MFW Day Five: Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, and Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/Winter 2017
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Dolce & Gabanna’s extravagance has reached spectacular heights before, but no spectacle in the brand’s history has been more excessive than today’s show for Fall/Winter 2017. With 140 looks and a diverse cast of influencers, celebrities, celebrity offspring, “It” models, fellow designers, and even pop stars, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were like proud parents pulling out their wallets to show an acquaintance photos of their enormous extended family.

It was a thrilling moment to see representatives from the Arab world, like fashion blogger Lana El Sahely of L’Armoire de Lana, on the runway, but the show’s overwhelming format, blinged-out clothes, and over-the-top performance by pop idol Austin Mahone created a cacophony of distractions. More people were talking about the fact that Dolce & Gabbana put Justin Bieber’s face on t-shirts and Justin Bieber’s ex, Sofia Richie, in the show than they were about the actual clothes. While the brand’s talented ateliers pulled no punches with decorative elements, the looks were a confounding mix of trends. It seems that the luxury Italian brand is more interested in social media hype than it is fashion, and that is a shattering disappointment. The takeaway: celebrity trumps creativity.

Splendid textures ruled the Marni runway, whose creative direction by the newly-installed Francesco Risso respected the brainy, artistic aesthetic established by his forerunner, Consuelo Castiglioni. Suede canvas sheaths, rumpled separates, voluminous feathered and fur outerwear, and plush suits produced a truly wonderful range of tactile looks for Fall/Winter 2017. Brocade wiggle dresses were outfitted with fake-out bustiers, liquid PVC leather trenches were interrupted with swaths of shearling, and magic-eye print dresses were trussed with ruched details and drawstrings. Instead of playing it safe, Risso took a leap of faith, hoping that the creatively-minded girl who has long made Marni clothes her staple would understand his fun, experimental wardrobe, and chances are high that she will.

While Salvatore Ferragamo’s incredible legacy extends over three generations, its identity in recent years was undetermined as the brand struggled to find the right leadership to reinvigorate sales. Creative Director of the womenswear category, Fulvio Rigoni, was one of three talents tapped to steer the ship toward smoother waters, with Spring/Summer 2017 serving as a transitional season for the designer. Fall/Winter 2017 saw him at full strength, translating the smoldering eccentricity of photographer, perfumier, and makeup artist, Serge Lutens, into a subtle but electric collection with judiciously applied experimentations.

The new Salvatore Ferragamo look is linear, fitted, and self-assured, featuring enormous face-framing collars on chic fur coats, sleeves that resemble elbow-length gloves, trompe l’oeil capes, sculpted slips set into translucent turtlenecks, and other visually thrilling looks. Convertible pieces, like sleeves that detached, brought versatility to daywear, while eveningwear was simple, polished, and professional. In keeping with the brand’s favorite footwear, Rigoni revives the Iconic ‘F’ heel, shown as both lace-ups and cleaved platforms.

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