By Colin Barry
MILAN (AP) — Milan Fashion Week closed Sunday after five days of many womenswear previews that celebrated diversity and renewal, represented designers of color and showcased many new talents for the first time at major fashion houses.
The Italian Fashion Council was putting a spotlight on sustainability at Sunday night’s Green Carpet Awards, recognizing practices in the industry that reduce waste and reduce its carbon footprint.
While the fashion world is focusing on sustainability, this season’s calendar offered unsustainable detours between shows, forcing the fashion crowd to travel back and forth multiple times in one day. Even cycling proved to be a challenge with the few bike lanes on the roads.
Some highlights from Sunday’s closing day of Milan Fashion Week:
Benetton from knitwear
Benetton has launched another relaunch, this time under the creative direction of Milanese designer Andrea Incontri, who has experience at several fashion houses, including Tod’s.
An architect by training, Encontri wanted to reshape the Benetton retail experience and emptied the Corso Buenos Aires flagship store for the runway, his debut as creative director. Upstairs, his new collection — full of colorful fruit with repeating motifs, elegant knits and tweeds — hangs on a bare tile wall, neatly arranged, easy to scan for constellations.
Demonstrating its desire to start with the consumer, Encontri showcased the runway on the ground floor, giving passers-by a glimpse.
The modern silhouette includes culottes – a hot trend in Milan for next spring and summer – and leather obi belts with crisp cotton skirts or matching cotton shirt-short ensembles for men.
The brand’s famous knitwear is beautiful in melange, which stacks well. A halter top gives a modern edge to skirts and pants, just as elegant. Knitted biker shorts turn a tweed skirt and jacket into active daywear. Fruit motifs create a cornucopia of mix-and-match looks: reds, pinks and yellows of cherries, pears and apples all happily match the green, sky blue and yellow background.
Incontri has given Benetton’s octopus logo a much-needed graphic makeover, with minimal deployment and the spirit of privacy popularized by Gen-Z, creating a necklace with B and E for Benetton. In just six months on the job, Incontri promises a more complete turnaround for the 57-year-old brand, which has experienced painful periods.
Although Benetton’s Heyday is closely associated with Oliviero Toscani’s advertising campaigns, Encontro wants to put the product and the consumer first.
Incontri told reporters: “This is a brand that I like very much, like many Italians, because I’ve been with it.
Ferrari clothing gaining traction
Super sports car maker Ferrari’s foray into luxury goods is being met with anticipation by luxury car buyers, but also by fans whose garages consist of less flashy cars.
Rocco Iannone, the creative director of Ferrari’s fashion line, said they saw the results at this month’s Monza Grand Prix. Many Formula 1 fans were buying expensive bespoke Ferrari suits and showing up at the race track the next day wearing “badges and all the fancy stuff”.
“That mix is what I want to tell them: They exist and we want to give them laundry,” Iannon said.
Iannone’s third collection focuses on what the creative director calls Ferrari’s “first materials,” leather, denim, cotton and silk.
The new collection combines the pieces that Formula 1 fans crave, with racing jumpsuits and plush-embellished jackets, as well as sleek statements that subtly incorporate Ferrari’s technology drive.
Jacquard cargo pants are made with recycled nylon, which features a cambered look. The denim is technological, with each piece being treated with an ozone spray to give it a colorful stone-washed effect without the usual environmental damage. And napa glove leather is used to make a soft leather jumpsuit in red deep orange or black.
The goal is to embrace the soul of Ferrari in a sharp, precise and sophisticated outfit,” Iannone said.