The very first show on the Milan calendar, and Paola Frani managed to epitomise what we’ve come to think of Milan fashion week (MFW) as being. Faded fresco ceilings of some old chapel unfussily strung with stage lighting like the city has more than enough of them to go around; a novel’s length of show notes to explain the collection (Milan is all about the tailoring and construction; Paris gets far more conceptual); a blaze of pumping electro music to spur on even the prettiest of dresses.
Frani was dreaming a botanical dream this season, where the structures of nature translate to clean lines and sculptural shapes, where the romantic and the scientific collide into geographic prints and delicate macrame flower embellishments. Nude organza has all the transparency of light through a leaf; hotpants reveal legs as long as slender as gerbera stems.
The girl herself belongs to the garden. A prima ballerina sock bun and lace headband crown her head, as perfect as something nature might have intended. She has Lilly skin and rose red lips. She looks the most beautiful in a perfectly tailored cream jumpsuit, or a garden green dress with a caped back billowing behind her.
But while the influence of botanicals often results in an overload of blaring femininity, Frani stuck to simplicity and youthful freshness. Some plainer outfits could have been edited out to keep the show tight, but the ones that hit the mark did so with precision and made the show’s length worthwhile. Frani’s spring garden isn’t the grandest or showiest garden on the block, but it’s the one you’d want to quietly get lost in on a fresh summer’s day.
You can see all of the Paola Frani spring / summer 2014 runway collection by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.
Photography by Imaxtree