Eric Wilson’s Front Row Diary: From Versace to Pucci, Italian Fashion Houses Show Signs of a RenaissanceFeb 24, 2014 @ 11:10 am
Donatella Versace returned her focus to power looks. Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta explored the structure of strict dresses through a prism with remarkable results. And Peter Dundas dove deep into the glittering terrain of crystals and gold for his fall collection for Emilio Pucci.
When designers say they are returning to their roots, it is often a sign that they have run out of ideas, but the strong collections shown in Milan over the weekend suggest a more powerful revitalization of Italian fashion is underway. Some of their messages were so intensely robust that they nearly overwhelmed us, the prime example being Roberto Cavalli, whose show included water and fire effects (pictured, above). In a dark black tent, models walked around a circular pool enclosed in a ring of fire, the heat making some guests feel as if they were being barbecued. Flames licked up his black evening dresses, either as realistic photo prints or red embroidered fringe that flickered as the models walked, which called to mind Katniss Everdeen’s coming-out dress in Hunger Games so vividly that it would not have been surprising had Cinna taken a bow.