There was a lot to take in... space-scouting drones at Fendi, live orchestra at Prada, chanting monologues at Ports 1961 and Missoni, a ring of fire at Cavalli, the snow at Blumarine, no creative director to take a bow at Jil Sander, wolves at Antonio Marras, fairy tales at Ferretti and Dolce&Gabbana and oh-so-very-Italian-Vogue psych ward at DSquared2.
I watched as many live streams as my schedule allowed to give every designer and collection as much attention as possible and then launch into a long thought-sharing monologue.
The whole point about Prada shows that you have to see them to believe. It is not about the trends or knowing what to add to your wardrobe next season, though it seems that if Miuccia says "Jump!" everyone is going to do exactly that. She is one of a kind and her mind is powered by forces we do not have access to. Sometimes I think of her as a puppet master, sitting above us all, in a swinging chair, with her fingers pulling the strings... Off she goes, and the world follows... As if it was a Prada religion.
Her collections are full of hidden meanings and signs. Clothes themselves come next, but when they do, everything becomes desirable. They make you wonder, those fascinating pieces of cloth shaped into dresses, skirts and coats as if giving a wearer some secret intangible power, an idea, another perception of the world, if you like.
This season the catwalk was dark, the emptiness of it felt distant and cold and the heart pounding sound of orchestra was cut with violin legatos and ziccato and then bursted into songs from the Kurt Weill's Seven deadly sins creating a dissonance for the senses, a surreal melody from the past, the sensation of ghosts revisiting.
The German avant-garde inspired collection itself echoed the earlier menswear show presented in January and turned into a fashion cocktail of eras, from the 1920s to the 1980s that Prada made to look very 2014 and, ultimately, timeless.
There were simple silk dresses worn over turtle necks, oversized sweaters and sheer lose shift organza togas in moody blues, plums and greys covered with boxy heavy coats and jackets highlighting the fragility of a woman's body, making it feel undressed and yet showing nothing. They were followed by an explosion of colours and prints with almost mosaic quality to the latter.
Fall / Winter 2014 was the first Moschino collection designed by Jeremy Scott who was clearly born to create for the Italian house. It was witty, fun, playful and flirty, very Scott and (almost) very Moschino. It was inspired by glorified junk mixed with high fashion resulting in an effect most junk food has on our mind - it's really bad, but incredibly addictive. The only thing ultimately wrong with the whole presentation was Katy Perry. I liked the rest. It was exuberant, happy, carefree.
We need some of that. Remember how Vreeland said that a little bit of bad taste is like a splash of paprika - I think Scott gave an a great example of that. I watched the show several times until I ended up playing it on mute and using George Michael's Too funky as a background. It was fun, it was... addictive.
Bottega Veneta was beautiful, classy, elegant and absolutely mind-blowing in a way those clothes were made - the pattern was not always a print, the pleat was not always a pleat - a very Maier of kind trick for the imagination. The bags deserve a separate sentence for they were gorgeous - after all, when one skilfully combined reptile leathers with brand's iconic intrecciato, the result is simply spectacular.
I hope Stefano Pilati feels like he found his happy place at Agnona and is planning to remain there for a while because the collection he created for the brand was simply stunning. It was luxurious, cocooning comfort zone made of cashmere and alpaca, full of voluminous rippled shapes that created a very huggable feel altogether to be accompanied with shape-defining dresses that followed the curves of the body. Understated Italian sensuality at its best. Simply flawless.
Alberta Ferretti's collection was a work of art - she used feathers for creating designs of a couture quality and then combined them with embroidered fabrics, tweeds and knits to give the collection a down-to-earth-ready-to-wear feel. It was quietly beautiful and very mesmerising.
Oh, Missoni made me happy, so happy... I watched it on a gloomy afternoon when the sun was already sinking and the clouds gathering in the sky to decide on their current affairs. And then the show began turning my ordinary day into a beautiful caleidoscope (the association made even stronger with mirrored and metallic Perspex embelishements), a burst of peaches and creams, burnt orange, rust and burgundy, bright blue and turquoise...
I wanted to remember every outfit and how soft and pliable the fabrics looked. It was all about the softness here, the ease, the natural beauty, the spirit and effortless craft... From the the wool tailored trousers and bouncy midi skirts to the patchwork rib knit sweaters that fitted the body like the second skin - they caressed, protected...
It also warmed by heart seeing three generations of Missoni family sitting by the catwalk watching the show, Margherita gently leaning towards her grandmother, whispering something and then Rosita herself looking at Angela when she emerged from backstage at the end of the show. There was so much love and pride there. So much love.
And this is how I will remember Milan fashion week Fall/Winter 2014.
Photo source: runway images via style.com & stylebistro.com, backstage photos via vogue.com