Minimalist vs Maximalist. If we had to summarize Milan Fashion Week into one sentence, it would be this: Fall Winter 2017-2018 in Milan was a clash of titans, in which brands engaged in a battle between those whose design is guided by essential perfection, and those going for the creative chaos of “more is more”.

This is actually an age-old conflict that traces its roots back to the 1980s, when brands like Costume National and Calvin Klein were flying the flag of clean silhouettes, clashing against the crazy eclecticism that had dominated the decade until their arrival on the scene — the same eclecticism that made its comeback this season at the Milan shows, with Gucci on the first day and Max Mara on the second, heading the two factions.

At its first show in its new spaces in via Mecenate, the former reiterated its aesthetics, clearly generating from street-style, made of layering, contrast, colors and prints matched together entirely liberally, with no rules, and a taste for catching the eye. The latter relied on the purity of monochrome looks, with a subtle interplay of ton sur ton, and classic items such as turtlenecks and tailored pants as the emblem of a timeless style that is always in fashion, but that might also come across as revolutionary in today’s fashion as they did in the 1990s.

These are two of the most extreme factions in a constant interplay between minimalist and maximalist styles that could be seen in almost every show: while some brands might be closer to one faction or the other due to history and identity — as is Jil Sander‘s and Ferragamo‘s case on the the sleek side, and in Moschino‘s and Antonio Marras‘s case on the side of whimsical creativity — in most of the shows you can clearly notice a clear line between extremely clean looks, sometimes characterized by bright colors — like orange, a great trend this season — and looks that focus on a mix of patterns, remarkable decoration, logos, prints and flamboyant styling.

Any examples? Versace, with a collection that starts out minimalist and then explodes into a splash of lettering on its tulle clothing; Emilio Pucci, whose soul is clearly split, with dresses that come either in black or entirely covered in prints; MSGM, whose collection includes colorful prints and a series of looks in which the only touch of eclecticism is on the sleeves, entirely covered in ruches. Less is More, or More is More? We really feel like we can’t pick sides, because we want the freedom to choose sides every day, when we wake up, depending on our mood. In fashion, those who profess faith for just one style always end up contradicting themselves sooner or later, after all! 🙂

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