The final day of fashion week is always quieter than the rest. They pack so much into the first three days that by the time the last one arrives most people are ready to drop. First show of the day was DSquared2. With no invitation to my name and no plan of attack for getting in, I arrived 30 minutes late – two minutes before the doors were about to close. At the gate, the check in desk for buyers was still open but the press desk was closed. Things weren’t looking good. I tried the buyer’s desk. No dice. The security guards. Nope. The buyer’s desk again. No joy. One last ditch attempt at the security guards. The one on the left knew me. He’d denied me from at least 10 shows over the last two fashion weeks. But this time he gave me a resigned smile, stood aside and let me walk through. I made it into the tent as the lights were going down.
The elevator descending at DSquared2
Big black curtains hung over the entrance to the catwalk. They were slowly drawn back to reveal a curious sight; two giant plaster sculptures of naked men (in the classical style of course) on either side of a huge red cage elevator. The elevator was at level two. A dark figure stood inside. The lights came up, the lift descended, and the lead singer from Tokio Hotel walked out wearing feathers, feathers and more feathers over the tightest of tight black leather pants. If you haven’t heard of them, Tokio Hotel is Germany’s answer to My Chemical Romance. And they’re huge – possibly the biggest band in Europe right now. After the feathered rockstar had left the catwalk, four roller hockey players skated down ramps from behind the elevator and stood at attention.
Those twins are big on their themes (last season was camping and the great outdoors), and the hockey motif ran throughout the collection – combined with horror movie effects to produce a show big on sportswear, big on blood. Models walked the runway in oversized hockey shirts with slasher Mighty Duck-esque prints, leather pants, and blood dripping from their faces. Where was Jason when you needed him? There was method in the madness, pare back the styling and you could find some very wearable pieces. My favourites were the ultra sheer vee neck vests and sweaters over top of white shirts.
After the hockey horror picture show, I was due at my first ever showroom appointment. Gucci. Time to get up close and personal with the most ultra-luxury collection I’ve ever seen. After seeing it in the flesh, I need to make a few corrections to statements I made yesterday. The real leopard print blazer turned out to be dyed Wallaby, and the woolly shag coat was in fact beaver fur.
Next stop was Iceberg, where I went straight backstage to watch the events unfold. They didn’t. About 15 models sat around awaiting direction that never seemed to come. All wasn’t in vain though, while loitering I heard the story of a designer who lost the plot when one of his models failed to turn up to his show. Turns out the model had partied rather hard the night before, and gotten himself into some trouble at a club. He woke up the next morning between two burly Italian men in jail. No rest for the wicked though, he was back on the catwalk two hours after his release.
Final show of the day (and the week, for that matter) was Z Zegna, one of a growing list of designers who chose to live stream their shows online for the public to watch. This week alone Dolce and Gabbana, Prada and Burberry all streamed their shows online, showing a better-late-than-never embracing of social media. Bloggers the world over rejoiced. I snuck backstage for a quick look before the show began and found a complete departure from last season. Victorian morning suits and top hats were replaced by deconstruction, exposed seams and inside out tailoring.
Front of house a major traffic jam was halting all movement on the catwalk. Chris Brown and that Tokio Hotel lead singer stood posing for the paparazzos. They love their own, these Europeans, and Chris Brown was being outsnapped by the German emo-star ten to one.
Z Zegna was a lesson in tailoring techniques. With the exposed seams and visible darts, cuts and vents, the coats and blazers had the appearance of bespoke garments just waiting to be trimmed and finished. It was a brave choice for the company – such explicit in-the-know details might be a little too much to take for some, but no doubt there’ll be some bold souls out there who won’t mind wearing their hearts on their trailing seams. I sat behind Chris Brown who appeared to approve, at one point turning around to say, ‘That coat! That coat!’ to a friend.
The show finished, it was time to catch the Malpensa Express to the airport and leave this cold, grey, fog drenched city.
Next stop, Paris.
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All catwalk images: GQ
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