Milan Fashion Week has produced a series of bewitching collections for a/w ’12. Although noir has always been a favorite in fashion, black-on-black emerged as one of MFW’s leading trends this season. Ironically, black shared the stage with an abundance of sheer fabrics—tulle, mesh, chiffon—which created a textured and visual juxtaposition across the collections.
Milan’s runways were covered in inspiring shades of darkness that were enhanced by textures, embellishments and construction. Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini combined hard military coats in onyx wool with soft separates made of black silks with velvet floral appliqué. At Alberta Ferretti, romantic looks were created from layers of black chiffon adorned with dark, round sequins and feathers.
Elsewhere, designers took a more dramatic and masculine approach to the trend: Versace presented ebony leather and velvets encrusted with jewelled Byzantine crosses; Bottega Veneta favored chunky black knits with boyish black cropped trousers; and Manuela Arcari delivered coal armour-like jackets with relaxed wool leather trousers for Ter et Bantine. Most unexpected was Peter Dundas’ predominantly black collection for Emilio Pucci, which featured evening gowns bearing slashed cutaways and snakeskin patterns recreated out of shining accents.
When it came to texture, designers migrated to opaque and transparent threads. Although a/w is typically all about woolly peacoats and down parkas, designers chose to bear some skin by working sheer fabrics into their warm a/w ‘12 collections. At Etro, dotted tulle and mesh shoulders held up body con dresses in autumnal paisley prints, while Roberto Cavalli’s Just Cavalli opted for billowing chiffon blouses in houndstooth prints. Anna Molinari delivered a colorful and provocative collection for Blumarine with transparent frocks that were partially covered in a rainbow of metal sequins. And as we bid adieu to Raf Simons and his last collection for Jil Saunder, we were left with pretty panels of nude chiffon, baby pink cashmere knits and bias-cut silk dresses.