I adore the designers who show at Milan Fashion Week – The clothes are inevitably dramatic, womanly, and sexy sexy sexy. This season was no exception, the collections shown were color, extravagant, and downright spectacular.
The Versace woman is never afraid to show some skin and this Spring she’ll really be putting her fabulous figure on display in an assortment of mini skirts, dresses, and shorts in mesh, nude lace, and sheer fabrics.
Low slung belts, studded cross-body bags, midriff baring tops, and knee-high gladiator sandal-boot hybrids were the accessories de jour, all in blacks, nudes, and vibrant Spring colors. I especially liked the sleeveless shift dresses and the studded belts which added a dash of rock n’ roll to the looks.
Leather and skins were highly featured at the Ferragamo show, and while other designers showed flowy silhouettes, bright colors, and prints & florals, Ferragamo was structured and tailored.
The black, white & nude collection included fabulous outerwear, slim pants, lacing, metallics, lace, mesh fabrics, snake-skin, boots, and studs, buckles & grommets.
Delicate. Ladylike. Romantic. Those are all words that I usually associate with Alberta Ferretti and this Spring collection is no different. I might even add dreamy this season.
Between the beading, shimmering, feathers, lace, and wet-looking slinky fabrics this collection was a treat for the senses, you wanted to reach out and touch all the aquatic-inspired designs!
‘Dramatic’ and ‘florals’ may not seem like they are two concepts that go together, but at Prada the dark, moody hues made the Japanese-inspired florals really pop.
From red poppies to black & white dandelion silhouettes, these florals were modern and dramatic rather than your usual hippie-inspired, Spring-appropriate florals.
Printed and colorblocked separates, dresses, and outerwear marched down the Fendi runway in colors from black & white to yellow, brown, and blue.
While there were a few solid-colored frocks among the looks sent down the catwalk, it was the dramatic and eye-catching futuristic prints that really caught my eye. The exaggerated silhouettes and interesting draping, folding, and tailoring were also outstanding.
The Moschino collection was absolutely killer! I’m a huge fan of mod-inspired looks and this collection was all about the 60′s – From amazingly flattering black & white pieces to swoon-worthy brightly colored prints & stripes.
The dramatic, embellished silver sandals, the retro hats, oversized sunnies, shift dresses, and chic, colorful jumpsuits & rompers with contrasting colored piping were all totally wearable. The separates and dresses had a great retro vibe but were still totally wearable for a modern girl if styled right!
Dolce & Gabbana:
Bright, fun & kitschy – Just the way we like it!
The old school Italian themed show was full of fun colors, extravagant prints, stripes, oversized earrings, scarves, and the classic, retro silhouettes that the pair do so well. It was interesting, eye-catching, and wearable.
This primarily black & white collection included hints of pink, green, and orange among the dreamy crystal, gem, and jewel-encrusted dresses, gowns, and slim suits.
From delicate lace, mesh, and sheer fabrics in crisp white to abstract florals in palest pastels to dramatic beaded pieces in black. Slinky, sexy, and dramatic – These designs were simultaneously powerful and delicate, a feat few designers can manage.
Though there were bold patterns featured in the Marni collection, there were also great white, and solid colored separates and dresses, all in the preferred, exaggerated silhouette of Consuelo Castiglioni.
Wooden brooches and ankle-strap platform sandals were also featured, both adding a down-to-earth feel to the collection. What I liked best were the cocoon -haped coats in bright prints and the peplum adorned dresses.
Think PINK! The Gucci show opened with a handful of bright pink looks, followed by blue, green, and yellow before the final black & white evening looks.
Brilliant colors, retro 70′s styles, and flattering, womanly silhouettes. The collection was dramatic and eye-catching while still being fun and wearable. The whole affaire was bold and sexy, one of my favorite collections!
The relaxed, Out of Africa style collection from MaxMara showcased slouchy knits, shirt dresses, safari inspired outerwear, and a host of somber colored prints, plaids, and stripes.
They delivered a collection of easy, low-key separates that could easily be paired together or mixed n’ matched with other pieces that you already have in your wardrobe.
This collection was all about shimmering, shiny, science fiction-inspired fabrics, textures, and colors. Silvery blue-grays, tie-dye inspired aquas, and sparkling navy were all heavily featured.
The flowy, somewhat exaggerated silhouettes were universally flattering and the chic, simple sandals were pure Armani. I always love Giorgio’s habit of sending two girls at a time down the runway, such a fun way to space things!
This was a fun, bright, playful extravaganza – From candy-like prints & patterns to vibrant pinks, yellows & blues to cheeky silhouettes & fabrics.
I especially liked the interesting fabrics and textures that Christopher Kane showcased, as well as the use of exposed zippers and the fun prints. It was a really youthful and energetic collection of pieces.
The knits that marched down the runway for Missoni spanned the color spectrum – From crisp whites to playful corals to Springy greens & blues. Taste the rainbow!
The breezy dresses and structured separates were wearable and chic – Perfect for a Spring full of exotic locations, days spent reading by the pool, or picking your way through foreign flea markets. They had a rich feel to them, like a luxurious vacation to far away lands come to life!
Previous Milan Collections: Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part I & Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II.
Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: Fashionologie’s Bags! The Best From Milan’s Spring 2013 Runways, Harper’s Bazaar’s Milan Fashion Week Spring 2013 Looks & Derek Blasberg’s Insta-Diary From The Fashion Week(s).
What’s your favorite designer from the Milan Fashion Week lineup? Do you look forward to any shows season after season?
Phenomenal. Breathtaking. Eye-Catching. Dreamy. Unbelievable. Divine.
Those are all words that I could easily use to describe the Fall 2012 Couture collections that were shown in Paris this past week. The locations ranged from the Grand Palais to the Ritz Hotel to the Musée Bourdelle, and the themes ran the gamut from old school glamour to futuristic to Game of Thrones.
Yes. Game of Thrones.
The big story this season was Raf Simons’s inaugural collection for the house of Christian Dior after leaving Jil Sander at the end of last season. The show began with classic Dior colors and silhouettes, elegant suits, ladylike dresses, and then ball gowns that I can guarantee will feature heavily on the red carpet in the coming year’s award season.
The collection was anything but boring though with metallic belts, gorgeous embroidery, dramatic peplums, oversized pockets, opera-length gloves, bold collars, tie dyed pieces, tweeds, and reach-out-and-touch-them textures. It was soft and elegant and oh-so-Dior, but with a dramatic, extravagant edge.
I’m not sure if I can put it any better than the fabulous Mr Blasberg who proclaimed: “In the last 13 minutes, Raf Simons just single-handedly altered the contemporary haute couture landscape.” Curious how the phenomenal flower-strewn setting was created for this show? This video gives you a fabulous backstage peek at the process of creation.
New Vintage was the theme for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Fall 2012 Couture collection - “Vintage is depressing, but ‘new vintage’ is something to come. It’s preparation for something that could last.”
Bold plaid & checkered patterns, metal-tipped pumps, traditional tweeds, metallic silver tights, chunky knits, shimmery separates, slouchy sequined caps, oversized outerwear, maxi skirts and full pants, velvet coats, pussy bow blouses, Peter Pan collars, and dresses adorned with feathers, chiffon, tulle, and sequins all had a sassy retro feel with modern and sometimes futuristic-feeling details.
Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci is nothing if not detail oriented. His collections are traditionally small in size and he and his design teams & seamstresses really focus on making each look unique, one-of-a-kind, and highly intricate. His Fall 2012 collection focused on beading, heavy embroidery and brocades, leather working, fringe, and even sequins.
The restrained extravagance of this collection perfectly complemented the earthy, folksy theme that was somewhere between Little Red Riding Hood and Maid Marian. And I couldn’t have envisioned a more appropriate background than the lush green forest that these looks were photographed against.
While there was some of the famous Valentino red at the end of this show, the colors de jour were navy and creamy pink. The thick brocades and heavy embroideries in cream, peach, and pink played perfectly against the sequins, sheer panels, and flowing silks in varying shades of moody blues.
The details in these pieces were phenomenal, from delicate accordion pleats and metallic-laced brocades to dramatic floral cutouts and sheer chiffon ruffles. Chiuri and Piccioli have been getting their footing over the last few seasons and this couture collection seems to be the coming out party for the new Valentino – An opulent, dramatic twist on the old school glamour and romance that Valentino is known for.
In the world of couture Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2012 Armani Prive collection offered up something wholly different. Wearability. Given that couture is considered an art form and that pieces in these collections can range anywhere from $20,000 to $2,000,000, wearability is hardly the word de jour. But with the full, flattering cuts, cool, pale silks, and touchable, midnight dark velvets, wearable was just what he presented.
These looks were all about textures – Soft, sleek, touchable fabrics that you could almost feel against your skin. The jeweled and beaded veils were one of my favorite parts of this collection, they added serious drama and brought out a mysterious quality in the clothes that took you to another time and place.
The Versace show at the Ritz Hotel was wild and fun - Xena Warrior Princess meets Couture Barbie. The Versace woman is strong, fierce, and fearless, she embraces her sexuality and loves to show some skin. These clothes are not for the faint of heart, they were all about dramatic peek-a-boos, slashes, and slits.
Wide, tooled belts, multi-strap & buckle adorned heels, sheer cloth, sequined netting details, and spiderweb thin mesh gave this show unabashed shimmer, shine, and sex appeal.
The Versace girl is bold, uninhibited and in these clothes, she’s ready to party!
I always look forward to Giambattista Valli‘s collections – His esthetic is divine and I love how he always adds a little edge to his classic, ladylike silhouettes. And his second couture collection made me say to myself for a second time, Valli was made for couture.
And here in this dreamy place far away the moody reds and greens, organic prints, and flowing cuts & ruffles were all borrowed from nature; all-over muted floral patterns, applique and embroidered plant life, ruffles, flares, folds, and thick lace were all born of the outdoors. And with jewelry, accessories, and hairpieces evoking bugs, butterflies, and leaves, the theme was complete throughout the collection.
Rather than a fairy princess vibe the earthy tones and themes brought to mind wood nymphs and dryads – Woodland creatures who personified the various aspects of the natural world that they watched over; strong and eternal.
While I am dying to attend New York Fashion Week and seeing the Paris shows (and attending the Vogue costume party!) would be a dream come true, there is a special place in my heart for Milan Fashion Week. Not only do I love Italy and Italian fashion, a large part of my personal style was developed when I was 21 and living in Rome so I personal relate.
Shall we start the Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 coverage off on a funky note? Here we go…
According to designer Christopher Kane and his benefactor Donatella Versace, the Versus show look the original center of punk and grunge as its muse - the area known as Camden in London. The collection composed primarily of dresses came out in deep cranberry, cobalt blue, fuchsia, blue and yellow, all with a little bit of a rock n’ roll. flair to them.
The leather details & mini skirts, lace-up pants, cut outs, sheer panels and over-the-knee boots embraced the edgier side of the collection while there was still something soft in the prints, cocoon coats and babydoll dresses. The Versus girl clearly knows how to have a good time, but also has a sweet side.
Drama Drama Drama. The Versace show was a little bit Marilyn Manson and a little bit Girt With The Dragon Tattoo. Donatella showed everything from a studded black leather dress to a corset covered in a giant blue crystal crucifix to neon yellow halters to vinyl trimmed fish net tights to chain mail and buckle-covered combat boots. All worn with Rooney Mara’s über short, blunt bangs.
Dramatic and eye-catching, that’s for sure. The devil, so to speak, was in the details though. The studded leather bags were gorgeous, up close the embroidered crucifixes almost looked like flowers, the giant belt buckles had a superhero-style V in the center and the chain mail details were extraordinarily intricate and beautifully made.
Moschino was fun, youthful and cute. Bandleader jackets paired with cheerleader skirts and beehives? In bright yellow, red and blue? Only Moschino could pull that off in Milan, that’s for sure. But pull it off Rossella Jardini did.
Her irreverent collection also included black velvet Stetsons, military-style double-breasted thick wool pea coats, adorably retro shift dresses in black & white, fun checks, houndstooth & plaid, and some good old-fashioned gold Italian embroidery.
For more pictures check out Fashionologie.
Per usual the Roberto Cavalli show was all about glitz and glamour. Vibrant animal prints, shimmering sequins, iridescent scales, fur and feathers, embroidery and brocades… All the over-the-top lux that Mr. Cavalli loves. The details of this collection were really breathtaking. The tailoring and hand-stitching and attention to every tiny facet of the clothing and accessories. Truly impressive.
My favorite pieces were the leopard print lace-up booties, purple elbow-length leather gloves, the brushed velvet-looking cropped jackets and the gold sequined peplum cocktail dress.
The unquestionable highlight of this show? Miss Naomi Campbell closed the show!
Leather & lace. The Salvatore Ferragamo collection can be summed up in two words – leather & lace. Massimiliano Giornetti showed gorgeous looks in contrasting fabrics, cuts and moods. Tough, military-inspired belted jackets paired with soft, flowy skirts in chiffon and lace. Gorgeous knee-length coats with brass buttons worn over lacy and sheer tops. Chunky knits with leather skirts and pants.
The jackets and coats were by far my favorite pieces of the collection. The buttons and details on the collars and pockets were divine. You can get a feel from looking at them that the designer does menswear as well.
The Giorgio Armani collection titled “Easy Chic” ran the gamut from sexy grey suits to brightly patterned separates to sherbet colored dresses, all worn with wide-brimmed hats set at a jaunty angle and fingerless gloves in plaid and leopard print. It was a surprisingly youthful and lackadaisical show compared to what we’ve come to expect from Giorgio Armani, but still appealing to his usual sophisticated clientele.
You can see more pictures over at Fashionology.
The dark and ominous collection that Frida Giannini showed for Gucci was sexy and decadent. She used sumptuous fabrics and vibrant colors to highlight the black, olive-green and navy that made up the background pieces. She showed a wide range of pieces – wide leg, flowy pants with a pajama-like feel, dark floral maxi dresses, body-skimming long-sleeved dresses in velvet and brocade, sheer blouses paired with leather pants, embroidered Jodhpurs tucked into knee-high riding boots and dramatic gowns with velvet belts and plunging necklines.
What caught my eye most were the extras. The soft wool capes, glossy patent leather bags, and sexy strappy heels.
Marni was all about color this season rather than the fun, cheeky prints that Consuelo Castiglioni usually sends down the runways of Milan. But don’t worry, there was still plenty of the lovable quirk Marni is known for. Outerwear, separates and dresses marched out in reds, blues, yellows and black & white, all with a slight retro feel.
I liked the white tights paired with gold-tipped Mary Jane’s, the drop waisted belted coats, I also loved the blunt Vidal Sassoon bangs, too cute.
Angela Missoni’s Fall 2012 collection for Missoni was all about Mother Nature and the great outdoors. She evoked this theme by pairing the traditional Missoni knits with other fabrics, leathers and furs to create layered looks that appeared to be made from bark and leaves and stone.
The marbling on the knits and the tightly wrapped layers were quite beautiful, at once both traditional Missoni and innovative.
You can see these earthy knits in action here.
The Dolce & Gabbana collection was intricate and sumptuous, filled with dramatic gold detailing, lace accents, sheer panels, tiaras-like lavishly beaded headbands, exaggerated earrings, dark hued Baroque inspired florals, cacoon shaped capes and lace knee-high socks.
Overall the show was dramatic and surprising. The ornate gilding of the clothes created almost a Papal feel while the sheer lace and tiered white dresses were a combination of innocence and understated sexuality with a old-world influence.
Gone was the vintage feel from her Pre-Fall 2012 collection, gone were the whimsical prints and floaty silhouettes from her Spring 2012 ready-To-Wear show. Alberta Ferretti’s Fall 2012 show was more masculine than we traditionally expect from her and more overtly sexy – with sheer blouses, leather body-con dresses and strategically placed translucent panels on gowns.
Alberta Ferretti always delivers beautiful, wearable dresses – my favorites here had layers of paper-thin, textured chiffon - but this season she also gave us gorgeous outerwear. Some in masculine pinstripes, some belted, some with leather collars, some with shearling trim, some hip length and some floor length.
Giorgio Armani called his Fall 2012 Ready-To-Wear collection for Emporio Armani ”Little Winter Follies” but I didn’t see many follies. The show was awash in color for fall, in addition to black & white, there were splashes of brilliant coral, bright cobalt blue and luminous purple. Yes, each look was composed of many pieces and the styling was perhaps borderline excessive, but when you took apart the individual pieces there was a lot of sharp, wearable clothing.
I absolutely LOVED the stylish young French lady vibe from the collection, especially the first section full of blacks, whites and greys. The cute little hats, smart but fun blazers with lacy hems or black on black polka dots, chic bags, gloves & tights and comfortable flat shoes were mouth-watering!
The Bottega Veneta show was all about dark elegance. From beautifully tailored coats and skirt suits in black, navy and a somber dark purple to sexy, body skimming dresses in black, cream, lavender and brilliant prints - some had demure capsleeves & boatneck collars while others had dramatic, plunging necklines.
There were plenty of details worth getting a better look at as well - bright crystal embellishments, large retro brooches, stiff looking knee-high riding boots, feathery chiffon boleros, abstract florals and bright plaids, sleek elbow-length leather gloves and ankle boots and strappy pumps over visible socks. Oh, and a collection of handbags that I would KILL for.
Fendi was all about mixing the unexpected in interesting and new ways. Black leather with brown wool, navy tights with a midnight black dress, grey snake-skin leggings with a black patent crocodile skirt, contrasting colored spats on ankle boots, skirts composed of pleats and silk or leather, and giant prize-fighter style belts over sleek fabrics.
Prada’s Fall 32012 collection was heavy on the outerwear, even the dresses and long, draping tops had a coat-like quality about them. The tailoring and fabrics of this show were divine, the intricacies beautiful and timeless. The sequins, stones, embroidery and embellishments on the clothes gave them almost a vintage-feel while the hair and makeup evoked a futuristic reference.
The scene at MaxMara was sleek, monochromatic and masculine, and as always the suiting and outerwear was to die for. The show started with olive-green then seamlessly transitioned through black, camel, white and grey. The feel of the collection was a little bit military and a little bit sailor, with stripes, aviator jackets and caps, peacoats and greave-like sock & buckle accoutrement on the legs.
I loved the incredibly soft looking coats, worn open with popped collars, but I was absolutely smitten with the silky, loosely draping pants – in both cropped and full length. They were absolutely stunning!
Fashionology has more pictures or you can watch the show in action and see why I’m dying for a pair – or ten – of those pants.
The last show for Raf Simons at Jil Sander received a standing ovation on Saturday, much deserved adulation for the designer after seven years at the label. The collection was filled to the brim with beautiful coats and dresses, from the palest ballerina whites & pinks to black, navy, bold crimson and shimmery tinfoil silver.
The dresses were classic and body conscious while the coats had a much larger and more dramatic silhouette, mostly without buttons or ties, loosely draping or even held closed by the models. I loved the clean lines and that way color was used to make a statement rather than prints or layering. My absolute favorite part? The two strap heels that look like they were inspired by point shoes.
The whole collection looked like it could have been tailor-made for Audrey Hepburn’s turn as a runway model in Funny Face.
In the mood for more from the Italian runways? Check out the top looks from Harper’s Bazaar and Harper’s Bazaar UK, or you can see photos or videos from other shows that I didn’t have time to review: Etro, Emilio Pucci, Just Cavalli & Moschino Cheap & Chic.
Or you can check out just how far all of these Italian designers have come since their last collections: Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part I, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II and Milan Fashion Week Fall 2011.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Moi Contre La Vie’s Giveaway after Paris Fashion Week!
*** Please note that I do not advocate the use of fur in fashion and personally make an effort not to wear or carry fur, exotic skins or leather. I believe that in this day in age there are many beautiful alternatives to these products which are cruelty-free and should be utilized instead.
The Spring 2012 Couture shows began this past Monday and made me long desperately for warmer weather and a chance to show some skin.
As usual Christian Dior was a ladylike affaire, with prim and proper silhouettes taking on a racy feel with see through fabrics. The show was primarily black and white with the occasional splash of lipstick red or bright purple. Prints like houndstooth, checks, plaid and stripes appeared next to florals and fabrics ranged from heavy tweeds and wools to leather to sheer chiffon and lace. All paired with peep & round-toed pumps and opera-length gloves.