MILAN, Italy — Evolution is the essence of fashion. Despite not being a trained designer, Marcelo Burlon knows it well. In a world of self-aggrandising, self-schooled creative directors who stick to a formula until they suck it dry, repeating it ad nauseam, one must acknowledge Burlon's knack for changing the game — or better, tweaking it — at the peak of success.
Today's show was a departure for County of Milan. Burlon, in fact, looked tense and emotional backstage. Gone are the dark religious symbols, the tribal spirit, and even the overtly sexualised casting. Now it is time for a posse of freaks and losers of all ages and shapes, dressed in fluorescent colours, industrial graphics and straightforward shapes. Working on a "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" sci-fi theme — the collaboration with the movie was a formal one, with dedicated merchandise and prints — Burlon took a leap forward indeed. It was not something groundbreakingly new; Undercover's Jun Takahashi has been in this territory many times. But it was a refreshing evolution for County of Milan.