The SS’19 Fashion Week shows have seen the return of the supermodels of the Nineties. The original and the best, in my book. Naomi, Cindy and Linda defined an era and made fashion feel like fabulous fun. Although that particular trio weren’t reunited for Milan Fashion Week, plenty of old school supermodels were back, strutting their stuff and looking better than ever.
We all know what happens when designers are preparing for fashion shows. No matter how many interviews they give in the preceding months about their passion for dressing “real women” and the joy of seeing their clothes being worn by “empowered” females, by the time the show kicks off, they inevitably revert to ‘type’. Led by teams of casting directors, they’re usually charmed by the stick thin bodies and baby faces of perfect 17-year-olds.
How refreshing then that this season wrinkles were in full effect on the catwalks of Milan. We’re talking crows feet, as well as hips, thighs and proper breasts. In particular, there was a vogue for the supermodels of the Nineties, the first-name-only faces that defined an era and made me want to work in fashion as a kid.
Versace, a supermodel factory, has always led the way. The beautiful Shalom Harlow closed the show and looked exactly the same as Shalom in 1993. At Salvatore Ferragamo, it was a similarly mature line-up, with an older looking but still perfect Stella Tennant, Karen Elson, and (now) sophisticated sex goddess Carolyn Murphy.
Dolce & Gabbana, signalling a return to its classic style of look-at-me tailoring, body-conscious dresses and tongue-in-cheek ball gowns, chose Carla Bruni and Eva Herzigova. Other vintage headliners featured included Isabella Rossellini and Monica Bellucci, to drive home the message – older, wiser, sexier.
Even the stunning Amber Valletta was a prominent force on the catwalk and she hasn’t aged one tiny bit! It’s sickening
I idolised them back then, I think we all did. But to be fair, these women have lived and loved and look all the better for it. Although there was plenty of nostalgia to indulge in, it’s great to see older ‘real’ women play their part in today’s industry. Of course they are still all exceptionally beautiful models, but there is substance and gravitas there which makes me, in consumer mode, believe there’s so much more value in this clothing.
It’s worth pointing out that New York Fashion Week, last year, was similarly senior. Credit must go to Versace again, whose spring/summer 2017 collection was rounded off with a reunion of Gianni’s girls, Carla, Claudia, Naomi, Cindy and Helena. It was George Micheal’s Freedom video all over again.
Will Paris uphold the maturity? Let’s hope.