Backstage before his show, Marco de Vincenzo
promised "a tribute to Elsa Schiaparelli." His plan, he said, was to create "new and surreal animals." It sounds far-out, but this was his most retail-savvy collection to date, with a concentration on outerwear and the animal prints that are still everywhere in Milan. The former came in the form of a spongy, cropped black leather jacket; a hooded coat with goat fur spilling from the arm seams; and a speckled tweed number with white fur sleeves. The animal in question was a zebra of sorts, and its black-on-white design appeared on everything from an A-line shift dress to a skirtsuit to delicate silk blouses, one in yellow, the other in pale green. If you're doing Schiap, who better to recruit than your pal, the jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez Fendi, who dabbles in the surreal herself? De Vincenzo used her neon-bright evil-eye charms as buttons, and he gave the crowd a good chuckle when said buttons appeared on either end of a placket that was trimmed in goat fur on the back of a coat: It looked just like a smiley face. The buttons also livened up the plain gray jacket of a skirtsuit.
This show wasn't long on ideas—a response, de Vincenzo explained, to past criticisms that his collections tend to be unfocused. But the ideas he had were good ones, and they were well executed, too.