Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012: Our 10 Favorite Collections
Now that the shows have moved on to Paris—the final leg in the four-city quartet that makes up Fashion Month—it's time to reflect on the clothes we saw in Milan. Our favorite Italian houses sent out looks that ranged from richly embellished to strikingly simple, and over the course of the week we spotted tons of pieces we'd love to wear. Click through the slideshow for our top 10 collections from Milan.
Oh Raf—do you really have to go? Jil Sander's (now) ex-creative director sent out what was not only the strongest collection he's ever created for the house, but perhaps the best one we've seen this season. Full of couture flourishes and delicious pastel hues, it was certainly worthy of the standing ovation it received.
For fall, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created avishly-embroidered looks under a canopy of gilded chandeliers. Inspired by Sicily's baroque décor, separates and dresses were embellished with gold bullion and needlepoint blossoms. We love the dramatic and more demure direction the label's taken these past few seasons.
Another designer who showed us the power of the ornate this fall was Bottega Veneta's Tomas Maier. Shredded chiffon, sequins, brooches and peplums adorned his darkly romantic cocktail dresses, but it was the pretty printed numbers that really caught our eye. And we loved the above-elbow-length leather gloves the models wore with most of the looks, which were at once sexy and sophisticated.
Roberto Rimondi and Tommaso Aquilano's fall collection was perhaps their strongest to date, inspired by Renaissance artwork and the wardrobes of royalty. Maltese crosses formed a pattern used on silk dresses in both red and blue, while leather and velvet added texture throughout. And as with so many other collections this season, there was a strong emphasis on the hips, with skirts in both bell and tulip shapes.
Dark was the word at Gucci, where Frida Giannini sent out a Gothic-minded romantic collection in shades of black, plum and hunter green. On the outerwear front, there were capes aplenty in both leather and wool, and oil-slick feathers added drama to skirts and dresses. Velvet, used in both plunging-V gowns and waist-cinching straight skirts, was Giannini's fabric of choice. And we predict the dangerously sheer finale dresses with jeweled bodice details will be snapped up by the celeb set in no time.
A nearly print-free Marni collection? Believe it! Designer Consuelo Castiglioni played against type this season, focusing on color-blocked layering and architectural lines rather than a busy mashup of patterns. The whole show was '60s-tinged right down to the models' blunt-cut bangs and opaque white tights, and somehow, it worked so beautifully we didn't even miss those dizzying op-art graphics.
Alessandro Dell'Acqua has really hit his stride at No. 21, where he's made an impact just by applying the ornate craftsmanship and trimmings he loves to wearable, mix-and-match pieces. From the minimalist tweed looks to the pretty mint-colored lace numbers to the multicolored embellished pieces that closed the show, we wanted pretty much everything that came down the runway.
Awash with geometric prints and chunky gems, Miuccia Prada's purple-carpeted show was a definite standout (as her collections always tend to be). The sleeveless vest coats and ankle-length jackets were the main talking point here, though we're sure those jeweled Mary Jane platforms will be big sellers too. Also, in case you were wondering: dresses over pants. That's back.
Sportmax is perhaps best known for its iconic coats, but there was more to love in the label's fall show than outerwear alone. Sure, we loved the furry-collared moto coats in white and deep blue, but those quilted, techy-looking sweatshirts and curved-seam dresses were equally covetable. One star who certainly seems to love the label is Chloe Moretz: she sat front-row at the show with her mom in tow.
Three cheers for Christopher Kane! In addition to showing a slam-dunk collection for his eponymous label, Kane sent out a strong lineup for Versace's little-sister brand as well. There were tie-dyed dresses trimmed with leather lacing, tone-on-tone tribal patterns on chiffon frocks and some great separates in oxblood-colored leather. We're not advocates of clubwear-stuffed closets ("going-out tops?" yuck!) but if we had to wear something slightly subversive while out at night, this collection would be it.