While the Oscars provided a brief distraction, Milan Fashion Week generally commanded serious attention, with a diverse set of shows that perpetually looked to volume and colour. Major and emerging labels alike embraced a more experimental, extrovert aesthetic, offering a highly desirable cacophony of texture and shape. Read our guide to the need-to-know trends from Milan Fashion Week AW17.
Ladies in Red
In a collection that encompassed 81 looks, Armani dabbled repeatedly with red. From mohair duster coats, to the lining of suit jackets and tassled necklaces to cropped velvet jackets, the hue was never far from Armani’s aesthetic refrain. Fendi paired red patent boots with every look. These were often juxtaposed with subtle red detail – earrings and stitching – to add vixen appeal to the most understated of style. The creative duo at Dolce & Gabbana invited editors onto the catwalk for this season’s show, including The Financial Times Fashion Director Jo Ellison, who walked in a magnificent post-box red fur coat. At Jil Sander, broad-shouldered, double-breasted red coats and loose fitting suits continued the 80’s precedent set at London Fashion Week while at Prada, red fishtail skirts ensured the final seal of approval. You better start nailing your colour blocking game.
In a move that announced designers are officially tired of restraint, fur made a strong comeback in numerous catwalks at Milan. Having hinted that they were going to go big with their maxi pockets last season, Marni supersized their aesthetic with bright, colourful fur coats, shirts and suits in creamy pinks, tangerine orange and vibrant teals. Prada’s orange fur-covered boots – worn with fur coats and baker boy hats – offered a masterclass in the more is more phenomenon. Marco De Vincenzo sent his opening model out in a floor length, highly decorative cerulean and teal blue printed fur coat which was then followed by candy coloured, striped versions for both men and women. At Pucci, oversized shaggy coats in orange and mint green took the silky staples worn underneath the outwear to dizzying new heights.
Bras are back
In keeping with the 80’s trend, underwear as outwear is becoming acceptable all over again, and we can’t help but wonder how long it will be before McQueen‘s fabled Bumsters make it back onto the catwalk… But for the meantime, designers are keeping it refined. At Marni, bralets worn over dresses played into the 80’s trend and demonstrated that the brand is ready to embrace a new generation of customers. Prada opened their AW17 collection with bras on full show, worn under oversized jackets. Though they refrained from bra-burning, at Missoni it was clear that feminism was the central reference, with models wearing the now iconic pussy-eared beanies. Missoni also offered a cosy collection replete with handspun wools and chunky knits using a colour palette of 70’s browns, burnt orange and mustard yellows which gave way to signature sparkle in the knits, and metallic power suits. Israeli designer Daizy Shely removed bras from the equation altogether, liberating the breasts with cut out spaces in corsets.
Once upon a time, hats were for bloggers only, but designers are gunning for a mainstream revival. Nowhere was this more obvious than in Milan, where headwear pushed collections to new levels of surreal. Pucci utilised this to great effect with their green and bright orange sun hats, adorned with neon fringing to hide the face. At Dolce & Gabbana, tiaras, rose-garnished crowns, and beanies with PRINCE emblazoned on them (as well as toys animals transformed into hoods) added further theatre to an event that has already moved far beyond the average catwalk. At Marni, there were patent bucket hats with an orange finish and Prada showed feathered hoods in green, red and azure. Gucci (inevitably) trumped the rest of the pack by walking chainmail hoods which covered the face, as well as decadent braided velvet headbands.
Philosophy di Lorenzo Seafini: sheer polka dot with fluted sleeves, mesh shirts with tulle detail. At Ermanno Scervino, plunging v neck dresses with thigh-high slits were rendered in tangerine lace and paired with over-the-knee skin tight leather boots. Wide-leg trousers in white lace also promise to cause a stir. At Pucci, sheer neon green tops opened the show, while Versace offered sheer skirts under maxi coats.