Five trends from Milan: quiet luxury to everything green

Fashion week in Milan wrapped up Monday after showcasing new designers, from Sabato de Sarno at Gucci to Peter Hawkings at Tom Ford.

Here are the main trends from the Italian fashion capital for Spring-Summer 2024:

– Understated luxury –
Pack away your bling. The return to “quiet luxury” underway since the end of the Covid pandemic went full throttle in Milan.

Gucci embraced a radical shift, ditching ex-designer Alessandro Michele’s joyful camp after seven years, as De Sarno went minimal — with A-line skirts and charcoal, peak-lapelled coats.

The Italian king of luxury, Giorgio Armani, who has long lamented a tendency in women’s fashion to overtly sexualise or shock, could not resist pointing out how he long prized intelligent design over eye-catching novelties.

“I saw a lot of ‘normality’ on the catwalks, as well as a lot of research,” said Armani.

“What we’re seeing today in fashion and on the catwalks makes me think that what I’ve been saying for years has finally been understood,” he said.

– Leather –
At Prada, designer Miuccia Prada recreated a handbag originally designed in 1913 by her grandfather. It was not the only prized leather piece this fashion week.

There was leather at Versace, Bally and Tod’s. Fendi presented colour-blocked leather jackets in red, blue and brown hues. Bottega Veneta featured woven, twisted, folded, knotted and perforated leather.

And Ferragamo’s woman had a warrior vibe, with a breastplate of glossy leather above a swirling ball gown skirt.

– Spring chill –
Don’t bother asking the groundhog, designers at Milan are predicting a chilly spring.

There were herringbone wool coats at Bottega Veneta, while Moschino wrapped up in head-to-toe knitwear and woollen hats. Models showed off trench coats at Dolce & Gabbana, and fur at Fendi — one of the last luxury names to still feature real fur in collections.

Boss’ “out of the office” style was akin to a winter collection, with everything from down jackets to cashmere coats, bomber jackets and pea coats.

And for the hot-blooded: hot pants worn with stockings over at Dolce & Gabbana.

– Green –
How to stop “quiet luxury” from tipping over into humdrum? Add a touch of green.

Gucci lit up an otherwise sober collection with an acid lime long-fringed jacket. Tod’s went with an eye-popping, knee-length skirt and blouse ensemble in a similar hue.

Max Mara used emerald green, verdigris and military khaki tones for shorts or belted trousers, while Giorgio Armani chose a sparkling, watery green.

– Peekaboo –
Those determined to defy the weather doomsayers could get playful with sheer materials and bare skin.

At Prada, the house’s signature nylon was worked to become blurred and transparent, giving the sleeveless dresses in pastel colours — the stars of the show — a vaporous effect.

Roberto Cavalli went to town with sheer dresses boasting ruffles and embellished with feathers, plant motifs or polka dots, while at Missoni, the brand’s signature geometric pattern faded into semi-sheer gowns.

Over at Dolce & Gabbana, black sheer trench coats barely covered the corsetry, tangas and camisoles that ran through the entire collection.

And for those brides-to-be, there was even a wedding dress of sorts, complete with white veil, bustier and stockings. (AFP)

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