Why does inflation keep happening? This is the pain point that is developing into a trend, out of all the problems that are now churning the world that may catch the thoughts of designers, why is that? It would seem to be the case, based on how the first several days of the Milan exhibitions went.
First, Glenn Martens of Diesel centred his performance around a quartet of enormous inflatable dolls, and then Jeremy Scott of Moschino transformed the whole thing into a pun using 63 different appearances.
Backstage, Mr. Scott was overheard saying, “Globally, everyone’s been worrying about inflation—in housing, food, and gas—so I brought inflation to the runway.” “I brought inflation to the runway.” Perhaps it’s understandable. After all, changes in consumption habits are not impossible in response to rising costs. And that may strike the fashion industry right where it hurts. Mr. Scott was only providing a new perspective on the matter.
Including toys for the pool.
To be more specific, he used life preservers to create the illusion of peplums on little technicolour skirt suits; used them to pad out lapels to form a puffy bright-red heart around the neck or otherwise decorate 1980s little black dresses and power-lunch suits; swapped them in like feather boas to swathe the shoulders; and otherwise employed plastic flotation devices.
In addition, this is not a completely original idea; in fact, Franco Moschino himself did a take on the life vest worn as a jacket in one of his collections many years ago. Mr. Scott is very skilled in the art of the visual humour. When confronted with a white goddess gown that resembled something from an Erté Art Deco drawing and included two giant swan floaties curling up behind it, it was difficult to maintain composure and not let out a few giggles.
However, it is also true that Mr. Scott has a propensity to get fascinated with his own wit, and that this particular bit of frockplay came dangerously near to crossing the line into the realm of letting them have their cake and eating it too. Many people see inflation and its effects on the cost of living as a serious issue that should not be taken lightly.
There is merit in adding lightness to the situation and in defanging terror by making it amusing — in giving some form of life raft to the people who are experiencing it. However, it is not quite obvious whether or not it would be fashionable to market it as a one-piece outfit that customers might wear.
Nevertheless, there is an atmosphere of “sink or swim” that permeates the collections. An assortment of wide-leg sailor trousers, midriff-baring cropped shirts, and easy-tailored jackets in rough linen, sun-bleached pastels, and the scent of the ancient Riviera were designed by Ian Griffiths for MaxMara. Giorgio Armani contrasted the aquatic silks and beaded garments that he designed for Emporio Armani against the background of a stream that never stopped moving.
In this day and age, using one’s wardrobe as a kind of self-soothing is one option; at Prada, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons presented an additional option. Recruiting Nicolas Winding Refn, director of the action thriller “Drive” (2011), as a kind of cineaste partner in order to generate not a joke but rather a feeling for the scene.
Therefore, Mr. Refn constructed an unnamed home in an unnamed location in order to serve as their set. The house was covered in black construction paper and had holes torn out for entrances and windows; these holes allowed views of various situations taking place in different rooms. A foot here, an empty chair there – lives living just out of reach of their full potential
At first, there was a grey onesie that was used in institutions and consisted of both leggings and a button-up top. On top of this, lighter grey boxy coats and jackets served as additional layers. Later on, two-tone shifts in hues emerged, such as greasy black and lipstick-orange red, with tints that did not quite reach the unfinished edges and creases that were silk-screened on. Also included were apron minidresses pre-scrunched into folds at the hips and waist; beautiful papery silks printed with giant flowers and then torn upward at the hem, to reveal the black slip underneath; and chunky knit sweaters and skirts slit to mid-thigh, layered over ragged white silk slips and snagged in different places, giving the appearance that the fabric had been caught on the edge of a desk as the wearer rushed
Their strength lies in the ways in which they are flawed. They are reminiscent of Mr. Scott’s life preservers in that they imply survival, but in a manner that is more narratively obtuse and emotionally nuanced.
At the very end, a succession of black dresses and coats came out, each one having a bow affixed to the back of it in a haphazard manner as if it were a sort of ornamentation that was in the process of migrating, with tails trailing out behind them to represent a train or a windsock. Just in case you find yourself in a situation where you need to determine which way the zeitgeist is blowing.