SARONNO, Italy – OK, here’s the skinny on what’s hot in Italian fashion this fall and winter. My unscientific survey of the shops in Milano and Saronno showed several trends – five actually.
|From the Max Mara Collection|
Trend No. 1. First and foremost, pants are skinny. I don’t mean tapered, or slim, I mean skinny, and you don’t have to look far to find them, they are already in a store near you. But if you are not able to even fit your arm into them, let alone your leg, don’t despair, you have not been forgotten.
|From the Fall 2012 Plus Size Line of Elena Miro (really!)|
Gone are the days when designers wouldn’t even think of producing anything in a size larger than 8 (that’s 42 Italian). They didn’t want ‘fat’ women wearing their clothes because that was not the image they wanted to project. I am not making this up. It was actual policy. Now things have changed and even Giorgio Armani is coming up with designs suitable for ‘larger’ ladies, and that my friends is progress.
Trend No. 2. The hot fabric of the season is velvet. You will see it everywhere, for everything from handbags to hats and not just for special occasions. I hope you don’t have to decide between a velvet outfit from Bottega Veneta or one from Valentino, because both fashion houses are offering lush, spectacular, albeit a bit medievalish designs that win both of them this year’s Spinner of Dreams Award.
Trend No. 3. Now this was a surprise. Black is back. Truth be told I didn’t realize it had gone away, at least not here in Italy. Not to say the designers didn’t make herculean attempts to lure the fashion buying public into outfits of strawberry pink and robin’s egg blue, but thinking back on my travels this summer, I can honestly say I don’t remember seeing even one strawberry pink or robin’s egg blue anything, not a tee shirt, not a sweater, niente. What I did see was a lot of beige, tan and white. Even on old ladies, especially on old ladies.
|Midnight Blue by Valentino|
Trend No. 4. Black may be back but midnight blue is sure to be the color for the upcoming holidays. I know it’s only September, but us fashion mavens have to keep our eyes on what’s coming over the horizon, and trust me, it’s gonna be a blue, blue, very dark midnight blue Christmas. But for fall, to bring things back to the here and now, the color to watch is camel. It started trending last year and this year it’s out in full force. It’s fine with me. Camel is about as daring as I ever get with color anyway.
Trend No. 5. Part 1 -Shoes. What I would like to know is just where do the shoe designers think we are going to go in platform ankle strap shoes? Is this some kind of a shoe joke that I just don’t get? Last year it was five and six inch heels, then, as if that wasn’t difficult enough, they added platforms. Now they’ve added ankle straps. If it gets any weirder we’re going to need sedan chairs and four muscle men to carry us around. Hmmmmm, actually that doesn’t sound so bad.
|40's Redux by William Massimini|
On the bright side, Italian shoe designer William Massimini is a shining star in the wonderful, wild world of women’s shoe designs. Yes, he’s also gone the 40’s route, but with subtle changes that bring his line right into the here and now. I sent him an email asking where his shoes are sold and as soon as I hear from him, I’ll let you know.
|Two for One by Barbara of Milano|
Trend No 5. Part 2 – Handbags. The good news is handbags are a little smaller. It had to happen. Handbags were reaching gigantic proportions and becoming impossible to carry. Here’s a great idea. Barbara of Milano has consistently offered reasonably sized bags for reasonable prices and for winter/fall 2012-2013 the company is offering a two strap solution on many of their bags. You can wear your Barbara bag on your arm and look cute, or you can wear it postman style and have your arms and hands free. Actually, the two strap solution is not a novelty for this brand, it’s one of their features and it is one of the reasons why the brand is so popular here. If you are in Milan, you'll find the brand at the Rinascente Department Store in Piazza Duomo.