Haute Style: Milan Fashion Week S/S 2011

Milan Fashion Week is nearing completion after a spectacular week of collections. Between Italian designers Prada, Gucci,Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Bottega Veneta, Etro, Fendi, Blumarine, Alberta Feretti, Gianfranco Ferre, Emilio Pucci, Jil Sander, Armani, Missoni, MaxMara and Marni, one hardly knew where to look! If the brilliant colors of these collections were any indication, the fashion future of Milan is optimistic and energized for Spring/Summer 2011.


As always, Donatella offered a vision of bold and glamorous women, as her models worked the runway in delicious dresses, both the form-fitting minis we have come to expect from Versace, but also on point with the new, longer, leaner hemline (below the knee) of the season. She offered everything from fitted day dresses (sheaths, trim jackets, high-waisted pencil skirts), sporty ensembles in white, red, black and turquoise, and of course, those long, sexy gowns women everywhere have come to covet.


Prada reinvented its line yet again, stunning the audience with modern vivid color and prints this season, or what Miuccia Prada called “exaggerated simplicity.” While she kept to her essential minimalist structure, the overall appearance was anything but. Always pushing fashion forward, Prada’s S/S 2011 festive look may not be for everyone, but there was a playful simplicity to these clothes, even the multicolored accessories, from the shoes to the handbags to foxtail stoles, that will be perfect for spring.

Dolce & Gabbana

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s opened their show with projections of words like Mediterraneo, caldo, bianco, sensuale, luce infusing the atmosphere with a feel of Italian heritage reminiscent of their advertising campaigns. The nearly all-white parade of dresses used highly intricate detail, in some cases incorporating their infamous animal spots and lace, playing with silhouette and texture (think linen and appliqués). Contrasting their longer sheath dresses against short baby dolls, felt flirtier than the sexy black lace clad muse of their fall collection, offering a fresh perspective for the New Year.


Gucci’s latest collection was sleek, sexy and focused. Designer Frida Giannini was less interested in trend, and more interested in what she termed “Sophisticated Seduction.” Her influences included the daring colors of YSL, the rich influences of Marrakech and Gucci’s equestrian heritage that lead to a provocative yet entirely wearable collection. Giannini hit the mark with her jade and violet low cut dresses, satin skirts and fringed leather pieces in desert tones. This collection was enough to make anyone count down the days for spring shopping!


Karl Lagerfeld’s collection for Fendi evoked a leisurely, romantic, Seventies mood complete with peasant blouses, cotton lantern sleeved dresses, long shirtdresses.  With the message “Fendi is the burning summer of passion,” Lagerfeld explored the balance between structure and lightness, never wavering on his impeccable attention to detail and craftsmanship. Another high note was by way of Fendi’s distinctive leather, croc and eel handbags, playing with color and materials without losing an ounce of its classic luxury.

Haute Style will be following Paris Fashion Week from Sept. 28-Oct. 6 and reporting to you the latest fashion trends as they happen, so be sure to check back for all the latest news!

For more of Carrie Mitchell’s style insights, visit StyleGroove.com and Fashionexpedition.org.