02 March 2012

Fashion Friday: Milan Fashion Week, Fall 2012

Milan this week really surprised me. Unlike New York and London, there are pretty big changes in my top five collections from Spring to Fall. It seemed like designers all looked to the past to put together mostly dark and romantic fall collections, which I really enjoyed. The gothic inspiration keeps the Milan woman from being overtly sexy; she's a little more mysterious. I've been in front of a computer for what feels like forever, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Onward!

Photo via FashionGoneRogue.com
5. Gucci: One of the big trends in Milan this year was dark romanticism, and Gucci kicked it off. The girls were neo-gothic, paled out with dark lips, and the clothes were in deep shades of blue, burgundy, green, and of course, black. The textures, as has been the case everywhere, were mixed: velvet with fur, sheer with feathers - and Lord knows I love feathers. They were an inky green with an oil-slicked appearance, which was sleek and sexy. And one velvet gown was subtly covered in leopard spots. The final gowns were sheer with black sequined vines crawling all over them, acknowledging that the Gucci woman was still sexy but had a little more bite than normal.

Photo via FashionGoneRogue.com

4. DSquared2: If Milan was in the mood for historic references, DSquared2 set their time machine to mid century. Between the pencil skirts, cropped pants, the bouffants, and the occasional model with a naughty cigarette, their girl was more Rizzo than Sandy. Textures like croc and fur were meant for feeling-up sessions behind the bleachers. But this girl felt like a PG version of the DSquared2 woman. Sexuality was more a tease than a promise of things to come, which is unusual for the brand - even the finale dresses were sweet. The clothes were all really wearable when DSquared2 (for me) veers into the costumey - I'm reminded of the ice skate boots. It was a pleasant surprise.

Photo via FashionGoneRogue.com
3. Dolce and Gabbana: This is not a brand that shies away from embellishment. The reference points here were clearly textile in nature; from brocades to tapestries, this was a collection asking to be touched. Keeping the color palate relatively simple - mostly black, gold, and white, with a few patterns thrown in - was a smart move as it kept things from feeling overworked. There was a touch of the religious here with capes and virginal white lace, which despite their connotations, felt sexy without being slutty. It helped that the shapes were classic Italian lady. The needlepoint pattern grounded the collection's innocent overtones, but it was classic Dolce and Gabbana. I liked almost everything!

Photo via FashionGoneRogue.com

2. Jil Sander: Full confession: I didn't really "get" Raf Simons at Jil Sander until last season. Which is a total shame, because this season was his last, announced days before the show. Jil Sander will return to her eponymous label, which I guess to non fashion people sounds normal but to the fashion set it means chaos. It was a fitting end to Simons' time at the label, as the collection was gorgeous, and Simons wept during the standing ovation at the end. The pastel collection was lovely, and despite the colors, did feel fall appropriate. And the collection was wonderfully graceful, with models clutching their coats shut in a gesture that felt from another time.

Photo via Elle.com

1. Aquilano.Rimondi: Aquilano e Rimondi made the list last season after grabbing my attention with an architecture-inspired collection, and this year they shot right to the top. The collection was clearly inspired by religious iconography and Renaissance style, which if you know me, is right up my alley. (History Nerd Alert.) There were plenty of textures, colors, and patterns that spoke to the theme, and I loved the capes and heels with rich bows - they're kind of my thing. There were dresses cut to look like armor-pieces which still looked incredibly modern. I liked the exaggerated hips which recalled 15th century women paired with vest and coats that suggested their male counterparts. This was a perfect collection and I'm excited to see what this design duo comes up with next.

I am going to totally cheat out on you guys and just leave this as my five favorite collections because the trends that started in New York (fur, leather, etc.) have really carried through - but also, because I'm being lazy and it's my blog, so I can. ;) If you're craving more, feel free to check out my Tumblr, and I'll see you next week for Paris!

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