There has been a wave of Nineties nostalgia on the runways in Milan, with some designers throwing around the term “grunge” without fully remembering perhaps that the style and movement was actually anti-establishment and anti-fashion – at least until Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui got their hands on it.
Backstage before the Philosophy show, designer Lorenzo Serafini more aptly described what’s been going on in a lot of the collections, including Etro, Versace and indeed his own, as “hardcore romance.” He said “it’s about my memories of when I fell in love with this job looking at fabulous girls like Kate Moss and Christy Turlington…It was a very sweet period…a pre-Instagram era where all the girls were more spontaneous and less self-conscious.” (Not paid to dress head-to-toe by labels for a single Instagram shot, ahem.)
The off-duty supermodel vibe of then was brought to the runway by a supermodel from now, Bella Hadid, who opened the show in a red crystal miniskirt with black lace hem, and crystal booties to match, topped with a super-soft oversized gray turtleneck sweater for the ultimate in accessible glam.
Long, bias-cut satin and silk slip dresses in hot pink or ivory were balanced with tuxedo tailoring in red or black, and sparking-sheer ruffled blouses with leather skirts, working the masculine-feminine trick. Serafini may also get the award for one of the glitziest iterations of the current craze, the boilersuit: covered in allover silver crystals, it was a party for all ages. And styling the collection with poiny-toe booties (rather than the clodhoppers we’ve seen on other runways) kept things from looking too vintage.
The ideas here weren’t new, of course, but they were executed with enough fine polish to make the brand one of Milan’s more solid options for a Nineties fix.