Elegance and sensuality grace Milan Fashion Week
Women's Fashion Week ended in Milan on Monday.
Here are some of the trends that emerged for autumn-winter 2023-2024 -- a return to elegance underscored by cut and quality, chic sensuality, and restrained classicism with a smattering of eccentric spice.
Italian fashion houses have ditched sporty designs and streetwear for elegant, classically cut suits in refined fabrics.
Trousers are long and shoe-covering. Oversized power-shoulder jackets have made way for classic cuts -- waisted, belted or gathered at the back.
Dolce & Gabbana showed suits with jackets that are cropped, matador style, or long but structured with wasp waists.
Fendi opted for slimline jackets with a single row of buttons, discrete lapel collars and a deconstructed men's waistcoat.
Ferragamo was all cinched-waisted silhouettes, reminiscent of 1950s Hollywood divas.
Max Mara's coats are gathered at the back, Tod's jackets waisted or belted, while Moschino went for suits with houndstooth and gold buttons à la Chanel.
The effects of climate change made themselves felt on the Milan podiums, where winter collections were diaphanous and revealing, and lingerie much in evidence.
Dolce & Gabbana claimed ownership of this trend, showing a corset bearing a label with its creation date -- 1991. Its collection was almost entirely composed of black underwear.
Fendi layered baby dolls over poplin shirts.
Roberto Cavalli vamped on the theme, with long hippy versions in silk and velvet.
Gucci opted for bijou micro bras and underwear visible through see-through petticoats.
All-enveloping Yeti-style coats in furry or feathery textiles also took to the podium -- a necessary addition to the skimpy underwear for those keen not to catch their deaths of cold.
Gucci offered up Cruella Deville and blue fake fur. Roberto Cavalli's fake furs are an object lesson in art imitating nature.
There were red feathers at Dolce & Gabbana, multicoloured plumes at Moschino.
Max Mara's signature teddy bear coats are ultra snuggly. MSGM varied the theme in mauve, lemon and white boucle, with fringes or long fur.
Ferragamo's iterations come in pearly grey or flaming red.
Red and black
While black was everywhere, there was still a thread of red to jive it up, in all shades from scarlet to bordeaux.
Ferrari, which has launched a ready-to-wear collection, stuck to its iconic red but kept it discreet, in the lining of sombre-hued coats or in black-bordered swatches on dressing gown coats.
Dolce & Gabbana went for head-to-toe scarlet -- sheer red tights, red patent sandals, red dresses, red bags, red gloves, red lipstick.
Ferragamo added vermillion to minidresses and used it in splashes on black, on bakelite button to light up a black dress and in stitching on a black suit. MSGM selected raspberry red for a dress embracing the rounded contours of a pregnant model.
Prada's leather suit skirts are scarlet, while Fendi demonstrated yet again how well red marries with electric pink.
Uniforms and utility garments
Prada led the way with this trend, transforming the white of nurses' uniforms into long shirts with short trains and the severe, old-fashioned capes of World War Two operators.
The collection's officers' trousers, worn with cravats, are tight-fitted and its slimline slacks high-waisted to give them a feminine touch. There were aviators' jackets at Tod's and leather officers' belts with little pockets.
Fendi's take on utility garments involved adding aprons to trousers or deconstructing blue workman's overalls.(AFP)