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10 trends from Milan fashion week: culottes to look forward to

Author: Sienna Haynes
by Sienna Haynes
Posted: Sep 25, 2014
coats jackets

Milan date-tagged that late-60s-early-70s thing that has been floating around fashion for a while, with military precision, to 1970 and 1971. MaxMara namechecked the classic Italian film Garden of the Finzi-Continis (70) and the label’s own Angelica Huston ads (71) while the laser-sharp vision of the Gucci show surely sealed the deal on this trend. It’s more womanly than the 1960s jumping-bean kooky-chick, but more purposeful than later in the 1970s when things got woozy and groovy. Lots of denim and suede, A-line skirts or flare below high waists (see: Emilio Pucci), bold collars and buttons. A shoulder bag on a long strap, a chunky sandal. JCM

The bouquet-tied waist

You know how raffia tied roughly around a bunch of posh flowers looks more fabulous than a neatly bow-tied ribbon does? Well, that’s your belt-inspiration for next season. At Sportmax, checked coats were cinched with generous bolts of fringed black leather, or with integral self-ties that belted loose dresses in the way that a sweater tied around the waist does – a look also seen at Emporio Armani. (The bouquet-tie trend began back at LFW, with Burberry). It represents an easy, organic mood that’s less waspish than the traditional notched belt. JCM

Must Read: red formal dresses

Coats and jackets

Milan’s spring/summer collections are traditionally a flesh-fest. A week-long festival of bare legs, halternecks and a strategic sprinkling of swimwear to wake up the photographers. And yet this week, coats and jackets were the stars of the show. (Possibly, designers have cottoned on to the fact that summer collections go on sale in late January, so are a good time to sell coats.) Prada’s were the most extreme, naturally: detailed and top-stitched and buttoned up from neck to knee, but at Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Missoni and MaxMara key shapes were the duster coat, the deconstructed trench and the 70s safari jacket.JCM

Normcore hair

Every season there’s one trend that is just brilliant news for the norms. For autumn, it’s the new acceptable-everywhere status of the flat shoe. For next season, it’s the elevation of slightly rubbish hair to catwalk status. Catwalk up-dos and ponytails are usually of the sort that require a blow-dry and hot-rollers, but at Prada and Sportmax the hair was flat, ponytailed, and with the kind of wispy tendrils coming out at the front that you get after wearing a hat, or being caught in a gust of wind getting off the bus. Now this is a trend we can all get behind. JCM

Household-name models

When it comes to models, Milan likes personality. Naomi Campbell on your catwalk is a banner signing, the fashion equivalent of Lionel Messi on a season-long loan. Peter Dundas, the designer at Pucci, had almost a football team of supermodels at his show: Naomi was joined by Isabeli Fontana, Joan Smalls, Natasha Poly, Malaika Firth, MariaCarla Boscono and Kendall Jenner. Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s sister, is giving this modelling lark a good go. She was also spotted at Dolce & Gabbana, where Linda Evangelista – another big name, of course – sat front row.LC


Anyone already dipping their toe into culottes this summer, top marks. They’ve been a niche trend for 2014 but they’re crossing over into the mainstream next year, spotted at Gucci, Jil Sander and Giorgio Armani. They come in all different guises – stiff and schoolgirl-ish at Jil Sander, floaty and garden-party-ready at Armani. Wear with a camisole or crisp white shirt. The best bit? You have almost a whole year to get used to the idea. LC

Sparkle in the summer

What with minimalism and normcore, there has been a distinct lack of sparkle in fashion. But Milan, the home of glamour, was always going to be the saviour of sparkly things. See brocade at Prada and applique at Dolce & Gabbana, where jeans were studded with brightly coloured crystals. It was Versace – obvs – where the sparkle really got going. In a collection that Donatella described as daywear, the second half consisted of short dresses made from panels of Swarovski crystals. Perfect for the office, then. LC

Snazzy flats

Flats have been the front-row shoe of choice for a few seasons now, and this fashion week Milan confirmed it is on board with the trend – providing the glamour quotient is high. Milan’s flats were luxe and ornate, never scruffy. See: Emporio’s polite versions of the skater shoe, Fausto Puglisi’s crystal-studded pool sliders, and bejewelled sandals embellished with intricate golden hearts at Dolce & Gabbana. The passeggiata just got a lot more comfy. HM

Thigh-level sheer

You know that bit right at the top of your thigh, which only those with the confidence of a Victoria’s Secret model would be likely to show off? Let’s be frank: it is known, to many of us, by the deeply unglamorous name of "saddlebags". Well, Milan’s designers must like a challenge, because many of them treated this oft-hidden area as an erogenous zone. Versace and Roberto Cavalli, for example, showed dresses and skirts with sheer panels right at the top of the thigh, while Dolce & Gabbana veiled theirs under lace. Not something we will be trying in real life, but it looked quite Ibiza in situ. HM


In every one of his Moschino collections, Jeremy Scott has zeroed in on an aspect of low-brow culture – first, fast food, then counterfeit designer goods. And this season? Barbie – on sweatshirts, gaudy phone cases (which were inspired by Barbie’s hand-held mirrors) and lots and lots of bubblegum pink, also seen at Versace. Dolce & Gabbana sent "ironic" dolls down the catwalk, too, in Perspex boxes held by models, although theirs wore all-black classic Dolce outfits: tailored skirt suits, widow’s veils and crucifixes

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Author: Sienna Haynes

Sienna Haynes

Flag of Australia

Member since: Jun 18, 2014
Total live articles: 201

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