Underpinned by slow luxury against the international tide of buy-now-wear-now faster fashion, MFW Day 2 was a long, passionate journey.
Sparks began to fly At Max Mara with a collection entitled Kinetic Energy, inspired by the female artists, artisans and creatives of the Bauhaus school of art. Built on Max Mara's house signatures of coats, cashmere and boilersuits, the collection was a flirtation between masculine and feminine elements. A classic, floor-sweeping, tailored coat realised in fluffy, washed alpaca worn with sequins and plenty of leg, there was the double-breasted suit in a soft, blush pink finished with black and white block-striped pockets or the classic overcoat in look one rendered in shimmering gold sequins.
Then to Costume National, where a Robert Smith/New Romantics-looking reference point led to a his-n-hers wardrobe swap of long-line, relaxed suiting elements softened with billowing shirts, velveteen, lurex and liquid silks. Designer Ennio Capasa printed silk, street-wear pyjamas with photoprints of flowers that he took himself to punctuate a subdued overall palette of storm grey, marine, black and deep green.
Fendi brought flowers, ruffles and frills in a conceptually undefined collection, (show notes included a quote from Voltaire - "What needs an explanation is not worth explaning."), scattering them onto playfully printed mink fur dresses, skirts and coats. The frothy, flouncy collection was flirtatious and coquettish in feminine detailing balanced with confident shapes and heavy-duty footwear.
Moving on to more brash territory as Jeremy Scott tends to do, was Moschino with a hyper feminine throwback to '80s prom nights with sexed-up leather biker pieces deconstructed against costume-y shocks of silk sculptures wrapped and tied around the body into bows and knots, revealing over-the-knee boots and smoking motifs - cigarette packet bags, matchstick prints and burnt-out cigarette holes and scorched edges. "I was thinking about cigarettes and people's addiction to fashion," Scott explained backstage. In the case of Moschino, like a chronic relationship that you just know isn't the right fit, it might be time to kick the habit.
Ever the dependable, devoted partner to fashion, Miuccia Prada studied ideas of women in love, out of love, pain and happiness and how they inform who we are for her A/W '16 offering. The collection heavily featured corsets, though unlike Moschino's display of sexuality, Prada's were engineered from soft cotton and layered over outerwear and dresses without the intention to restrict or reshape. She described the use of gold embroidery as inspired by regal wear and decoration, asking, "Do you make yourself beautiful with gold in order to make yourself an object, or to make yourself in command?" This, coupled with a print of Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra kissing Marc Antony as well as her intricately layered, complex jumble of styles - sailor hats, hourglass dresses, bowling shirts, argyle knit tights, fur, astrakhan, plaid, art prints, power-draped epaulettes et al - are perhaps an homage to the complexities of women and relationships themselves. But with a collection such as this, who needs a plus one?