Milan Fashion Week: Prada and Versace get sexy

MILAN – Forget the summer of love; welcome to sex season. It has been bubbling since the start of New York Fashion Week (since been na...

MILAN – Forget the summer of love; welcome to sex season. It has been bubbling since the start of New York Fashion Week (since been naked, really). But on Friday he became the center of the conversation on the catwalks.

When Versace and Prada – the identity and ego of the Italian industry – both start to get meaty, something happens.

There they were: a dozen shirtless men in black pants, parading down the Versace runway to take up positions on either side, next to a series of braided black silk ropes. At the right moment, they started pulling them in unison, rippling up and down the canopy of silk scarves hanging above (do you still feel warm and disturbed?).

And here’s a ribbed knit with sewn-in bra cups at Prada; a dress unbuttoned to below the belt in the back. (Now you see it, now you imagine it. Now you need a cold shower.)

“Why are these ideas still important, after hundreds of years? Miuccia Prada asked in a collectible press release, the usual post-show melee of panting supplicants and suspended journalists because of Covid.

It’s a good question. Especially coming from a designer who has spent much of her career rejecting the whole concept of “sexy” and its hackneyed imperatives; especially in a city where, despite a history of bunga bunga, the aesthetic recently turned to comfort and swaddling, and the message seemed to be: Up with knits!

There are many possible answers: after more than a year of confinement and isolation, we all crave physical contact, and after the same time spent rediscovering our bodies, we are happier to expose them to view; between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, sex has become a part of the general political conversation like never before; there is an explosion of hedonism waiting, a need for release after all this pent-up emotion; it’s a basic human instinct no matter how bleak the world situation is (maybe especially when the world situation is bleak). Just choose your rationalization.

Maybe it doesn’t really matter, because there is no doubt that the pheromones are fusing together. And, at least on the track, it was awfully – well, enjoyable to watch.

In their first joint live performance, for example, Ms. Prada and Raf Simons, her co-creative director, stripped down their own preconceptions about sartorial clichés of elegance and femininity (“Trains, corsets, evening dresses “, Said Mr. Simons in the press release), deconstruct and subvert them – to better transform them for the modern day.

Mini skirts in the kind of double-sided satin once worn at court wrapped the thighs with a belt looped around the back, the end flying behind like a train. Above it were worn leather motorcycle jackets, often worn with nothing underneath. Cotton shirts came with un-laced corsetry, and these unbuttoned dresses had reinforcements on the outside. There was a lot of black and gray, bursting with splashes of color: magenta, lime green, egg yolk, seashell pink. The shoes were wickedly pointed, with princess heels.

In the finale, sleeveless satin mini skirts were cut with deep Vs down the back, to expose the kind of lingerie pants once worn by pin-ups but remade here in some sort of stretchy material. The dress had a bow at the bottom, the ends hung behind again. She was a tease for the mind as well as the body.

And, as is the case since Mrs. Prada and Mr. Simons have joined forces in one of those partnerships it could be great but it could be a disaster, it was like watching a living conversation unfold: between past and present, one designer and another and – this time – one country and another. The live event in Milan was reflected in a live event in Shanghai, occurring simultaneously and each being broadcast live on giant screens scattered throughout the performance spaces. It’s a way of getting into a relationship.

Or, in the case of Donatella Versace, get “Physical”. Dua Lipa’s song was on the soundtrack and the singer herself, along with Lola Leon and Naomi Campbell, strutted the runway for a Versace show that celebrated the headscarf in every permutation as well as sending out the brand’s own history, Miami and a carnal Betty Boop camp in silk, latex and chain mail.

The black pencil skirts were cut almost to the hips on one side and the jackets slit at the waist, the sides held together by a series of candy-colored plastic safety pins reminiscent of the safety pin dress worn. by Elizabeth Hurley in 1994, sometimes inlaid. with scarves in Medusa and Greca prints.

Scarves also came in the form of pajama sets, halter tops, and basketball shorts (there was also men’s clothing here), their juice bar colors were then turned into suits, worn with T-shirts splashed with the phrase “Versace Dream,” then the kind of push-up slip-on dresses that go for a walk in a bustle.

As the prelude to – not a kiss. Something a little more R-rated, maybe.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Milan Fashion Week: Prada and Versace get sexy
Milan Fashion Week: Prada and Versace get sexy
Newsrust - US Top News
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