MILAN (Reuters) - Masks of all shades, shapes and sizes took over the Gucci catwalk on Wednesday as the Italian luxury label kicked off Milan’s leg of the Autumn/Winter runway season with an eclectic show rich in patterns, colors and headpieces.
Under a kaleidoscope of lights and surrounded by mirrors, Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele sent out models in headgear made up of partially and fully covering face masks, sometimes with spikes, extended ear cuffs, at times almost elf-like as well as intricately carved bronze pieces.
Show notes for the presentation were entitled “The mask as a cut between visible and invisible” and guests were given a taste of what to expect with a papier mache-like invite in the shape of a mask of Hermaphroditus.
“Playing with the magic ambiguity of masks represents an occasion to recover the creative roots of our being alive,” the Gucci press release read.
Michele’s collection featured a mix of printed blouses, sometimes with lace inserts, shiny short dresses, colorful knits and embroidered wool jackets, worn with either spiked collars or longer necklace-like pieces as well as furry cuffs or scarves thrown over one shoulder.
Colorful harlequin prints decorated several outfits, some tops were shiny and pleated, reminiscent of 1970s disco fashion, and bows were at times tied around the ankles on trouser suits, which came in large shapes, with waistcoats or ties for women.
The Kering-owned label, which has enjoyed booming sales under Michele’s makeover, also offered plenty of embroidered and shiny combinations. Coats were check, patterned or simple macs. There was also a selection of all red outfits among the looks.
Footwear consisted of loafers, brightly colored boots and some models also wore knee pads.
For men, there were loose pinstripe suits, cinched jackets, wide-leg or high waisted trousers as well as an offering of colorful knits worn with patterned trousers.
At Annakiki, designer Anna Yang presented a brightly colored collection of red, pink, orange, purple and green trouser suits, dresses and long coats with voluminous sleeves.
Shirts had long collars while trousers were wide-legged. Animal prints also decorated some of the looks.
Luxury outerwear group Moncler presented the latest additions to its Genius scheme, launched a year ago, where designers have presented their own interpretations of the label’s puffer jackets.
This season, designers Richard Quinn, Matthew Williams of 1017 ALYX 9SM, Veronica Leoni and Sergio Zambon joined the project, presenting an array of colorful outerwear in various forms and lengths - including sleek as well as dress form.
“Moncler Genius is an answer to the times, a symposium of creative minds and an inspiring place,” Moncler Chief Executive and Chairman Remo Ruffini said in a statement. “Each Genius operates singularly and the sum of the Geniuses interprets the Moncler identity.”
Milan Fashion Week is the third leg of the month-long Autumn/Winter 2019/2020 shows, which began in New York and also include London and Paris.
Milan is home to fashion heavyweights such as Giorgio Armani, Versace, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. On Thursday, Fendi will show the last collection by fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, who died on Tuesday.
Tributes have poured in from around the world for the man considered an industry icon, who was best known for helping jazz up French couture house Chanel.
“He is one of the most iconic figures in fashion, most creative, generous,” Brazilian digital influencer and journalist Erika Santos said. “It’s a big loss.”
Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian; additional reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by William Maclean