MILAN (AP) — Kim Kardashian took Milan by storm on Saturday, curating a new collection for Dolce & Gabbana that draws inspiration from 20 years of archival looks.
It was a day of debuts in Milan, including Maximilian Davis, a 27-year-old British designer with Afro-Caribbean roots, who spearheaded the creation of Salvatore Ferragamo and Filipino American designer Rhuigi Villasenor at Bally, as the brand returns on the podium. for the first time in 20 years.
Some highlights from day four of Milan Fashion Week previews, mostly womenswear for next spring and summer:
KIM KARDASHIAN AND DOLCE & GABBANA: THE STORY
Kim Kardashian’s love for Dolce & Gabbana goes way back, and the affection she showed in her selection from their latest collection, drawing inspiration from archive looks from 1987-2007.
She recalls growing up watching her mother dress in Dolce & Gabbana for dates with her stepfather, recalling “she always looked so smart and strong”. One year Kardashian borrowed one of her mother’s black Dolce & Gabbana dresses with a built-in bra and choker to wear for a family Christmas card, a look she said, “I will never forget.”
When Kardashian and her sisters owned a store, she borrowed her dad’s credit card to buy a bunch of D&G dresses, jeans and belts before her paycheck arrived.
Even the family dogs were named Dolce and Gabbana. Gabbana was a black Labrador, Dolce a little Chihuahua.
“It’s very close to reality,” joked Stefano Gabbana during a presentation of the new collection.
But no matter how hard she tried, even deploying her mother, Kris Jenner, to help make her case, the designers refused to open their archives. “The past is the past”, explained Domenico Dolce. “We are trying to move forward with the new generation.”
That is, until Kardashian proved she had the right stuff.
When Kourtney Kardashian married Travis Barker in Italy, social media took over the vintage Dolce & Gabbana dresses she and her sisters wore. They were all from Kim Kardashian’s private collection, which she amassed using a book of over 100 desired Dolce & Gabbana looks that she and her stylist compiled years before.
“Everything looked crazy. It was so much fun,’ Kardashian said of the wedding looks. “I think (the designers) were surprised that I came with all my stuff and collected it For years.”
Dolce said the wedding photos persuaded them to dig into the archives, and he approached Kardashian about the project.
“We were worried that vintage dresses would look old. Instead, they were always contemporary,” Dolce said.
And so the new Spring-Summer 2023 collection was born, with designers picking looks from the past they loved, many with memories attached to working with models like Linda Evangelista and Monica Bellucci. Kardashian organized from there.
“After all these years, that’s all we would wear today,” Kardashian said. “As a designer, I think it’s so cool to see everyone trying to emulate the looks. And why not do a whole collection, obviously with new pieces, but just redesigned in a way that we would wear today, which is so similar to how it was photographed and worn back then.
HASHTAG CIAO,KIM AT DOLCE & GABBANA
Designers Dolce and Gabbana presented their Spring/Summer 2023 collection curated by Kim Kardashian against the backdrop of a film showing Kardashian, dressed as a starlet, sensually eating a plate of pasta.
And indeed, Kardashian’s curation showed her total embrace of Dolce & Gabbana’s Italian roots.
“You don’t give shit to anybody when you’re here wearing Dolce & Gabbana,” Kardashian told reporters. “You feel powerful, strong and sexy at the same time.”
Lingerie strongly inspired the collection. There were corsets, incorporated bras and bodysuits, employing all the designer’s best tricks, from stiff bones for structural elements, to pretty lace and eye-catching crystals. They were worn with suspender stockings and long gloves, or under beautiful shawls.
Kardashian stuck to a mostly neutral palette: black, gray and beige, with a bit of burgundy. And she drew the line at the prints, completely rejecting the trademark fruits and flowers, causing Gabbana to lament, “She killed me. I said ‘Noooo!’
But she bet everything on the leopard.
“I would say the boys brought out the leopard in me,” Kardashian said. “I think you’ll see that for me, the color is the crystals.”
The collection was designed for women of all ages and shapes, Kardashian said, with the goal of simplifying the designs to help some of the more ornate pieces feel less intimidating.
“If you make it simpler, more people can feel confident wearing it. And I think we’ve really achieved that on the show,” she said.
Kardashian’s mother, three of her children and her sister Khloe sat in the front row. Proud mom Kris Jenner films the entire series on her phone.
THE TRANQUILITY OF JIL SANDER
Jil Sander created a tranquil island during chaotic Milan Fashion Week, filling a temporary show space in a far field with a grove of wildflowers and grasses, as well as soothing pastels and indulgent silhouettes.
The collection lends itself to easy layering and challenges all gender stereotypes. Creative directors Lucie and Luke Maier continued to dabble in embellishments, adding sequins, feathers and metallic accents to the brand’s minimalist silhouette.
Sleeveless suits worked for all genders and men wore long pastel kilts with button up shirts. Knits were distressed, with rough edges and splits, in both tops and dresses. The designers chose a unique print, featuring blurry points of light.
The models carried umbrellas to protect themselves from the seasonal rains – impractical for an outdoor show but welcome in Italy after months of drought.
THE NEW DAWN OF FERRAGAMO
Maximilian Davis created a vermilion red background for his debut with Salvatore Ferragamo in the courtyard of a 17th century baroque and neoclassical palace, which better underlines the new direction of the fashion house.
The 27-year-old British designer worked strong silhouettes and simple elements, like tank tops and leggings, or full bodysuits, to best showcase the season’s bag, oversized cut-out bags in highly polished leather with an interior Canvas. Dresses were form-fitting in solid colors or flowing chiffon in ombre prints; a combo of red pants and a skin-tight crystal-studded top. Strappy sandals featured a distinctive circular heel.
The masculine figure was challenged with an off-the-shoulder top dyed in sheer ombre, the colors being a tribute to the California sunset. Davis tapped into Ferragamo’s leather heritage with cropped, cropped leather shorts paired with a leather blazer. Any male divo can make a red carpet entrance in a silver off-the-shoulder top that flows dramatically into a trailing scarf.
The models walked on red sand that covered the entire yard, a reference to Ferragamo’s Hollywood origins near California beaches and Davis’ own Caribbean heritage.
The sea and the sand mean to him “a place where you can go to think and feel together”, he said. “I wanted to show that perspective, but now through the lens of Ferragamo.”
Supermodel Naomi Campbell turned out for the debut.
Filipino-American designer Rhuigi Villasenor, best known for his American streetwear label, is looking to lead a transition at famed Swiss label Bally, founded in 1851.
Its debut collection paid homage to the brand’s heritage of understated elegance, while introducing an edge. A plunging V-neck swimsuit was worn with snakeskin boots, while a long beaded skirt featured a slit at the waist and was casually teamed with a denim top. For him, a flashy reptile leather jacket was worn with a mesh top and jeans, but there was also a dark blue double-breasted suit for more formal business occasions.
Villasenor said he was inspired by “the codes of the brand around art, graphics, architecture and nature”.
BOTTEGA VENETA’S TRUMP L’OEUIEL
For the uninitiated, Kate Moss looked downright dressed on the Bottega Veneta catwalk, in baggy jeans and a plaid shirt. But it’s the genius of designer Matthieu Blazy, who replayed something from his first season, showing leather pants that reproduce the look of jeans.
Every piece in Blazy’s second collection was strong: from intarsia knits where ice blue and red vied for the lead role, to shift dresses and leather jackets with unexpected pleats, to shredded leather skirts and dresses, and sheer dresses. embellished with floral appliqué velvet.
At Bottega Veneta, leather is king. Bags range from beautifully designed tackle bags that fit perfectly to the body, in flat leather or basket weave, to bucket bags worn over the shoulder.
Blazy collaborated with Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce on the sculptural resin runway and 400 unique chairs, some with hand drawings, used for show guests and destined for Design Miami.