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‘Inclusivity’ in fashion

MILAN (AP) — London-based designer Feben opened the last day of Milan Fashion Week with a refreshingly diverse runway in every way, both in size and race.

“I think why you are not seeing that around is because you are not seeing a lot of Black women in creative roles,” said the designer, who is originally from Ethiopia and grew up in Sweden.

Her latest collection was sponsored by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana as part of their ongoing program to support young talent.

“Obviously because I want to feel seen, and I think everyone should feel seen no matter what body type or what skin color they have. And I think it is really important to have more people on board who are from different parts of the world. And I think that makes a huge difference,” Feben said, adding that the fashion world shouldn’t shy away from conversations around such issues. “There is nothing wrong with issues. We just have to find a solution.”

Highlights from the last day Sunday of Milan Fashion Week of mostly womenswear previews for fall-winter 2024-25.

A model wears a creation of the Rave Review women’s Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection presented in Milan, Italy, Sunday. PHOTO: AP

Rave Review upcycles for all women

Swedish brand Rave Review, founded in 2017 by Livia Schuck and Josephine Bergqvist, took up where Feben left off on Sunday with a casting of models of all shapes, races and ages for the latest collection of their brand of fully upcycled garments.

“That has always been important to us,” Schuck said backstage. “We really wanted to show the actual girl wearing the clothes. It is really essential.”

The collection is based on thrifting from your grandmother’s wardrobe and giving the garments new life. Plaid fabrics sewn on the bias into skirts and tops made out of argyle sweaters formed the core of the collection. Men’s ties became belts or chokers. There was something for every body type, from short skirts, to form-hugging dresses and overcoats.

“When we started, we didn’t see so many brands starting with upcycling. Now there is more, which is great,” Bergqvist said. After launching mostly with home textiles and making a splash with outerwear constructed out of blankets, Rave Review is now adding dead stock to their materials.

In an act of inclusion, Bergqvist brought her baby with her for the final bow.

A model wears a creation as part of the Francesca Liberatore women’s Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection presented in Milan, northern Italy, Sunday. PHOTO: AP

Francesca Liberatore’s three-part symphony

Francesca Liberatore’s took her love of the theatrical to Milan’s Conservatory, showing her latest collection in three parts with the collaboration of the Alpen Symphony Orchestra.

The show in the conservatory’s packed auditorium opened with models in punk attire walking through the auditorium to timpani drumbeats. The orchestra took their places wearing individualized looks — violinists in peach and blue skirts, or light blue trousers with Alpine flower motifs, a cellist in a bright turquoise suit — instead of customary black.

A third group of models wearing black symphony garb and tall headpieces embedded with spotlights walked in one by one, turning on the lights of each player, at which point they picked up their instruments and joined the music.

The show mixing fashion and music closed with Hayden’s “Farewell” symphony, written as a protest, and each musician put down their instruments, turned off their music stand lights and exited the stage as they finished.

Liberatore said that she didn’t have any specific protest in mind.

“I think we need to stand up for our values,” she said. – COLLEEN BARRY

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