Moschino shreds fashion rules and Dsquared2 turns up the heat on the first day of Milan Fashion Week

MILAN (AP) — Reserved for mostly menswear previews, Milan Fashion Week opened on Friday with two co-ed collections, underlining that the old calendar rules no longer apply.

The week features just 20 runway shows, which should allow time for reflection on where fashion is headed. Moschino opened with a show combining menswear for next summer and women’s 2025 resort, followed by Canadian fashion house Dsquared2 with a full menswear and womenswear collection.

Highlights from Friday's show:

Lost and Found at Moschino

In his second season as Moschino creative director, Adrian Appiolaza took the rules and literally shredded them.

“The idea of freedom of expression through dressing is what I want to bring to the future of Moschino, which is tied to the original DNA,’’ Appiolaza said backstage. “It is not about gender. It is not about nationality. It’s really about feeling comfortable, dressing the way you want and not the way you should.’’

The Argentine designer reads our collective minds as the summer season beckons in the northern hemisphere, tapping desires to break free from the office routine and reach dream destination. Along the way, daydreams take over, and familiar objects shift.

Appiolaza creates a shimmery tank out of big paperclips. A jacket is covered in textile post-its of forgotten tasks. Another becomes the office worker’s survival jacket, with slots for pens, a note pad, credit cards, ID badge, charging cables, nothing is concealed; this later becomes an adventure jacket with field guides and a magnifying glass.

Suits and trenches are deconstructed into dresses. Then they are shredded, as if to say: Enough. The last straw: An airliner perched on a hat. Then a literal straw skirt.

There is release in safari wear, a beach pareo, skirts that work as postcards, knitwear emblazoned with a soccer ball pattern, a blazer printed with still life of an Italian table: ripe tomatoes, a Chianti bottle and bread, worn with a fraying skirt over trousers.

The collection confidently taps the fashion house’s ironic and playful DNA, with a fresh and irreverent twists sure to inspire smiles. A suit shirt comes ready with an ink spot. A sparkly pizza smudge graces a tank, worn with an Italian tri-color skirt emblazoned with soccer balls. Men’s brimmed hats are worn in triplicate, as if resized and multiplied by a fashion copy machine.

“They are all explorers, these characters, on a journey of self-discovery,’’ Appiolaza said.

Dsquared2 turns up the heat

Canadian designing twins Dean and Dan Caten turned the heat up with a men’s and women’s collection for their Dsquared2 fashion house long on suggestive, transgressive looks.

The Catens energized the theater of fashionistas with a troupe of male dancers grooving in unison under red lights, clad in sheer rubberized tanks and black trousers, in what the twins called “bodacious theatricality.”

The collection for the well-buffed featured leather and denim, sheers and sequins that accentuated and revealed the form. A denim dress was no more than two panels, held in place by sequined vines. Off shoulder, asymmetric knitwear for him showed off well-defined chests. Sequin bikinis were worn over athletic number shirts and short shorts. Cascading chiffons revealed bondage harnesses and sparkling bralettes. Sheer boxers glittered over satin shorts, ready for the ring. Denim was treated with a silver finish. This is a sensual wardrobe meant to party.

“It’s sensual and sexual,’’ Dan Caten said backstage. “It’s Dsquared2 heat, so we are feeling a little spicy.”

“We are bringing love,’’ added Dean. “We are bringing a dream. We are bringing theater, which is a escape from reality, because reality as we know it … is a little bit reality.””