Haughty couture: Feud after Milan Fashion Week is dismissed as out-of-touch and not intellectual eno
Haughty couture: Feud after Milan Fashion Week is dismissed as out-of-touch and not intellectual enough
It is traditionally a highlight of the global fashion calendar but this year’s Milan Fashion Week has been criticised as out-of-touch, confused and not sufficiently intellectual, in a feud worthy of the Zoolander movies.
The barbed comments infuriated Italian fashionistas, who leapt to the defence of their country’s haute-couture.
The contretemps was sparked by an article in The New York Times entitled "Does Milan Matter?"
"It's been a largely out-of-focus season in Milan. Italy has been something of a peripheral player in the European narrative of late — in the various dances among Macron and Merkel and Trump and May, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni rarely cuts in — and designers seem equally confused about their own roles in the greater fashion ecosystem," the newspaper said.
The column witheringly dismissed Milan as lacking intellectual clout, saying its Fashion Week was all about "extraordinary fabric and high-voltage cleavage".
"Milan has never really been an intellectual fashion city; leave that to the deconstructionists and conceptualists of Paris and London," the column said.
The clothes shown on Milan’s catwalks had failed to express "visual coherence in a chaotic time."
Leading the charge in defence of Italian pride was Stefano Gabbana, of Dolce and Gabbana, who said he was sick of "insults" from the American press and described the author of the article as being "anything but smart".
"Milan has everything – everything," he told Corriere della Sera newspaper. "This year’s Fashion Week struck me as being more joyous and relaxed than usual.
"The problem is that we Italians are insecure. We always feel inferior to others, whereas in reality it is the others who are afraid of us. We know how to do everything – fabrics, accessories, buttons - even the labels that go on clothes. That’s why others try to belittle us."
It was not the opinion of columnists that counted, said Mr Gabbana, but whether customers bought Italian-designed clothes. "The world needs our products because once you wear Italian, you never go back," he said.
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