Text by Diletta Accorroni

Six days fulfilled with stunning shows have just came to an end, despite the uncertain times we are living in and all the difficulties related to Covid-19.
By the way, everything has been managed with so much zeal, passion and in compliance with the rules that things couldn’t go any better- against all odds.Some Fashion Houses decided to present their SS2021 collections through a traditional catwalk, while others, such as Prada and Versace, went for a digital formula (with the the employees of the company as guests, in the case of Versace).
The first one, with its new co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, embodies without any doubts the most long-awaited show of the season. PRADA’s debut collection represents a sort of dialogue between the different viewpoints of the two collaborators, with a redefinition of values and ideology. The outcome is astonishing, yet extremely measured, as the duo didn’t feel like risking too much, at least for now.
The collection explores the notion of uniform, touching on several interpretations of that concept. Clothes are pared-back, refined, without any superfluous decoration. The shapes and the eclectic yet minimal construction of the looks seem very Raf, while the nylon elements, the logoed plaque and the chich pyjamas are part of the Prada DNA. New wonderful ideas then, are merged with the past, as it always should be when the aim is to create pieces of Art. And the goal seems fully achieved.
The digital presentation has been then followed by a conversation in which the creative duo answered to a few questions crowd-sourced on Instagram. The outcome, ca va sans dire, is already an endless source of memes and quotes.

Coming to VERSACE, the show was a dreamy reinterpretation of the Platonic myth of Atlantis. Once it opened up its underwater gates, a parade of models with a wet beauty look showed up, and here it is: Versacepolis.
The collection totally embodies the idea of a new submarine world, populated by fantasy creatures dressed with vibrant, fun, yet very elegant garments. Geometric lines, color blocks, neon shades and black are mixed with many nautical motifs in a bubbly collection which makes us dream and think about the future with nothing but a positive attitude.
For Versace too, the elements of the past are a constant and we now witness a comeback of Trésor de la Mer, a Gianni Versace’s sketch from the 90s, full of corals and seashells.

Also the GCDS’ fantasy world is crawling with creatures which are out of the ordinary, such as aliens and monsters, acting inside a sort of videogame.
What the creative Milanese team, headed by the Calza brothers, put in place for this season was an impressive and avantgarde digital scenario, able to engage and captivate the audience.
Its virtual front row pullulates with many VIPs, including Dua Lipa and Raisa Flowers, acting as if they were real and actually following the show. The collection is characterized by printed bodysuits, colorful pants, hoodies, prints, crochet and latex. It is sexy, contemporary and bold…basically it has it all!
Once the show ended, the runway turned into an entertainment hall, where browsers had the chance to play and escape from reality; a brilliant and fun intuition, which literally brings you “Out of this world”.

Talking about the young ones, two more brands deserve a mention. The first one is SUNNEI. The collection, born from the minds of streetwear-lovers Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo, took place at Lido di Milano, in an empty pool. The popularity of Sunnei is growing day after day, and the brand-new Palazzina Sunnei, now official headquarters, perfectly mirrors this growth, with a collection which establishes a further step into the fashion Olympus. The highlight of the show -and ideal extension of the project Sunnei Canvas – is a spiked shoe, called 1000 Chiodi (through an inside joke referring to an Italian glue) which is in between a slipper and a water shoe for rocky beaches. Its tie-dye version is already a hit.

The second is surely MARCO RAMBALDI, which put inclusion, youth and contestation at the core of its SS21 collection. Even the choice of choosing Porta Venezia- precisely Via Lecco- as its location, with most of the models coming from street castings, is a clear example of how much he cares about issues alike. So, the third day of the fashion week, begins with his feminine miniskirts and tiny tops, denim jeans, patchworks jackets, pantajazz and comfy but sexy long skirts. The inspiration came to the Bolognese designer from the psychedelic revolution of libertarian magazines, with both original graphics and contents -such as Pianeta Fresco and Room East 128. Actually, their authors (Fernanda Pivano and Ettore Sottsass) stand for the perfect union between life and art, a liaison that Rambaldi has always been chasing.

Marco Rambaldi’s was not the only physical catwalk of the third day: SPORTMAX, showed at Triennale with a collection inspired by Romy Schneider in the movie “La Piscine”. While, a Walt Whitman’s poem from 1855, named “I Sing the Body Electric, incorporate the animus of the collection. What we experience is a passionate ode to Sensual Purity which comes to life spontaneously, from knowing one’s self. The looks are feminine and full of dualistic contrasts: body/soul; day/night; real/surreal; soft, loose and comfy garments/technical ones. Still, the collection is homogeneous and a certain harmony pervades it all. The same happens with the color palette; Sportmax’s metropolitan mermaid is dressed in white, cream and beige but she also wears strong nuances such as orange, blue, grey and black. She rises from sensual dresses whose shapes reveal elements such as the shoulders or the back. Details here are the core: quirky metal piercings enrich her bags and the same motif evolves in bijoux pieces, bracelets, necklaces and belt.

Last but not least- among the most elegant and sophisticated shows, we can not mention VALENTINO. Exceptionally showing in Milan for this season, the show took place in the industrial spaces of Fonderie Macchi. Here, the plant artist Satoshi Kawamoto realized a wonderful set up where grass and flowers were coming out from the concrete. While, the music background was offered by the genius of Labrinth, a great performer accompanied by two vocalists and a single piano, in a dynamic, romantic ballad.
The idea of a Nature reclaiming its space, is also visible in all the wonderful flowers printed in Valentino’s dresses. Some are mini, some others are very long, with huge shapes and fits. The shirts are over and loose, but somehow perfectly matched with fancy and chic shorts. There are lots of ruches, laces and transparencies, yet the volumes are perfect for the daily life. Abundance is never a thing and it is never too much. Equilibrium and balance are always keys, if  Beauty is the goal.