Once upon a time it was a thing of high class and high taste to have a piece of Italian fashion of your own. Just saying “it’s Italian” was enough to convince you it’s good. Today? Not so much. If you’ve ever been to Italy’s capital you know that it is a visual delight, in Rome, weather you want it or not, you binge on beauty. Italy has once been known for its refined and impeccable fashion style, no wonder that country of such splendour would produce astonishing mode. Nothing’s changed much in Rome, then how come Italian fashion has become so obsolete?
Italy used to have all those très big names that meant something, Versace, Armani, Gucci were all synonyms for style back in the nineties. Today you don’t wanna be caught alive wearing Versace. It would be a social suicide.
Biggest name of Italian fashion that moi can think of is Muccia Prada, Italian passport – check, but where does she stages her shows? In Paris.
There is also Gucci which is still worth something, Marni, Jil Sander (owned by Prada) and Bottega Veneta. Yet, even they are not all designed by Italians.
Italian fashion talent where art thou? Valentino retired (and is still orange I believe), which was a good decision (to retire, not to stay orange). Past are the days when he was designing for Jackie. He held his head up high for a long time, never quite got run over by time and new trends, he was always true to himself, and he left just in time to keep his fashion dignity.
Another orange one (what’s wrong with these Italians?!?) is Armani. He became cheap, not as in “inexpensive” but as in “cheap”, yeah, you get the point.
Versace unfortunately died and then his empire started sinking. It’s difficult to take Donatella and Allegra seriously. Just look at them. You wouldn’t have guessed from the things I’ve written in the past, but I am not fond of insulting people. It’s just that certain things need to be said. Donatella is a book sample of “plastic surgery gone wrong”, and I have never, ever seen Allegra with a smile. Plus, what no one dares to say (out of respect or something), they do look completely ridiculous. I am sorry, but they do. Thus I can not take them seriously as fashion authorities. And Donatella is also orange. Sunscreen people, sunscreen, ever heard of it? I wonder, with all those visits to tanning beds, do you also get a discount on skin cancer?
Domenico and Stefano have at some point realized that they will get much higher profits designing for pop culture kids than actually doing proper fashion. Their clothes is like the generation they design for (the fact that “the generation” reads as “degeneration” is completely accidental). It’s loud and entertaining, it’s out there, supposable it’s hip, it’s in, it’s trendy… it scares the hell out of me when I see those huge “D&G” logos on their clothes. We get it, it’s labelled, thank you. Domenico and Stefano spend more time on TV than they do in their studio. No wonder TV generation digs them.
And one last thorn in my heel… Cavalli. If we will ever have anyone to blame for endangering wild species, it’s Roberto. Sometimes I am not sure if the man’s colour blind or just making a big fat joke on all of us? There is no colour he hasn’t used (all at once preferably) and mixed and matched with animal prints. I never go to his catwalk shows, in fear of getting an epileptic seizure. No, seriously.
Those brave enough to wear him are rich Russians. Cavalli is a show off label. You know you’ll be noticed and it probably reminds them of their home made style. They just replaced polyester for silk, prints are still the same.
Italian high fashion has fallen low. It feels as if it’s being wiped off the fashion scene. They still produce a lot. There is an entire enviable middle class fashion industry. But I expect more from a country of Michelangelo and da Vinci. I don’t want average clothing, I can get that anywhere. I want magic.
I’m sure talent is there, but until someone takes off their magic wand and starts designing something remarkable, I will stick to French fashion and Italian pasta.