Fashion Commentary

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Milan: Catwalk-Trends Autumn Winter 2011-12



Foxy Ladies

Fox is emerging as a tour de force for next winter, working for everything from full-fur coats and jackets to accessories and most commercially, trims. In Milan the emphasis was on plush full fox collars, sometimes morphing into capelet-like proportions, worked in natural silver and red fox, or dyed into the season's sumptuous palette of intense winter brights and autumnal darks.

Frosted Pales

Colour takes fur into a new dimension next winter as designers used recoloured effects to make a bold statement. Unexpectedly in Milan, we saw a palette of soft frosted pales emerge as a new colour direction for the season ahead. Think the palest faux nude tones, delicate cosmetic blush pinks and fragile winter flower-inspired hues like jonquil and hyacinth, all worked into simple shell tops, capelets, shrug-on cardigan jackets and soft gilets. The look is essentially feminine and soft and the furs mirror that mood with lightweight constructions and soft-touch furs like Mongolian lamb and rabbit.

A Winter's Tale

A more intense look here, that mirrors the key colour directions for next winter with a level of rich saturated darks and jewel tones based around garnet, malachite green, peridot or topaz, sapphire blues and deep petrol blues - all perfect base colours for plush dyed mink and fox. The look worked best at Gucci, where the palette's intense colours were layered together in clashing combinations with glossy 70s styling influences.

Sleeveless Coats & Jackets

We highlighted the fur gilet as a key item in our New York trend round-up and the look was confirmed on the Milan runways where silhouettes were elevated into sleeveless coat or jacket hybrids using dramatic furs like sable and fox. More low-key looks came in the form of sleeveless masculine-inspired tailoring at Dolce & Gabbana, Haute's dyed belted silhouette and Iceberg's faux layered mixed lamb gilet coat.

Fur Combinations

One of the most important fur trends to emerge from Milan was for the way designers collaged contrasting furs together in one silhouette. The look was bold and dramatic and showed a new confidence in design. It's all about combining contrasting textures together - think sheared or velvety piles with long-haired pelts to create a change of volume, or the mix of silky astrakhans with something rugged like fox.

A Curly Tale

The trend for lamb doesn't seem to be abating and in Milan it was a key look for everything from tunic tops and skirts to gilets and sporty parkas. The best looks combined contrasting piles together as seen here at Fendi, creating a dimensional play on soft tactile textures full of touch-me-feel-me appeal. Textures are getting more exaggerated with boiled, matted and brushed effects for a more dramatic rustic look.

Luxe Sports

A less-is-more look emerged on the Milan runways as designers flirted with luxe sportswear - a look at odds with the city's usual high-end glamorous styling. Haute's collection summed up the new mood with the richly coloured throw-on parka teamed with a luxe tracksuit hybrid - a silhouette we also saw at Fendi and at a more commercial junior level at Moschino Cheap & Chic, with a silver fox trimmed grey marl jog suit. Elsewhere designers integrated furs with knitwear for an alternative take on the sportif trend.

Belted Coats

Full fur coats were worked into unstructured silhouettes this season, easy volume controlled with the addition of belted details. The look brings a more casual less dressy appeal to top-end furs, helping create a cosy cocooning feel. Collarless details and wide kimono sleeves help confirm the look.

Go For The Crop

Key jacket silhouettes for next winter are going for the crop and in general apparel terms we are seeing classic shapes like the reefer, the trench and the duffle all worked into waist-grazing proportions, perfect to team with the season's new mannish full-legged pants and floor-sweeping maxi skirts. Take the look through to fur with short neat proportions featuring exaggerated collars and wider sleeves to balance the new truncated shapes.