After several so-so seasons, Milan shined last week with its spectacular number of winning collections for Spring 2011. Here are three young designers and labels who added to the brilliance.
Marco de Vincenzo (pictured at left)
This winner of last year's Who's On Next award (Italy's equivalent of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund) turned out a mostly separates-based collection that deliberately progressed from subtle, monochromatic colors and silhouettes to vivid, pixelated prints and textures. For his third-ever runway show in Milan, de Vincenzo showed off his talent for body-conscious tailoring in the form of sporty bike short-like bottoms, peplum-waisted sleeveless tops and fluted skirts, gave way to tiny dotted patterns and flirty, colorful skirts that revealed flashes of alternating colors in their pleats, before fringe and pixelized prints that condensed enough to form discernable, if blurry, images to complete the assortment with a finale-worthy 3D-like effect.
Though he's no stranger to the Milan runway scene—Scognamiglio has been at it for a decade now—the designer isn't too well-known on this side of the Atlantic. To celebrate his tenth anniversary, the self-dubbed "rock-a-porter" designer (who occasionally designs pieces for Rihanna and Lady Gaga) revisited some of his greatest hits with updated twists for the spring season ahead. Dramatic, opera-inspired spins on sartorial classics like the white button-down also included oversized, bouffant jackets, and plenty of ruffles to showcase the neck. A creamy pearl-studded shift dress in a translucent rubberized material was suprisingly subdued piece, alongside top-to-bottom purple leopard-print ensembles. What can we say, Mr. Scognamiglio has a flair for the dramatic.
Perhaps better-known for being the creative directors behind the prestigous Italian label Gianfranco Ferre, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi's own Spring 2011 collection played on all the trends that made Milan's Fashion Week such a hit this year, while still infusing every look with their own distinctive style. Rather than bold colorblocking, the duo offered up the season's bright colors in the form of prints—florals, stripes, and geometrics, while successfully channeling the 70s, with subtle, controlled proportions. Boxy short-sleeved shirts and well-tailored blazers balanced out micro-shorts, just as their long, flowy dresses featured up-to-there slits that were utterly Italiano.