Finding Inspiration for the Future in the Past at Milan Fashion Week

BY CASSANDRA LITTLEWOOD                                                       

ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR

A model presents a creation for fashion house Gucci during the Men and Women's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion shows in Milan, on September 20, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Miguel MEDINA        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
                                     Photo courtesy of MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images (Gucci)

Milan Fashion Week was about remembering the past just as much as it was preparing for the future, with designers diving into their backstories and their roots to find inspiration for their shows and designs.

Marco de Vincenzo Fashion Show, Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2018 in Milan
Marco de Vincenzo Fashion Show, Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2018 in Milan

Marco de Vincenzo took inspiration from trips back home to Sicily and went back to a time where Sicily was called “Ultrapharum” (which was a time he did not see, since this term dates at least 900 years back… unless there’s something the ever-wise Vincenzo isn’t telling us) and imprinted the name on souvenir shirts. Of course, these tees were elevated to be worn in true runway style.

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Image courtesy of Versace

Donatella Versace’s Versace Spring/Summer 2018 Ready-to-Wear was much more personal in deciding to honour her brother, Gianni Versace who passed away 20 years ago. Instead of fixating on his horrible homicide, she focused on his work as a designer. Versace pulled landmark prints and pieces from 1991-1995, an era where Gianni created some of his best and most remembered designs. Versace went even as far as to pull a black and white ball skirt right from the archives, originally worn by Naomi Campbell for the show (which was then worn by Natasha Poly). It was not only a show in style but also a very personal tribute to her brother and to the brand’s history.

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Image courtesy of Vogue

Alessandro Michele took a different approach to looking back to past and instead told a story of civilizations. The Gucci Spring/Summer 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection was placed in a setting full of Greek and Roman statues, Egyptian gods and contained a part of an Aztec temple. To top it off, many guests discovered upon sitting in their seats that beside them sat a bandaged mummy. While the stage was set for a show dating back to B.C., the designs were reminiscent of the 80’s, with feathery perms, large round glasses, boxy shoulders and powerhouse tweed.

If Milan Fashion Week 2017 proved anything it’s that fashion for the future is found in our past and that we should never ignore our origins.