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Milan Fashion Week Round-up

Milan Fashion Week closes this evening after seven days of shows which saw a distinctly upbeat mood descend onto the north Italian city.

Perhaps in a reaction to the economic crisis and associated doom and gloom that grips the country, the largely positive, bright and breezy collections were a fillip for attendees on the third stop on their month-long global fashion tour.

Gucci was the first big show to be unveiled; Frida Giannini presented a collection of intense, saturated colour and clean lines that concentrated on exaggerated sleeves from start to finish.

Donatella Versace’s previous collections would indicate the designer is not afraid of colour or flamboyance so it was no surprise her spring 13 show tapped into the mood, her zingy tones, soft prints and loose cut pieces set off by a base of blacks and navies.

At Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi had fun with a large balloon popping above the catwalk as the show opened. The theme continued with graphic coloured shapes and sculptural construction across pieces that were put together with saldatura, an electrical fusing technique instead of standard stitching that gave the collection a tangible lightness.

Prada was the only big name house to buck the trend as Miuccia Prada proposed a collection devoid of print, bright colour and fluid silhouettes. Instead the show saw precise and serious shapes, kimono-style wrapped pieces, a white fur for spring and a naive flower motif.

However, this controversial show was upstaged by the week’s biggest event, the return of Jil Sander to her eponymous label after a hiatus of eight years. The German designer’s second debut was classically Sander – minimal, neat, clean, devoid of colour yet refreshing nonetheless.

Paris Fashion Week begins today (September 25) and, should it pick up where Milan left off, we can expect more energy from collections, a significant lack of outerwear on the catwalk (a trend that was also prominent in London) and lots of dresses.

It was notable too that separates were less popular among some Milanese designers than in London and New York although many will add pieces to the selling collection to make up the deficit.

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