fall/Winter 2017, Max Mara provided an achingly luxurious monochromatic wardrobe for the modern woman centered on soft velvet trousers, plush fur coats and jackets, sensual sheer turtlenecks, and three-piece suits. Done in generously cut, relaxed silhouettes, these are the kind of expensive, chic, classic wardrobe pieces that will sustain you for a lifetime. However, the real story on the Max Mara runway wasn’t the clothes so much as who wore them. Halima Aden – the Somali-American teenager who competed in the Miss USA competition in a hijab – was a featured model in a sublime camel-colored trench, complete with head-covering. This lightning rod moment sent a clear signal that Max Mara was on the side of inclusivity, and this grown-up, collection, which reappropriated many menswear staples, could easily be the uniform of today’s woke woman.
Miuccia Prada, too, had a political motivation backing her Prada Fall/Winter 2017 collection, but it wasn’t so abundantly clear from the clothes. Instead, the luxurious slumber-party themed presentation reimagined plenty of silhouettes from the 1970s, 1990s, and early aughts, but upholstered them in miles of fur, feathers, embroidery, and embellishment. It might have been more politically provocative to take a stance against things like fur, or to have made her underlying message a little clearer. 60s pin-up girl printed sheaths might have been traded for images of Gloria Steinem, for instance. However muddy the origin story, the collection did not suffer. The commercial appeal of the clothes was clear, and that’s really the point of all this, anyway.
More than a few fashion critics have called looks “garbage” before with a dismissive wave of the hand, but Jeremy Scott decided to get literal with the trashy theme for Moschino’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection. His outré methods are a reliable source of mirth at Fashion Month, and this season it was fashion victims who provided the fodder. They wore purses fashioned from toilet paper, hats made from garbage can lids or bicycle rims, or in the case of one unfortunate model: a dress comprised of actual trash topped with a tissue box hat. Gauche or gold? You decide.
Finally, Fendi treated us to a look at how far the luxury Roman brand has come since it first opened in 1925 with a collection that blended heritage fabrics, signature furs, and classic silhouettes with modern elements like logo bands and lasered cut-outs. It started off stately, with wool double-breasted coats and suits and progressed to include subversive, sensual sheer dresses and thigh-high red boots. Fendi also had a new message to go along with its new look: the iconic double “F” logo – which has long stood for “Fun Fur” – has a new meaning: Feminine Fendi.