This fall’s maximalist aesthetic harks back to the glory days of Italy’s big screen grandeur.
Cavalli fall/winter 2016.
The fall/winter 2016 runways were a smorgasbord of nostalgia. Paris, London and New York saw the resurgence of the ’90s and streetwear: Clothes got baggy, rock chicks took to the street and fashion joined the Navy.
In Milan, however, the Italians chose to re-enact another seminal cultural moment: The golden age of Italian cinema. Cinecittà Studios’ well-known epics, such as Ben Hur and Cleopatra, as well as the cinematic style of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti, have long imbued Italian fashion with grandiosity.
Add to that equation legendary sirens Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, and the legion of Old Hollywood actresses the likes of Liz Taylor and Ingrid Bergman, who flocked to the Eternal City in between filming. The result: Flamboyant fashion and lots of fur.
Loren in a fur-trimmed robe on
the set of The Fall Of the Roman
Empire, 1964. Bulgari’s Serpenti
bag in astrakhan and mink.
Not for the faint of heart, fur is for a certain kind of woman. But, if Milan’s runways were anything to go by, the demeanour has changed—the au courant take on fur is to wear it with eccentricity. Think Marchesa Casati, another Italian iconoclast and fall’s subject of affection.
On the runways, Peter Dundas went all out for his sophomore collection for Roberto Cavalli, and put fur as trimmings that adorned jackets and coats, worn on top of velvet dresses and lamé gowns; outfits to satiate your inner hedonist.
At Emanuel Ungaro, Fausto Puglisi exercised his prowess for maximalism through a blend of art and animal patterns on pieces worn under fur coats. This fur fervour illustrated the Italian appreciation for luxury and opulence.
Emanuel Ungaro fall/winter 2016.
Marchesa Luisa Casati in a
fur-trimmed silk robe at a sitting.
Alberta Ferretti fall/winter 2016
At Bulgari, this joyous celebration of beauty, richness and splendour saw a revival of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita in its latest rendition of the Serpenti bag. Combining shaved and longhair fur—in astrakhan and mink—with the iconic enamel-and-precious stone serpent clasp, the bag is elegant and indulgent all at once.
In a perfect manifestation of Bulgari’s famed craftsmanship, the astrakhan fur, which was sourced from Central Asia, is sewn directly onto the leather and precisely tucked in so the stitches are not visible.
Pair the Serpenti bag with a lace dress and kohl-rimmed eyes to showcase the more-is-more maxim. The look is part mysterious and part sexy—in Cinecittà’s terms, that would simply be called the opening scene.