Milan Fashion Week: Italian Elegance

DsquaredMilan Fashion Week opened and closed with strong collections from both contemporary and established Italian houses. Inspiration for next season’s trends were diverse—from film to tradition to modern lifestyle—but it was all unmistakeably, elegantly Italian.

Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s blooming No.21 collection played up textures to great effect, mixing rough gray tweeds with soft silks and sequin skirts. Fendi took a similarly textural approach with sophisticated contrasting combinations, such as textured wool knits, silk pleats and treated skins in earthy browns and black. MaxMara showcased a series of military-like jumpsuits and masculine, long coats inspired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Querelle, while Moschino presented quilted leather jackets and black-and-white check print separates. Prada’s dramatic show echoed that of it menswear collection: heavily jeweled coats and dizzying prints, high waistlines with elongated pins and skirts that stopped swiftly at the ankles.

MoschinoDespite the typically somber palette associated with autumn/winter, some designers took a sunnier approach to the season. Dsquared’s Dean and Dan Caten turned out pastel jumpers topped with diamante brooches and brightly colored lame jackets and skirts. Marni’s Consuelo Castiglioni presented a chirpy collection reminiscent of the swinging ‘60s, which featured coats with prominent collars and belt buckles, large hip pockets and block color shift dresses in sky blue, canary red and pale peach.

Elsewhere, designers focused on silhouettes to deliver new shapes for the female form. At Gianfranco Ferre, Stefano Citron and Federico Piaggi’s asymmetric evening frocks featured structured bodices and draping bias-cut skirts. Elsewhere, Giorgio Armani opened his “Easy Chic” collection with a series of gray tailored suits with pleated ankle-length trousers, while Trussardi’s Umit Brenan paired simple knit jumpers and skinny leather belts with Latin-inspired suits. And at Missoni, natural references made their way into cashmere knits bearing grainy textures wrapped tightly around busts and thin shoulders, while pencil skirts made of amber colored hides accentuated hips and waists.

Dolce & GabbanaMany designers also stayed true to Italian form by delivering grandiose, luxurious collections. Highlights included Roberto Cavalli’s shoulder-less heavily beaded mini frocks and head-to-toe animal inspired combinations as well as Dolce & Gabbana’s inspiring collection, which was rich in Sicilian tradition. Audiences applauded the duo’s romantic, lingerie-esque tulle and lace ensembles as well as the series of midnight black capes steeped in gold embroidery and gold silk brocade.

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