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Milan Fashion Week

Bright colours and quirky prints created a cheerful mood, while the 1920s, 1950s and 1960s inspired spring 12 silhouettes.

Bright colours and quirky prints created a cheerful mood, while the 1920s, 1950s and 1960s inspired spring 12 silhouettes.

Milan continued where New York and London left off with a rainbow of colours and quirky prints for spring 12, from hot-rod cars at Prada to fruit and vegetables at Dolce & Gabbana.

The trend for yellow was bolstered at Marni, Moschino and Versace, and at D&G where the colour was laced into scarf prints. Chilli red and sky blue were also notable shades, as well as crisp white as a base rather than the usual black.

Silhouettes moved distinctly away from the 1970s styles of spring 11.

In Milan, 1920s, 1950s and 1960s silhouettes came out on top at Gucci, Prada and Marni respectively. The pencil skirt was confirmed as the skirt shape for spring 12 with the knee-length A-line a close second. Ruffled hemlines and gypsy styles are also ones to watch after being backed by Moschino and Missoni.

Kitsch prints will kick-start a high street interpretation of the trend. Demure shifts and knee-length skirts were teamed with tongue-in-cheek motifs such as fiery flames and 1950s hot-rod cars at Prada.

‘Under the sea’ also gained momentum, with Versace working shell and seahorse motifs into studding on shorts and pencil skirts, and Giorgio Armani using an iridescent blue palette.

The confirmation that spring 12 will be D&G’s final collection was big news in Milan. It will be absorbed into the Dolce & Gabbana mainline for autumn 12. 


  • Prada’s shoes drove the fashion crowd crazy in Milan, continuing the collection’s 1950s Americana feel with an automobile theme. Stilettos and sculpted wedges featured Cadillac detailing and hot-rod flame heels – sure to be the shoe of the season.

    Prada’s shoes drove the fashion crowd crazy in Milan

    Prada’s shoes drove the fashion crowd crazy in Milan

  • Some of the tastiest jewellery was seen at Dolce & Gabbana, where dried pasta and mini fruit and veg looked great on bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
  • DSquared got lost at a music festival this season, with a Glastonbury-themed collection and water-soaked catwalk that was more rainy camping than glamorous ‘glamping’ – leave the mud in the fields we say.
  • Drapers also noticed a trend for Perspex and Lucite platform, heeled and wedged shoes at the likes of Versace and Missoni. Who said stripper heels weren’t chic?
  • It was D&G’s swan song this season, as Domenico and Stefano announced that spring 12 would be the last collection from their diffusion line following plans to merge it into the Dolce & Gabbana mainline.

Drapers says…

Marie Davies, junior fashion editor

Aside from the great prints we saw in Milan, it’s the pencil skirts that have got me excited for spring 12. After a season of flowing midi lengths, Milan sexed it up the way only it can. Versace and Dolce & Gabbana showcased timeless high-waisted versions, which will be great worn with bandeau tops for the younger market or with a colourful blouse for a more mature customer.

Graeme Moran, junior fashion writer

It was Milan’s wide selection of print and pattern that has stuck in my mind. From kitsch conversational sports cars at Prada to techno neon paisleys and Pablo Picasso sketches at Jil Sander, and Dolce & Gabbana’s fruit and vegetable-covered dresses and underwater mermaids at Versace to decadent scarf prints at D&G – designers offered something for everyone.

Milan Tweets

Ok I’ve seen pugs on laps and chihuahuas stuffed in bags at the shows, but an Alsatian? Presumably it has its own seat…@jodieball

Windswept beehives signalled a Fendi take on the 60s, albeit a Lagerfeldian vision of the decade harpersbazaarus

Starfish, mermaids and other picturesque sea creatures graced a series of rather fabulous frocks at Versace amcELLE

Moschino Cheap & Chic finale! Fruit motifs, swing dresses, wheat prints WGSN

Runway looks we love: Gucci debuts a “hard deco” collection at Milan Fashion Week InStyle

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