In the photo: Armani collectionwords by Silvia Donati Milan Fashion Week just wrapped up in Milan where Italian and international designers presented their women's collections for the Spring/Summer of 2014 over the course of six days, from Sept. 18 to 23. The event featured 74 shows from 67 different maisons. Among these, some made their debut in Milan, including up-and-coming young designers Uma Wang, Fausto Puglisi, Marco De Vincenzo and Stella Jean, next to the big names of the fashion world, such as Armani, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Fendi, Just Cavalli and many more. "I'm happy about this new energy. It's time to understand that we can no longer speak of fashion, but of many fashions, of many different styles for a world that has never been so big," commented Giorgio Armani of the fresh perspectives brought in by the newcomers as well as Milan’s attempt to recast itself as a key destination of the fashion system, rivaling Paris’, London’s and New York’s own “Fashion Weeks”. Proof of this is the newly-formed management board of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, whose members include some of the best in Italian fashion, like Angela Missoni, Ermenegildo Zegna, Patrizio Bertelli and Diego della Valle. Armani’s was the last major show of this year’s event and, of his new Emporio Armani collection, the veteran Italian designer said, “There is a sense of sweetness in this collection. I thought of it as the symbol of an almost tamed female grit. I propose for women a way to be beautiful and at the same time discreet." Miuccia Prada took a stand against the rising number of female homicides (“femicides”) with her collection: "I want my dresses to tell the strength of women, their fighting spirit, their desire, their need to break barriers, always and inevitably. Dresses can’t make the revolution, I know it well. But the way we dress can, and it must become a mental attitude," she explained. Against all that offends female dignity was also Max Mara's collection: a minimalistic style that "makes a woman look beautiful without baring her body." While Dolce & Gabbana said they want to "convey joy in such difficult times at all latitudes. It’s important for us to narrate Italian taste, not just Sicilian, in all its variations." The fashion industry is a key driver of the Italian economy; however, domestic consumption continues to fall, while foreign exports and sales keep going strong, especially on the Russian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese markets, with a 2,8% increase during the first semester of 2013. "What I think is important to really help the economy is keeping the production here and keeping the creativity here, bringing young people," said Franca Sozzani, editorial director of Italian Vogue. The Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana forecasts the Italian fashion industry’s turnover for 2013 to be 58.86 billion euros ($79.42 billion).
Milan Fashion Week: Runway Report