Designers Federico Piaggi and Stefano Citron worked an unmistakably minimalistic angle for Spring 2013. The duo sent down laser sharp pieces with clean lines in black and white. The only other color found in this collection were a few snakeskin dresses and shorts. There were hints of futuristic and origami details like fabric folds, exaggerated hips, asymmetrical necklines hems to keep things interesting. Belted dresses dominated, some mini and flirty, others maxi and more elegant. Sheer dresses and jackets, one-shoulder jumpsuits, and leather-sleeve jackets and dresses were all part of an undeniably chic Spring collection.
>> During the final Milan shows yesterday, Vlada Roslyakova and Olga Sherer were spotted sharing a magazine backstage at Gianfranco Ferre while Hanne Gaby Odiele played telephone with a croissant pre-Roberto Cavalli. See the glittery eyes on all behind-the-scenes at DSquared2 and who hid behind her handbag at Giorgio Armani — in the slideshow.
Photos: Greg Kessler
>> Whether John Galliano can make a comeback down the line or not is a subject of great contention — but one brand has already reportedly expressed interest in hiring the currently unattached designer. According to a source in Milan, WWD reports, Ferre owners Paris Group — which recently let designers Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi go — mulled the idea of tapping Galliano for Ferre.
Paris Group denied the reports, however, and a deal did not materialize. But speculation is rising that the group may endeavor to buy LVMH's 91 percent stake in the Galliano brand.
- Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launch new optical line — People StyleWatch
- Gianfranco Ferre's creative directors leave the label — Vogue UK Daily
- Five stylish graduation outfits — College Fashion
- Splatter-printed shorts are the thing for Spring — Nylon Blog
- Bridal advice from Matthew Williamson — InStyle
- Sarah Burton is said to be a leading contender at Dior — The Cut
- Ralph Lauren Collection handbags debut at Net-a-Porter — Purse Blog
- Ethan Koh's bag line has bite — Vogue Daily
>> In a move that wasn't entirely unexpected, Gianfranco Ferre creative directors Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi — who also design under the moniker Aquilano.Rimondi — are out at the brand. They joined Ferre in 2008, after the founding designer's successor Lars Nilsson was dismissed in February of that year.
A "well-placed" source told WWD that after the Fall 2011 show, “sales didn’t go well at all" and "the designers have already left.” While attending February's show, new Ferre owners Abdulkader Sankari and son Ahmed (of Paris Group) already seemed lukewarm about Aquilano and Rimondi. “We will see,” was all they would say when enquired about the designers' future at the brand.
A retailer who asked to remain anonymous also blamed poor sales for the designers' departure: “We bought a minimal amount of the collection for the sake of carrying the brand, but there simply were not enough samples. There was almost no daywear and evening wear was fairy-tale-like, something for the Oscars. It may work for a small, niche brand, but not for such a global brand.” Aquilano and Rimondi's Ferre designs were also known to be expensive, putting the brand on par with the likes of Chanel.
>> Samsung and US private equity firm Prodos joined forces to bid on the bankrupt Gianfranco Ferre in September — and last month, Italy’s minister of economic development approved the offer — but a source told WWD that Samsung is now having “second thoughts at the altar.” Furthermore: “Samsung is not giving the administrators the guarantees they had requested, such as keeping the company’s employees or on long-term projects. Now it’s up to the administrators again, and they are evaluating how to proceed.” Originally, Prodos had committed to keeping all of the company's 150 employees, whereas it was more unclear whether Ferre's current designers, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, would stay on. Now, the source suggests the holdup is contingent on the fact that Samsung, Prodos, and the administrators "may have agreed on strategies, but not on the operative decisions, such as the choice of a chief executive or of a creative designer.” [WWD]
Backstage Snaps from Milan Fashion Week Part Four: Daria Strokous's Birthday Surprise at Jil Sander, and More
>> And without further ado, Milan Fashion Week has come to a close. See the last of the backstage snaps from this season, including appearances by Chanel Iman at two shows; Erin Wasson, Natalia Vodianova, and Laetitia Casta at Roberto Cavalli; and Daria Strokous, who Raf Simons surprised pre-Jil Sander with birthday flowers and cake. Plus: scenes from Marni, Missoni, Emilio Pucci, Jil Sander, Giorgio Armani, Gianfranco Ferre, DSquared2, and Dolce & Gabbana.
Photos: Greg Kessler
>> Douglas Song, an executive at US private equity firm Prodos, which has emerged as the final bidder for Gianfranco Ferre, attended the label's fashion show on Friday. Prodos, together with Samsung, has made a binding offer of just more than €10 million ($13.5 million) for the brand, which went into bankruptcy protection last year. The Italian government is expected to make a final decision on the offer within two weeks' time.
It is understood that of the five bidders for Ferre since the auction process launched in June, Prodos and Samsung prevailed because of their deep pockets, vital for the expensive relaunch of the brand which has struggled since the death of its namesake designer three years ago. Already, Ferre has pulled out of many markets; in the US, only Bergdorf Goodman still sells it.
As part of the deal, Prodos has committed to keep the company's 150 employees; sources indicate the new owners also plan to open stores in Asia through franchise partners. As for the Ferre's current designers, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, whose expensive designs place the brand in competition with the likes of Chanel, it is unclear whether they will stay.
As the Wall Street Journal wrote of the just-shown Spring 2011 Ferre collection: "The challenge for Ferre’s new owners will be to build up a new following for this tarnished house. They may need to start with less-expensive clothing than what was shown Friday." And Style.com noted: "In general, this collection didn't have the distinctive point of view you expect not only from these designers, but also from one of Milan's once major houses."