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FASHION

Milan Fashion Week embraces ‘green’ fashion and sustainability

Milan Fashion Week kicked off on Tuesday September 18th with cutting-edge couturiers taking over the city to present their women's ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2019 collections, while doffing a collective cap to the environment.

Milan Fashion Week embraces 'green' fashion and sustainability
File Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Following on the high heels of New York and London fashion weeks, and ahead of the biggest of them all in Paris, Milan's catwalk season will see dozens of shows by the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Versace, Cavalli, Armani and Fendi.

Notably absent will be Gucci, which this year escapes to Paris so creative director Alessandro Michele can pay homage to the City of Light that inspired his new collection. Gucci, founded in Florence in 1921, will nevertheless host an exclusive performance by iconoclast Scottish dancer and choreographer Michael Clark at its Milan offices on Wednesday September 19th.

READ ALSO: Fashion label dies with us, say Dolce and Gabbana

Some renowned designers will be absent, such as Emilio Pucci and Trussardi, while others will return, like Philipp Plein and Iceberg, along with some surprises such as 1990s sportswear giant Fila.

Last year's collaboration with Fendi, which saw the two brands' logos playfully mingled by artist Hey Reilly, catapulted Fila back into the limelight. 

Continuing the trend of mixing street fashion with haute couture, French couturier Louis Vuitton in March appointed Virgil Abloh as director of its menswear collection. Ghanaian-American Abloh previously created the Off-White brand, coveted by hip-hop artists

'Green Fashion'

While fashion houses put on exhibitions on the sidelines of Fashion Week, including by French photographer Sarah Moon at Armani's museum, the week's overarching theme is sustainable development or so-called Green Fashion.

The Italian Fashion Chamber of Commerce, which organises most of the week's events, will hand out the Green Carpet Fashion Awards to the most environmentally friendly fashion houses.

Celebrities and key industry figures will attend the awards ceremony at the world-famous Scala Theatre – dress code green – on Sunday September 23rd, the climax of  the week's more than 60 catwalk shows and 90 presentations.

READ ALSO: How Prada returned to profit growth after years of declining sales

READ ALSO: Milan men's fashion week shows its feminine side

While the fashion world is not known for particularly caring about the environment, British luxury fashion group Burberry last week announced that it would stop burning unsold goods – an industry-wide practice.

Burberry and its peers routinely burn tens of millions of dollars worth of products every year to maintain the exclusivity and luxury mystique of their brands.

Environmental concerns notwithstanding, fashion houses will also be battling it out for who can put on the most extravagant, exclusive and, of course, fashionable show.

Emporio Armani is inviting its fans over to Milan-Linate airport to “check in” for its show, telling them to bring their passports, not carry liquids in their hand luggage and arrive early for security checks.

Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi will vaunt his wares surrounded by the leather-clad books of the sumptuous 17th-century Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Europe's second-oldest public library and also home to artworks by Da Vinci, Caravaggio and Raphael.

READ MORE: Italy to bid for 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina

MILAN

Romanian billionaire and seven others die in Milan plane crash

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and son, and all five others aboard.

Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato.
Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato on October 3rd. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1pm headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later into a building in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed.

Italian media identified the other passengers as entrepreneur Filippo Nascimbene, a 33-year-old from Lombardy, with his wife, young son and mother-in-law, who have French nationality.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Flames engulfed the two-storey building, next to the yellow line subway terminus.

“The impact was devastating,” Carlo Cardinali, of the Milan fire brigade, told news agency Ansa.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.

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