#SuzyMFW: Italy’s Material World

Elaboration of simplicity is an important new movement in Milan’s Spring/Summer 2019 season. While the basic shape is clear-cut from the finest materials, colour and texture add interest and intrigue to minimalism.

Marni: A painter’s canvas

Francesco Risso has a sense of drama and a sense of humour. Since he took over as Creative Director at Marni, he has pitched himself as an artist, with a studio filled with piles of books as seats and, for this new season, mattresses.

As the audience relaxed to contemplate his collection, the models passed by in loosely tailored coats that served quite literally as a canvas for the designer’s ideas. Splattered with paint, they became a backdrop to the garment underneath, which had references to the gods of Olympus, Ancient Greek marble statues – and so much more.

The designer has captured the whimsical side of Marni and is growing into his role with wit and wisdom.

Agnona: Shades of Africa

Colour was the magic that added energy with elegance to the Agnona collection.

It was an earthy palette – “vicuna, sandalwood, ginger, cumin, turmeric, indigo, cinnabar, and matcha green” was designer Simon Holloway’s description of North African colours, produced in the finest mills of the Zegna group, which added so much to the seemingly simple silhouette.

This collection suggested that the Agnona women’s side is growing – and in the right direction. The designer had the words for that too: “Relaxed sartorialism”.

Gabriele Colangelo: Light and shade

I always see the gentle, artistic elegance of Gabriele Colangelo as a counterpoint to the rowdy, colourful, sexually explicit offerings from a certain strain of Italian fashion designers.

This season, he developed the “slow fashion” feeling by using colour as a bold statement, especially ink blue.

Canvas came into the equation with a focus on “pliage” – a painting technique of pleating and knitting the canvas before painting it, to create a nubbly surface. The designer quoted his inspiration as the Franco-Hungarian artist Simon Hantaï, whose paintings he discovered at the Pompidou in Paris. Colangelo’s fine skill is to serve up such tactile treatments along clean lines.