milan fashion week: blumarine
(images via vogue)
ahh! ahhh! are you ready to finally relax and have some fun!?! that’s right, children, it’s time to discuss the s/s 2013 blumarine show at milan fashion week! although over the course of a few discussions we’ve had on the label here on opt in the past (see a/w 2010, s/s 2012, a/w 2012), i’ve admitted that we may not be dealing with the kind of elite fashion some of the house’s italian peers provide, there’s nevertheless some benefit to taking in a show like this. if nothing else, i believe we can see it as a sort of fun palate-cleanser. that, and you know, if anthony vaccarello gets taken as serious fashion…
but actually, i was of the opinion that designer anna molinari tamed down her act quite a bit for the upcoming spring, rather reminding me of what was happening when roberto cavalli went all soft and boho for a few seasons (circa s/s 2007 & s/s 2008), with a lot of flowing fabrics, floral prints, hippie-luxe touches, and metallics that (shockingly!) didn’t feel seductive at all (rather, they seemed sort of like the designer was trying to get the exact shade of a flower catching the sunlight or something; in other words, oh-so-demure).
and really, it looked good. or so i thought. and so, too, it seemed, did the fashion spot, in reporting that the “Blumarine woman emerged girly, well dressed, and ready for spring. The best way to describe the collection is pretty, and while the word may seem pedestrian, it’s more novel than it once was. With statement-making looks aplenty, it’s refreshing to see a designer show that’s essentially a complete wardrobe for a stylish girl who doesn’t take herself too seriously. The collection showed looks for every occasion and while it will probably be too youthful for the hardcore fashion crowd, it would be nice to see women embrace their fanciful side.”
meanwhile, it seemed that us vogue was still determined to see a peppery side, relating that “Molinari ushered her audience into a fairy-tale forest, with models in flowing chiffon dresses, romantic peasant tops, and billowing pants befitting an enclave of gorgeous wood nymphs…Fluid, pale pink tops with metallic beading draped off the shoulders, and halter dresses with ruffled necklines had ragged, glittered hems. It all captured an idea of Italian sensuality for which this label is known. Yet Molinari’s approach this season was altogether softer and more grown-up…And really, the collection was all the more appealing, and wearable, for it.”
“Of course,” they continued, “there were moments of youthful exuberance. You have to have a certain confidence and sense of whimsy to pull off a lavender halter frock with a garden of glittering flowers climbing up the skirt. And pleated, airy slipdresses had armholes and keyholes cut just low enough to be racy. By comparison, the slinky, open-weave sweaters and satin lounge pants seemed conservative. Funnily enough, one of the best things Molinari showed this season had little to do with nymphs, forests, or fairy tales at all. It was a white, cotton eyelet bomber jacket embellished with chunky crystal flowers. It’s the kind of versatile, cool, and feminine piece that will excite Blumarine loyalists any day of the week.”
meanwhile, i was glad to see wwd also quite pleased with the output: “The well-edited lineup included several floating tulle and lace dresses, some embroidered and embellished in delicate motifs. The looks felt romantic and almost poetic, and if the crystal-adorned zigzag hems had an awkward effect, they still enhanced the ethereal mood of the collection. The overall effect was more sophisticated than Molinari’s past few seasons, and closer to what one expects from Blumarine.”
and style, thinking they were clever, offered that “(s)ome fashion shows are like a trip without the acid. Or, at least, a ticket to a wingy elsewhere. Free your mind, and Anna Molinari’s show today could be viewed as a country-house costume-box production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Think Art Deco fairies. Handkerchief-hemmed chiffons, Delphic knife pleats, moonlit trims of silver lace, and a shimmering haltered smock went a long way toward evoking an ethereal Other.”
"The past," they continued, "echoed effortlessly in other areas of the collection. Coppery draped lamé, slinky black silks, the quintessentially Deco shades of mauve and eau de nil, and the vaguely Japanese floral beading had an odor of period decadence. But it was definitely more downtown than Downton.” ah. okay. except that it’s not particularly clear what the latter reference has to do with anything ms. molinari was trying to convey today. but again, yes, okay, you’re funny there, style.
but okay, i’ll get back on track. finally, uk vogue reflected that “(t)his season,” ms. molinari has “gone much, much girlier on us in a collection that would suit any modern-day Tinkerbell. It was pretty and it was pink - very, very pink - with pleats and sequins to mimic wings on halter Grecian dresses. They came short and they came long and they came bejewelled - this was a little girl’s dream on a fashion plate.”
"But that’s just what it was," they carried on, "while it followed the Laduree palette we’ve been seeing throughout the shows, it was on the sacharine side of things and potentially far too girly for any woman to embrace with quite as much enthusiasm. There were moments when Tinkerbell embraced her dark side in black and lace and the silhouette got slinkier, but mostly she stayed in fairyland - a place which rather loses its resonance and impact when you grow up. "
so. in the end, while i’m certainly happy that the blumarine show received some middling respect this round, on the other hand, i’m kind of left wondering that after so many playfully outlandish collections ms. molinari has lost credibility in the reviewers’ eyes. would this show have been more positively critiqued had it been issued by another designer? i often wonder that (from both perspectives) about labels. and in this case, i think i can give a resounding: yes, yes it would have. and that’s a shame. but it doesn’t damper the charm of a job well done, and at least we can see that. so that’s something, yes?
(check out the full fashion show video here)