MILAN (Reuters) – Italian brands Missoni and Fendi kicked off the first day of Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday, with designers once again forced to swap the buzzing catwalks for digital presentations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A year after Italy registered its first positive case of the coronavirus in the north, leading to the first lockdown in Europe, designers have had to find new ways to entice fashionistas with their creations.
Known for its zig-zag “Fiammato”, or flamed, pattern and colourful designs, Missoni was the first fashion house to stream a video of its latest womenswear, blending clothes for autumn/winter with those for spring/summer.
Filmed at Milan’s Assago Forum, a venue that has been shut for months, models re-enacted social gatherings from bowling games to catch-ups with friends.
They wore sparkling knits, loose trouser suits, long ribbed dresses and casual wear in an array of colours.
Some donned hats and scarves while others modelled swimwear in the video, which was filmed as if in one continuous shot.
There was glittering party wear as well in what Missoni described as “a celebration of the return to a normal social life”.
“I mixed and matched pieces from different seasons to highlight the concept of wardrobe,” creative director Angela Missoni said in a statement.
Designer Kim Jones made his ready-to-wear debut at Rome-based Fendi, presenting a neutral-toned autumn/winter line.
Following in the footsteps of late designer Karl Lagerfeld, who collaborated with the brand for 54 years, Jones opened the presentation with a fur coat, a Fendi staple.
Coats, cropped knit tops, high-waisted trousers and pinstripe silk shirt dresses followed. Models wore utilitarian jackets, marbled silk or draped dresses and fringed scarves in pale pink, white, mink, grey and black.
Jones nodded to past creations of the Fendi family, who founded the brand in 1925, and Lagerfeld.
“I’m taking the amazing, strong women who I both know and work with, and listening to their needs,” Jones said in show notes. “There’s a usefulness to the collection, explored in a chic, timeless way.”
It was during last February’s Milan Fashion Week that the town of Codogno, about an hour’s drive from Milan, was closed off as the virus took hold in the Lombardy region, which became the worst-hit in Italy.
Then, veteran Giorgio Armani held his show behind closed doors in an empty theatre.
This season’s Milan Fashion Week runs until March 1, with brands such as Armani, Prada and Valentino sharing their collections videos on a digital platform.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Alex Richardson)