The Italians are know for their passion, their romance and powerful expression, and at this season's Milan Fashion Week, designers poured their hearts into their collections, allowing us to feel as they felt. From celebrations of motherhood to sensuous displays of the female body, these collections encourage us to express ourselves and our emotions through our clothes.
Here are my favourites:
If you want to know how to make the garments of Canadian Indian Tribes fashion forward, than look to DSquared2. The influence shouts out at you through a hodgepodge of mismatched layers, textures and styles. This collection features the obvious components of tribal garb, from draped ponchos and peasant dresses to tribal patterns and trims, tassels and fringing galore. However throw in some sparkling jewelled accessories and heavily embellished sandals and you've got yourself a collection that people can't take their eyes off.
Salvatore Ferragamo demonstrated a sleek exploration of geometry in their latest collection. Lines and rectangles in a variety of forms featured a range of fabrics from leather to tweed. The look was very lustrous and tactile, with sheer chiffon inserts and fluid silk dresses. contrasting with wooly capes and ponchos.
The androgyny of this collection was edgy and dark. With short, slicked back hair reminiscent of the 90s, the sleek silhouettes of the models were constructed out of minimalistic leather in neutral , earthy tones of grey, beige, teal and brown. Oversized coats billowed over feminine dresses and camisoles whilst boned tops and corsetry maintained an element of rigidity and form.
Dolce & Gabbana
In a collection titled Viva la Mama, Dolce & Gabbanna celebrated mothers of the world with a unique runway show that not only featured stunning garments, but baby bumps and toddlers too. I can imagine it must have been quite hard to focus on the collection with so much cuteness and emotion going on, but Dolce & Gabbana made sure their pieces not only stood out, but reflected the concept of the show. The rose is a signature motif for the designer duo, and was out in full bloom for this collection. 40s style skirts and white shift dresses were embellished with embroidery, sequins. lace and innocent Crayola scribbles, whilst others featured prints of the Madonna and child. With a predominantly female audience, I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.
There's a definite love for velvet going on this season. Velvet blazers, capes and hot pants featured in the Emilio Pucci collection, and contributed to the 50s vibe. The monochrome psychedelic prints might have had a part to play too. Oh and the thigh high boots. AND the flared trousers. So basically the collection oozed 50s glamour.
Collections like this demonstrate why fabrics are the dominant feature. The use of upholstery fabrics and tapestry prints set this collection in a realm of formal bohemia. The symmetrical embroidery is romantic yet meticulous, whilst the hues of pale pinks, dusty blues, crimsons, and blacks keep it feminine.
Animal prints are a given when it comes to Roberto Cavalli. In this collection however they blend in with the other prints. They are not the main feature. It is in fact the textures and silhouettes that do the talking here. Knitted and silk dresses adorned with ruffles, frills and ribbons make for tangible garments that billow and move as if alive, contrasting with the rigidity of military parkas, cargo skirts and corduroy.
Houndstooth rules this collection. You'd think it'd be boring seeing garment after garment of the same pattern, but the variety of creative ways in which it is displayed keeps you guessing. There was no overarching style that tied this collection together. It is more an exploration of fabrics, shapes and patterns .
We're all aware now that the 60s and 70s are going to be huge for next A/W, but just in case you hadn't got that already, Versace made sure it was crystal clear. Red thigh high boots with mini dresses, bell bottoms and capes are as retro as it gets. The Greco patterns are bold and psychedelic and brilliantly cut into the loud primary colour palette.
Emporio Armani went sat in the middle of feminine and androgynous with a relaxed tomboyish collection. Drop waist and swing dresses on top of trousers with masculine footwear is a look I can see Alexa Chung and Kristen Steward pulling off brilliantly. The jewel tones of amethyst and ruby are feminine enough to balance the collection out.
In stark contrast to the above collection is Philosophy's ultra girly and elegant mix of Victorian lace and sheer ruffles. The pastels and creams gush innocence whilst the dungarees and high necks bring a vintage feel.
An effortlessly cool collection consisting of androgynous styles mixed with grunge femininity.
There was a youthfulness to Prada's collection that reminded me of school. The 60s flavour was sweet, with salmon pinks, pea greens, mustard and teal. These jarring colours were playful and prim but crisp as a result of sharp lines. Empire line dresses were ladylike and reminiscent of the 'doesn't she look grown-up' days.
Another take on the 70s trend with fluffy skirts and fuzzy coats. Spirited florals and textural maxis contribute to a vintage look that is free-flowing and frivolous.
A monochrome collection with a solitary flash of orange that mixes the sports luxe trend with evening-wear pieces.
Black snakeskin and leather were the central fabrics, with panelled bras, bomber jackets and understated mini and maxi dresses in both matte and shimmering versions of the textile.
Tank dresses and negligees in powdery lilacs, pinks and blacks left little to the imagination with lace and sheer organza exposing the female form. Calling this collection sexy is an understatement, but it's been executed with class and sophistication.
Viewing this collection is like being transported through time, with a glimpse at some of the most iconic eras in fashion. A variety of historic styles have contributed to pieces that would not look out of place on a Brothers Grimm princess. I say this because despite not being able to pinpoint a specific period of time as the influence behind this collection, there's definitely a Germanic feel. The folksy ruffles and frills and royal colour palette contribute to the opulence whilst the lavish embroidery and embellishment demonstrate incredible craftsmanship synonymous with historical fashion.
This fashion season there have been a lot of vintage looks, but none as sultry and sensuous as this one. There's something about the charcoal palette and light, delicate, translucent dresses that's alluring. You'd also expect the beret's to throw the look off completely, but they actually cement it.
Inspired by the Indian Himalayas, this collection is bold, bright, and full of print. Textural and sturdy overcoats and puffed up and out skirts create voluminous silhouettes which contrast with the blanket and pleated maxi skirts which billowed down the runway.
A groovy selection of pieces reminiscent of the early 70s, but channeling a Nordic vibe with fresh, airy hues of white and blue and floral prints like those found on traditional Scandinavian dresses. The attention to detail can go unnoticed if you're not looking, but everything from the floral prints on the shoes to the quirky pop-art style collars builds a look that is youthful and charming.
All images are from Vogue.co.uk