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2012 September 20

Milan Spring 2013: Emporio Armani, MaxMara, No. 21

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Emporio Armani Spring 2013 Emporio Armani Spring 2013
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(MILAN) Emporio Armani
An exercise in shimmery neutral layering ruled the Emporio Armani runway for Spring '13. Metallics were instrumental, soft in sheen and cut bluntly, often in strapless babydoll form. Crisscrossed sheaths in ivory and taupe and asymmetrical, draped frocks in pastel wisps evoking cotton candy tufts. Deviations from the camel-to-gray foundational palette included tweedy suiting done in choppy, deconstructed shapes (shorts, anyone?) and standout cropped blazers in woven sherbet hues, all the more delicious when paired with pixilated silky shorts. Loafers in shades of pumpkin and toffee, dainty strappy heels, and some B&W mules footed the collection. A bit schoolgirl, a few moments of mermaid shimmer, and a pretty new way to suit up.

With strong outerwear befitting the brand's heritage, a tweaked read of the safari storyline took root in MaxMara's latest. The wildlife? Retooled animal prints, sometimes mashed up with stripes (very busy, to say the least), elsewhere done in the recurrent boxy and cuffed-sleeve T shape seen look after look. The flattering factor of the ruching on the inset-laden pencil skirts comprising the predominant silhouette is debatable, as is the case for the more billowy of toppers (see: the grey and olive spacesuit-like numbers towards the show's end). But a few looks adhering to that below-the-knee pencil and T formula, done in burnished copper or cornflower blue, were sufficiently fit for storming the concrete jungle.

No. 21
Kicking off with a crisp series of white and cerulean looks, No. 21's Spring collection got threaded with white collars and apron-like hems and sprinkled with a slightly Rococo sketched motif. The subtle subversiveness was delivered via a jangle of bibs and vast, swooping expanses, armored in appearance. The show's second half was a profusion of stimuli, shaking things up after the orderly (literally and figuratively) vibe of the openers: sheer tops blotted with thick horizontal striping, metallic lacy frocks in gilded maroon slashed with shiny diagonal sashes and zigzags of fire engine red. All in all, an eclectic lot with a lot that's bound to linger on the mind. 

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