To summarise the Milan Autumn/Winter Fashion Week in three words: spectacle of bliss. The hallowed runways of Italy were decadent with fashion taking inspiration from every era from the English duchess to the ’40s Hollywood siren. A refined ’80s feel showed up in the glamtastic collections of designer duo Dsquared when they paired silken gowns with fluffy cardigans and knee-high tights. A reminder that even high street fashion can have a little fun.
Agatha Ruiz De La Prada went cartoon crazy and models imitated Manga comic heroines. Pink cut-out hearts decorating a green web costume for Batman’s next love interest, perhaps?
The visionaries at Gianfranco Ferre cut and folded fabric origami-style to present their form-fitting fishtail gowns and power suits. Zuhair Murad reminded red carpet royalty of why they love him with his Grecian forms flowing into controlled drapes. Donatella Versace brought sexy back in dare-to-breathe silk jersey fits and bold cutouts.
The Burberry Prorsum collection was restrained as Christopher Bailey chose to lay low on his bling addiction. Alberta Ferreti brought back the flapper fringe and dusted her collection with coppers, golds and myriad hues of silver. Despite a marriage of gladiator leather with school girl socks at Prada, the results were unexpectedly wearable. Dolce and Gabbana invited the circus to town.. literally. Cabaret dancers in puffy mini-skirts rubbed shoulders with ballerinas wearing princess gowns in maddening prints. And nobody does prints quite like Emilio Pucci where bohemian gowns brought fantasy to life.
Thin is in
Sleek pant suits ruled at Aquilano e Rimondi and Blumarine and Armani alternated slouchy and slim silhouettes. Leather pants made a revival, though this trend should come with a wear-at-your-own-risk disclaimer. At Roberto Cavalli and Aquilano e Rimondi, vampire models sashayed down the ramp dressed in see-through lace and heavy goth make-up. If you’re not afraid of drowning, adopt the exaggerated shoulders that ruled the ramp at D&G, Mila Schon and Ferre. But remember to keep the rest of the silhouette tailored to a clean fit.
Doll me up
Diamonds were a girl’s best friend at Blumarine where models dazzled with long crystal chains and heavy bracelets. Consuelo Casteligiono put a little bit of everything into the necklaces she designed for Marni. Berets and beanies aren’t just for bad hair days, demonstrated Armani and Dsquared. Shoes belonged to Prada and Ferre where heels were stretched to dizzying heights. Intense detailing made Frankie Morello’s beaded clutches and John Richmond’s snakeskin totes delicious.
Autumnal fashion always brings out the richesse in the colour palette and this season didn’t disappoint either. Marta Forghieri mixed teal and cinnamon with spectacular results. Forest green at Armani, caramel at Bottega Veneta, dove grey at Antonio Marras and salmon pink at Versace — shades that cannot be exploited enough.
If you’re looking for a colour shock, try Roccobarocco’s aubergine, Moschino’s cherry red or D&G’s trademark hot pink. Experiment with ashen greys or sparkle in gun metal— the palette is a challenge for the experimental. The global economy may be shivering but by all accounts, the folks at Milan are living the high life.