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Milan catwalks: trends and talking points

Milan protest trend

Milan’s designers set out to make a statement for autumn 17 – diverse models walked the catwalk and protest was interwoven into designs. From striking waxy reds to luxe puffa jackets, the womenswear catwalks were bold on every level.


Trend: Sealing wax red

Milan sealing wax red trend

Milan sealing wax red trend

Swiftly emerging as the colour of the season, and dominating the catwalk at Fendi, this season’s red is startlingly bright with a hint of the historical. It appeared everywhere from skirts and boots to dresses, bags and coats, and was at its most striking on leather and vinyl textures, emphasising the shade’s waxy feel.

Trend: Homespun cosiness

Milan home spun trend

Milan home spun trend

Patchwork detailing, loose knits and embroidered patches gave a cosy, homemade feel to some collections, as designs appeared loosely pieced together in a distinctly “crafty” manner. Loose-woven knits came in slouchy shapes, and at Antonio Marras were detailed with intricate crochet badges, while Etro gave the trend a 1960s hippie spin with fuzzy cardigans and patchwork fabrics.

Trend: Protest power

Milan protest trend

Milan protest trend

Designers have taken up the protest mantle across the international fashion weeks, and Milan has proved no different. Most overt were the Versace women decked in clothes brandished with slogans of “love” and “loyalty”, and the “pussy hat”-sporting models at Missoni, who also wore slouchy jumpers with symbols representing femininity and equality. 

Trend: Time warp

Milan time warp trend

Milan time warp trend

Designers took a look back in time this season as the catwalks were littered with references ranging from Victoriana chinoiserie at Gucci to 1940s shaping at Bottega Veneta and Fendi, and 1930s beading from Prada. All these references took a slightly surreal nature, however: proportions were twisted, details were exaggerated and styles clashed together for a distinctly modern, elaborate impact.

Trend: Precious metals

Milan precious metal trend

Milan precious metal trend

From shimmering coppers at Versace to burnished brassy tones at Genny and Bottega Veneta, the catwalks had a lustrous gleam across Milan. Party dresses and evening gowns appeared in liquid metal shades that oozed a luxe, statement glamour.

Trend: The upmarket puffa

Milan puffer trend

Milan puffer trend

One of the dominant trends on the catwalk and high street last year, fashion’s love of puffa jackets shows no sign of slowing down for autumn 17. In the traditionally more formal Milan, the style had a decadent makeover, as supersized shapes, detailed brocades and jewel-toned satins took the street staple upmarket.

Talking point: Gucci’s genderless future

Milan gucci tp

Milan gucci tp

Alessandro Michele showed menswear and womenswear together for the first time this season, in what felt like a natural step for a designer who has pioneered an androgynous aesthetic.

Staged on a futuristic steel girder-lined runway, 120 models took to the catwalk, each look laden with opulent prints, extreme embellishment and the iconic Gucci branding. Both collections were seamlessly entwined in a dizzying cavalcade of eccentricity and intricate design.

Talking point: Catwalk diversity

Milan diverse catwalks tp

Milan diverse catwalks tp

There was a common theme of diversity on the catwalks in Milan. Halima Aden, a 19-year-old, Somali-American Muslim model walked the Max Mara show, her camel-coloured hijab perfectly co-ordinating with the house’s signature coat. Meanwhile, Dolce & Gabbana showed its designs on the brand’s “family” of singers, actors, influencers and friends, sending all sizes, ages, genders and races down the runway.

Talking point: Risso’s Marni debut

Milan marni risso tp

Milan marni risso tp

After a strong menswear debut earlier this season, all eyes were on Francesco Risso as he presented his debut womenswear show for Marni. Previously at Prada, Risso brought a quirky sense of femininity and sophisticated detailing to his womenswear looks, giving a newly playful dimension to the brand, but still retaining the boldness and eccentricity pioneered so successfully by his predecessor, Consuelo Castiglioni.

Talking point: Attico makes an impact

Milan attico tp

Milan attico tp

Attico’s joyous, exuberantly feminine and 1980s-influenced designs caught the eyes and imaginations of the fashion crowd in Milan. A relatively new brand, launched by Italian designers and Instagram It girls Giorgia Tordini and Gilda Ambrosio in February 2016, this season it presented luxurious satin, vinyls and lamé, alongside dazzling sequinned dresses that held a jubilant disco feel and an elegantly relaxed femininity.

 

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