It’s easier to mention what didn’t inspire Stella Jean this season. From Christmas nutcracker and plastic-cover sandals to Italian patriotism in form of carabiniere pants and ethnical nods to African masks, this season was filled with randmomness. Unlike spring-summer 2016 collection, filled with Tehuanian dresses and Andean references, the winter collection feels influent and busy, as if the designer wanted everything at a time. Surely, a stricter edit is needed here, even though there are some remarkable pieces. Note the stunning knitwear with Ndebele patterns and the dresses with raffia-applied mask motifs.
Moreover, Jean went off the rails with “Made in Italy” undermining statements backstage of her show – “we used the fluffy technique, entirely recycled from industrial mass-market rejects, whose identity we’ll keep secret in order not to influence judgment but also to prevent that attitude that inevitably discriminates against any garment that is not produced in Italy.” Surely, there is a seed of truth in the fact that the Italian fashion industry is not as “fairy-tale” as everybody thinks – and surely, this one wasn’t positively seen by the Italian fashion VIPs. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi opened Milan Fashion Week with a lunch attended by, to mention a few, Donatella Versace and Diego Della Valle, all with the initiative of praising Italian craftsmanship and the importance of the industry. Maybe the new collection didn’t make a fashion cut this season, but it definitely left few questions connected to the whole, inflated “Made in Itlay” matter.