With “sweetness,” Prada set the tone for Milan collections, in my mind at least. I just wanted more and more sweetness. Of course, Prada doesn’t do sweet in a stereotypical way (like, um, Vera Wang). In the world of Prada, pretty mid-century ladylike-ness is directly linked to the 1950s fascination with car culture (think Grease, but like some idealized Italian version of it). The result is romance and femininity with references to overt masculinity: the car.
So this concept leaves us in a search of sweetness and finding out what everyone else has to offer. Luisa Beccaria found herself in a dreamy land of lavender fields. It’s a bit of a sugar overload, especially the sweetheart bodices, but one or two looks set a nice mood for spring.
Dolce & Gabbana
I have a love/hate relationship with Dolce & Gabbana. Sometimes they can get a little too Euro sexy (you know what I mean) but sometimes they get all pretty and garden-y on you. Like Prada, this collection borrows from the 1950s, but looks to domesticity for inspiration rather than cars. We have pretty dresses with floral and vegetable prints and crochet tablecloth elements. There is sex — for the evening, of course — by way of skimpy black lace.
Not sure if I ever expected paisleys from Jil Sander, but here we are. I stared at the paisley pieces for a long time trying to decide whether I liked them or not, due to my own judgmental connotations with the word ‘paisley.’ But a paisley by any other name would smell as sweet, and so I do like it for its freshness. Raf Simons cited optimism behind these clean, puritanical silhouettes, and it’s something I can get behind. And let’s hope the rumours of Simons jumping ship to YSL are false, because it would be difficult to imagine someone else at Jil Sander. I’ll keep optimism in mind.