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Milan Fashion Week: the six trends that matter

As the spring 16 edition of Milan Fashion Week draws to a close, we round up the most important trends to emerge from the Italian womenswear collections.

Feminine flounces

(Left to right) Roberto Cavalli, Alberta Ferretti, Gucci, Philosophy

(Left to right) Roberto Cavalli, Alberta Ferretti, Gucci, Philosophy

The ultra-feminine feeling at many of London Fashion Week’s standout collections floated over to the Italian fashion capital as designers there created similarly romantic looks in floaty fabrics and billowing, languid shapes. These full-length versions may well influence the eveningwear market, but expect to see lots of soft and semi-sheer fabrics and drapey, billowing trims nodding to the trend on casual separates.

Green dreams

(Left to right) Genny, Gucci, Marni, Versace

(Left to right) Genny, Versace, Marni, Gucci

It first caught our eye at Versace when Donatella showed signature sleek and sexy tailoring and military-inspired outerwear in deep, rich shades of green. Elsewhere, designers worked with all sorts of greens, from olive and emerald to apple and lime, and there were even metallic versions at Gucci. It was the darker, richer tones at Versace and Marni that looked freshest, however, and will add a subtle and wearable hint of new-season colour to your buy.

Balkan boho

(Left to right) Etro, Alberta Ferretti, Antonio Marras, Philosophy

(Left to right) Etro, Alberta Ferretti, Antonio Marras, Philosophy

There was a whiff of the Balkans in Mary Katrantzou’s bohemian floral dresses in London – a look that cropped up again in Milan. Long fluted sleeves, high necklines and below-the-knee skirt lengths were the silhouette, while a patchwork of ditsy floral prints, mix-and-match fabrics, frills, ruffles and lacy yokes all complete the look. This can be seen as another evolution of the 1970s boho style into a new season update.

Punchy peplums

(Left to right) Blugirl, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Andrea Incontri

(Left to right) Blugirl, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Andrea Incontri

Unlike the languid femininity of some collections, there was a vaguely Latino flavour to the stiffer swirling peplums we saw at the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Proenza Schouler. Similarly in Milan, Peter Dundas’s debut at Roberto Cavalli saw shoulderless tops trimmed with dramatic ruffles that had more than a look of flamenco about them. In contrast, brands like Salvatore Ferragamo and Andrea Incontri showed simple, oversized peplums as another nod to the look.

More is more

(Left to right) Dolce and Gabbana, Fausto Puglisi, Gucci, Emilio Pucci

(Left to right) Dolce & Gabbana, Fausto Puglisi, Gucci, Emilio Pucci

Embellishment, embroidery, appliqué; it was a case of more is more for some designers in Milan. Pieces came layered with various fancy finishings with many designers using decoration all over items as a snazzier, three-dimensional update to simple print and pattern. This is normally an evening and partywear look, but expect to see embroidered and embellished decoration elevating everyday basics like T-shirts and skirts à la Dolce & Gabbana.

Block party

(Left to right) Missoni, Emilio Pucci, Missoni, Prada

(Left to right) Missoni, Emilio Pucci, Missoni, Prada

How to update stripes for spring? Make like the Italians and ditch the Breton. At Prada, varying width and colour combo stripes covered separates such as pencil skirts and tailored jackets, creating a new contrasting yet co-ordinated striped outfit. At Missoni, signature stripes were reimagined in panels across single pieces, creating colourful and dynamic patterns of thick and thin stripes.

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