At Milan fashion week the hemlines are short and the body on full display via a myriad of garment constructions and revelations. There is the alluded sexiness, as seen at Prada, where a thigh-skimming silk dress was juxtaposed with a leather biker jacket. Shoes were pointy but the kitten heel kept the look from teetering into the overt. At Versace, jackets with cutaways revealed glimpses of skin, with safety pins keeping modesty in tact. Dresses came in latex, the fabric of fetishists. At Missoni a sleeveless gown in a silk zebra print was cut diagonally across the chest to leave one breast exposed. A bikini top layered underneath kept the look chaste.
Sexy is back
Sexy is back in a big way. All that pent up energy from working from home showed how much the In Real Life world was truly missed. The need for physical contact with friends, family, peers, lovers and colleagues has also brought with it a new sense of dressing. To shed the shell of isolation after 18 months of hibernating means it is time to show some skin. As the New York Times fashion critic said, “there’s an explosion of hedonism waiting to happen, a need for release after all this pent-up emotion; it’s a basic human instinct, no matter how grim the global situation.”
Bandeau top are everywhere
Stomachs are fashion’s latest focal point. Displayed in their full glory under cropped tops and bandeaux, the cover-ups are mostly jackets, preferably left open with a je ne sais quoi attitude to show the body underneath. Until the breeze catches it, of course. At Max Mara, a brand best known for its tailored coats, sporty cropped vests were paired with skirts cut above the knee, leaving stomachs exposed. There’s something to be said when a brand with a more mature clientele has opted to go full-on sexy.
At Cavalli, the first show under newly appointed creative director Fausto Puglisi, all things animal print made a return. The molto sexy catwalk outing was to be expected from a house so richly defined by glamour, but there was dash of modernism in Puglisi’s designs too, the chunky biker boots paired with a tiger print mini and leather corsetry felt fresh and relevant.
Fashion, in any form of restraint, was not a popular menu item at the Milan shows so far. Even at Jil Sander, where there was less body on show, the proportions were loose and oversized, less rigid and more playful.
That perhaps sums up the first fashion season in a post-Covid era: the need to feel freedom in its many guises, especially in clothes.