Fashion goes to Design Week’16

Lately we’ve been too sore missing the precious moments of the Fashion Week, and apparently someone up there heard our prayers. Milan is again immersed in a week full of miscellaneous events and aesthetic wonders. However, this one is different: a celebration of new ideas and creations in Design. Is there any chance for fashion to squeeze in? Let’s see.

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At the beginning of the week we received an invitation to attend the Milan Design Week event of the brand Anteprima. Missing all the presentations’ rush, we jumped at the chance to go. However, on the day of the cocktail reception we inevitably wondered: while during the Fashion Week the purpose of the presentations is to show new collections, what are we going to see now?

Evidently, the Design Week is something unique and it attracts visitors from Milan, other Italian regions and even abroad. Seems like an amazing opportunity for fashion brands to engage the clientele, general audience and media in PR activities, but what can they offer off-season?

We gave up guessing and headed to the Anteprima boutique in Corso Como. What we found was the atmosphere you normally find on Fashion Week presentations: photographers, waiters, drinks and appetizers, fashion crowd. Essentially, the leading role was given to the brand’s products, of which especially the signature wirebags captured attention. The variety is striking: different sizes, different colors and shapes that different that it comes to pandas, Hello Kittys and cactuses. Definitely not for everyone, but I personally wouldn’t say no to the sparkly pinky! The brand really cares about the shiny-flashy-glittery lovers, letting them have more than just a bag far from minimalistic: there are keyholders, bracelets and charms to pimp your purse or wear separately.

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That’s interesting, you might think, but is it enough to interest the guests? We would stumble to give a positive reply, and apparently, so does the brand: Anteprima products were accompanied by additional exhibits to add up to the event.

Saba Italia showed some new furniture: a sofa, an armchair, a pouf and a coffee table. The “Graceful Geometry” collection, created in collaboration, with its circles, bubbles and metal rings of different sizes is indeed a good match to Anteprima’s spring-summer collection and the wire bags.

The artist Carlo Cossignani, known for his paintings, sculptures and videos, provided some of his works and took part in an interview on the spot. The exhibits were all taken from the series of installations called “Drawings about Emptiness”, which focus on the concepts of physical space and inner place. Each single piece is composed of the lines that interlace, creating the images on the edge between emptiness and fullness, fluidity and solidity.

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The tactic Anteprima used is clear: use appropriate collaborations, show others’ creations to offer novelty and exclusive conjunction, attract extra attention to own creations. A whole different approach we met at another presentation: unintentionally we saw something was going on in the Vivienne Westwood Porta Nuova store, so we hopped in.

The festive crowd used for the cover photo is part from what we witnessed; in contrast with “artsy-laidback” Anteprima, VW set up a real pre-party with a dj-set, glitters and a logo backdrop.

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However, the two presentations did have something in common: with the in-store experiences offered they reached the aim to promote the merchandise. In Westwood, fashionistas were strolling throughout the store, gazing at, touching and trying on different items; I paid attention, too, and appreciated certain accessories.

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Anything to learn? Definitely. Though from the first sight it seems that the Design Week is just about other things, fashion brands able to detect and use opportunities can do so. Unlike Fashion Week presentations, Design-related events have no new collections to feature, but it turns out that the latest garments are not the only attraction for the fashion-addicted. Give people entertainment – they give you attention.

Ksyusha Task

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