The Dish and Dispatch from Milan Fashion Week

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Models backstage at Calvin Klein Fall/Winter 2015. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

Gucci was the talk of Milan; it was intended to be Frida Giannini‘s last collection (her departure was announced last December; she has been creative director since 2006). Last week it emerged that she was given a quick boot, and her deputy, Alessandro Michele, charged with producing a new collection in the space of a week. Actually, it was very Frida — feminine and romantic, with dashes of color, contrasting with the somber collections everyone else sent down the runway (this year’s predominant palate: gray). The puzzle was just how much Alessandro Michele inherited, and how much he altered.

The rumor is that Riccardo Tisci will take over just as soon as his contract with Givenchy is up (in about a year), while Alessandro steers the ship in the interval. For what it’s worth, I really loved the collection, but there will nothing there for GQ, Details, Esquire — it’s definitely not what Americans would consider men’s fashion. It was as if all the cute boys raided their girlfriend’s closets.

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Outwardly, Prada appeared to play it safe, drawing on military uniforms in a collection that included women as well as men. The silhouettes were tight and geometric, lots of double-breasted jackets, very tailored, and naval. Epaulets on the shoulders of some of the men’s jackets were echoed in the bows on the shoulders of the women’s dresses. Many of the fabrics were lightweight — nylon jackets, gray mohair sweaters. I loved it, but as usual you would have to be super skinny to get away with it. You’ve got eight months left to diet.

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Military motifs showed up also in Italo Zucchelli‘s F/W collection for Calvin Klein, but this time with a futuristic patina that summoned Blade Runner–an army of sharply silhouetted models in every shade of grey. In fact Zucchelli was more inspired by film noir than sci-fi, but it’s that combination of brooding masculinity and dystopia that makes this collection come to life. Double-breasted coats, parkas, black vinyl jeans, and cropped sweater and bomber jackets, often embossed with animal prints, felt signature Calvin Klein without feeling in any way repetitive.