MILAN (AP) — Social media stars have brought a fresh buzz to Milan Fashion Week. As word of their whereabouts spreads, gaggles of fans gather outside the restaurant or show venue where they are gathered, hoping for the chance to get a selfie — the pixel version of the 15 minutes of fame.
Here are some highlights from the fifth day of Milan Fashion Week womenswear previews for next spring and summer on Sunday. They include Dolce&Gabbana, Marni, Stella Jean and Missoni:
Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are showing their fashion smarts by inviting a host of Millennial-and-under internet stars and fashion trendsetters to the Dolce&Gabbana front row.
Young VIPs like Cameron Dallas, Sistine Stallone, Zoey Deutch, Lucky Blue Smith and Pyper America Smith, who command millions of followers across multiple social media platforms, give an instant burst of recognition to a very and attentive and targeted audience across the globe.
In all, more than 20 young celebrities of social media, many of them Hollywood offspring, attended the show on Sunday, drawing hundreds of fans with roller coaster screams to the designer's central Milan theater.
Exuberant street dancers filled the runway to set an upbeat tone for the Dolce&Gabbana preview show with their acrobatics.
The duo's collection for next spring and summer was dubbed "Italian Tropics," a fantastical framing of the designers' beloved Sicily, and was exuberant in itself, starting off with a series of bejeweled and embroidered jackets paired with flouncy transparent net skirts, hot pants, decorated ripped jean shorts and silken floral print dresses.
If Italy truly had the tropics, its prints would include oversized penne, bundles of spaghetti, colorful cocktails and cones of multi-flavored gelato, which Dolce&Gabbana fashioned into pretty frocks and comfortable trousers and jackets. In keeping with the Italian food theme, jute mini-dresses appeared to be advertising Italian pizza and a specific brand of canned tomatoes. A dress covered in netting had snagged a selection of seafood, accompanied by lobster earrings.
Nary a box was unticked for next season, hardly a silhouette left unexplored. The designers delivered a selection of pretty black dresses, from sheer lace numbers to short cocktail looks. Big round sequins covered dresses and overcoats, while shoes and ornamental hair pieces not only glimmered -- some actually lit up. Jeans were ripped and possibly covered with metallic ornaments, jewels or fringe. T-shirts came with the Virgin Mary surrounded by saints, or plays on the Dolce and Gabbana D&G logo, showing you can beat the counterfeiters at their own game, with enough self-deprecation.
Amid the endless variety, the final dress of the show perhaps best demonstrated that the designers' intent for next season was something less showy: A baby blue floral dress that hugged the bodice peasant-style and highlighted the curves with a diagonal ruffle. Gently curled hair was decorated with a simple pink flower. The last word being, self-possession.
Marni's collection for next spring and summer appeared to be of such a complex construction that it would seem to require a dress maid, or at least written instructions, perhaps even a video.
Accordion pleated dresses wrapped around along the bias, trailing ribbons or rope drawstrings. Tops with manifold folds and dragging cuffs fastened at the waist with a metallic buckle, and tuck into drawstring skirts. High-neck tunics with oversized sleeves and big cargo pockets were wrapped in wide kimono belts. Knitwear was gathered upward, obscuring the practicalities of how to get in or out.
Creative director Consuelo Castiglione counterintuitively played with proportions. Cargo pockets billowed like balloons over jumpsuits and coats. Sleeves were oversized, ending in bell shapes or big open cuffs. On skirts, the arched hemline of previous seasons was revisited. Seen from behind, a peplum layered evenly with a jacket hemline and skirt for a sculptural effect.
For evening, a black dress was constructed out of panels stitched together loosely to allow skin to peek through, creating the effect of an ultra-modernist wedding cake.
Colors are mostly basics, from white to beige to black, with flashes of emerald green, dusty pink and hues of blue. Marni prints for the season include florals and gentle geometrics. Big baubles and pointy shoes finish the looks.
Hatian-Italian designer Stella Jean's collections continually cross borders, seeking what is mutual through fashion. For next season, the unifying force is soccer, the world's most popular game.
"Latitudes, cultures and traditions merge through football, creating a society that does not need technology to live," the designer said in notes. The motto: more soccer, less wifi.
The soccer jersey, inlaid with the captain's armband, plays a central role in the collection, paired with feminine skirts. Tailored shirts flow into sarongs, skirts are layered over shirt dresses, almost like backward aprons, and belted blazers are worn with pleated skirts bearing the ship prints by the painter Prefete Duffaut. The designer called the uniform looks "geek chic."
Stella Jean said she took inspiration from Myanmar, the local variant of soccer, called chinlone, the overlaps of Burmese robes and "the grace and strength of Aung San Suu Kyi."
The Missoni looks for next season flow and wrap, emphasizing the fineness of the brand's knitwear.
The silhouette is exceedingly clear: Micro mini or long and flowing. Tank dresses have surprising color combinations, stripes of dark green or black, and with strong shades of red, green and yellow. Metallic yarn runs through the collection.
The knitwear is close to the body, with curves emphasized by scarves or sweaters wrapped around the middle. Palazzo pant jumpsuits create movement and flow, as do long trailing cardigans over shorter dresses.
"I really all of the sudden felt the need for something clean, pure simple. So I really went for a very simple silhouette."
FROM BIKINI TO BURKINI
Federica Pellegrini showed over her Olympian abs in a bikini top and white linen pants by Raffaella D'Angelo. The champion swimmer says that the experience of modelling for the swim and beachwear label has created an interest in fashion for a possible next career — but only after the Tokyo Games in 2020.
"Every time I feel a different emotion, compared to when I swim. At the end of my career, maybe I will stay in the fashion world," she told the news agency ANSA after the Saturday show.
D'Angelo opened the show with an ornamentally printed burkini in somber shades, winning applause from the crowd.
"This isn't meant as a provocation, but as an opening," the designer told ANSA, saying her choice to show a burkini was meant as a sign of respect for Islamic culture. She also noted, wryly, that how women dress at the beach has long been the source of social discussion.
"This year we celebrate 70 years of the bikini. A century ago, we all went around all covered. We don't need to be scared of novelty," she said.
While in neighboring France debate over burkinis on beaches was sparked by local bans, Italians have shown more acceptence.
Models Adriana Lima and Sara Sampaio helped drive up the bidding for a trip to the 2016 Victoria's Secret fashion show as the amfAR charity raised nearly $2 million for AIDS research at a gala Saturday night, a Milan record.
Also on hand for the annual event was Heather Graham and Karolina Kurkova. Lapo Elkann, whose family controls both the Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari carmakers, was honored with the AmfAR courage award for his support of the charity, which aims to find a cure to AIDS by 2020.
"I've been fortunate in my life, and for me to be generous is normal. If not it would be a shame," Elkann said. He then urged the well-heeled attendees, who he noted spend freely on expensive cars, airplanes and clothes, "instead of being generous on vanity, be generous on things that have a purpose."
Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the victims of last month's deadly earthquake in central Italy.
Paola Masera contributed to this report. Follow Colleen Barry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/colbarry