Apparently Milan fashion week is shorter this year due to Anna Wintour's schedule, which explains the 1234235 million shows being crammed into each day (seriously, style.com is murdering me). On the plus side, that means a whole lot of pretty for me to ramble about.
Pucci, Pucci, Bottega Veneta: Oh, Pucci. I love the new direction you're moving in. Glam '70s rock and roll done a la Italian is so, so fabulous. I mean, Peter Dundas managed to make a floor-length, long-sleeved, crew neck dress very sexy (the body-con fit helps, for sure). Apparently he dip-dyed a classic Pucci print in dark purple, which I think is absolutely genius--a subversive take on an old standard. This one-shouldered dress is possibly one of the hottest things I've seen on the runway this season. It is crazy tight and short and has a lace-up hem, but the multi-tonal black fabric gives it a little more class. The slightly messy, undone hair adds a lovely contrast to the hard edges of the dress. Bottega Veneta definitely went the edgier route this season, and I love it. That coat is a great combination of the outdoorsy outwear and anoraks we've been seeing a lot of, and the more subversive, '80s biker meets '90s minimalism that's also been all over the runways. I like how the focus is kept on the high-sheen coat, and the emo hair actually works.
Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Alberta Ferretti: Even Versace went down the minimalist road this season, and surprisingly, it worked. The white makes it all feel very clean and light, the one sleeve adds a bit of quirky assymetry, and the zip-up/pleated skirt gives it just a little schoolgirl-ish/sci-fi feel that brings it all back to Versace. Alberta Ferretti was absolutely gorgeous this season, all pleated velvets and chiffons with an air of faded glamour and mystery. How adorable and yet somewhat dark is this cocktail dress? It's hard to do velvet well, and here it manages to be both nostalgic and modern, with an interesting, tactile look. The attached neckline drapes over the shoulders so perfectly, adding just enough casual sexiness to offset the formality of the velvet. The dark, pleated chiffon over the pale slip of this gown and those tiny sleeves are so Gothic romantic, but the body-hugging cut takes it far, far away from the 1800s.
Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Versus: Gucci and Versace were both on the same, toned down, minimalistic but still slightly retro-glamourous vein this season. I would wear this Gucci look head to toe in a second. The Charlie's Angels glasses, the little fur jacket, the rocker pants (skinny, but not too skinny), the leather panel on the shirt--it's a very pared-down vision of glamour, and basically the perfect daytime outfit. Dolce & Gabbana's show was nostalgic in the best possible way, going back to their roots without being repetitive. Here velvet made another comback. This dress is so clever. It looks casually pulled-together and draped, but it's done in way that's very figure-flattering and that has a slight hint of structure. The sheer straps add a delicate, lingerie contrast to the heaviness of the velvet, and that emerald green hue is so rich. Christopher Kane also played with velvet at Versus, Versace's little sister. The shape is very flirty '50s, with the highly pleated skirt and little sweetheart neckline, but the dark sheen of the satin and the velvet add a subversive touch that makes this a perfect little party dress.
Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo: The Diana the Huntress gone urban thing going on at Roberto Cavalli was so stunning. Very modern bohemian with a hint of minimalist classicism, and hence very on-trend. I'm so glad maxi-dresses are coming back in--there's something so casual and glamourous about them, and the leather appliques on the bodice and side cutouts give this dress just enough edge to mediate all that flowiness. Missoni did mountains and mountains of cozy, adorable knits, like this sweater coat. The knit fabric adds a lot of visual interest and a hint of classic Missoni-ness, and the touch of fur at the collar ties that all in with what's going on on the rest of the runways. How Indiana Jones is this Ferragamo look? The jaunty hat, the oxfords and socks, the beiges and caramels--all very sporty and safari. But the idea of a cardigan as a dress adds a little sexiness, the belt at the waist gives it shape, and the unified color palette ties it all together.
3.1 Phillip Lim Edie Studded Leather Bag, $700 at net-a-porter.com, Hunter Festival Tall Boots, $225 at shopbop.com, Charlotte Ronson Studded Drape Skirt, $295 at shopbop.com: Love, love, love this Phillip Lim bag. I'm really feeling bags with longer shoulder straps--they have a more casual, '70s vibe that fits in perfectly with current runway trends. The contrast between the pyramid studs and the droopy bow on the front is tres chic, and the tiny, squared-off shape is insanely practical. How hot are these Hunter boots? The original boots are very classic and sensible, but adding studs and mock-croc straps adds such a rock and roll edge that gives these classics a very modern update. That's a crazy fashion forward way to battle the rain. I think this Charlotte Ronson skirt is a great runway-to-real way translation of the draped, Balenciaga tulip skirts from two seasons ago. The drape adds a casual, French-meets-Roman chic vibe, and the pale, dusty pink works perfectly with the heavy chain belt. Tuck a white tee into that and you've got an outfit.
Pucci: style.com, Bottega Veneta: style.com, Versace: style.com, Alberta Ferretti: style.com, Gucci: style.com, Dolce & Gabbana: style.com, Versus: style.com, Roberto Cavalli: style.com, Missoni: style.com, Salvatore Ferragamo: style.com, Phillip Lim bag: net-a-porter.com, Hunter boots: shopbop.com, Charlotte Ronson skirt: shopbop.com.