Milan’s identity is deep-rooted in artisanship; its regal design houses are each steeped in their own traditions and this season designers were no less inclined to state pride in their provenance. Fendi’s collection was titled Made in Italy and Donatella made sure press were well aware of the same backstage at Versace. But as the country introduced its youngest prime minister this weekend, there was not only a much-needed influx of new energy on the Milan catwalks, where young designers have struggled to stand out in recent years, but also a readiness to accept new ways of communicating with customers: Moschino, with Jeremy Scott now at the helm, released 10 items from their runway show immediately, savvily knowing vital eyeballs were on the brand.
Although there were some unusual themes in Milan, like the folkloric vibe seen at Dolce & Gabbana, Antonio Marras and Alberta Ferretti, here we’ve used EDITD data to determine which of those will translate into the biggest commercial hits.
1. The Milanese Palette
Milan, on the whole, elected for an autumnal palette in the rich reds at Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, the oranges at Missoni and Alberta Ferretti, the burgundy from Antonio Marras and the khaki at Pucci and Max Mara. Pastels formed the key palettes for Gucci and Jil Sander, but didn’t see widespread adoption. Grey was leant on as a base to showcase well cut suiting at Emporio Armani and Max Mara.
2. Most Talked-About Designer
Gucci staved off hot competition from Prada to win through as the week’s most talked-about designer with their take on the 60s and 70s mash-up trend that was seen across the capital. Neat, bib-fronted shift dresses, some in leather, worn with knee high boots and beehive-like hair; pea coats and fur coats and belted coats: the collection was bound together with print (leopard) and texture (curly fur). This collection was all the glamour with none of the fuss.
3. Theme: Texture
It’s been the overriding theme in each of the cities so far, and Milan didn’t disappoint: texture ruled the week. From fur sweaters at Trussardi and Gucci, to shearling and feathers at Marni and a very clever leather to suede degradé at Aquilano. Rimondi, surface interest was high on the agenda. Multi-colored furs were most popular, in oversized outerwear, stoles and trims at Marni, Prada, Missoni, Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi. This is a trend with vast commercial appeal.
4. Theme: Mid Century Affair
Milan meddled with the history book, fusing together 1960s and 1970s referencing, seen at the aforementioned Gucci as well as Prada, Missoni, Versace, Fay and Pucci. In parts modish, and elsewhere bohemian, there were common themes tying the thread together: the knee high boots, the roll neck tops, the simply cut shifts, the oversized furs and the tidy suits with a side serve of leopard print. This will translate well on the mass market.
5. Theme: Androgyny
A big story in London, Italy’s designers also got behind the androgynous story this week. In a granite palette, with graphic prints of checks and stripes, the key characteristics were the wide legged trousers at Antonio Marras and Emporio Armani, and the two-tone brogue shoes. At Trussardi, the theme took on a louche 80s feel, whilst at Jil Sander, it was the absence of frippery which hinted at a gender-bend.
6. Garment: Oversized Outerwear
If you are a retailer and haven’t accounted for oversized outerwear in your Fall plans, then think again. This trend is mammoth. Be it cocooning furs in a multitude of colors see at Fendi, a technical coat with high shine finish as at Alberta Ferretti, or the kind of over-sized shearling that could house a set of badgers, as at Trussardi, volume and warmth are key to coats for AW14.
7. Garment: Turtle Neck
Another item which should be high on any buyer’s checklist for October delivery, is the roll neck top. Double chins have already been told they can let loose this winter, and now have further permission for Prada, Ferragamo, Trussardi, Marni, McQ by Alexander McQueen, Max Mara and Fendi. Turtle necked knitted sweaters were core to the collections at Fay and Antonio Marras, where they were emblazoned with a wolf intarsia.
8. Print: Leopard
Not a trend given huge backing in New York or London, but Milan went all guns blazing for leopard, as is their wont. Gucci used it to add depth to their 60s suiting and accessories, whilst Simonetta Ravizza’s loose dresses, full skirts and matching tops, and pony skin trousers were all given the animal treatment. Sportmax didn’t use leopard sparingly either: the print was splashed across their footwear, used on tops and skirts and in outerwear, including a cape-coat.
9. Print: Patchworking
We’ve seen fabric patchworking from New York and London, but the trend really ramped up its profile in Milan, with Simonetta Ravizza, Missoni, McQ and Aquilano. Rimondi all using patchwork in their collections this week. Fendi’s pixelated patchwork took the trend away from the rustic and into the future and was used on quilted jackets, skirts and coats, all layered for maximum effect. Meanwhile, Bottega Veneta applied a more contemporary hand to their patchworking, using carefully spliced jigsaw-like fabrics.
10. Detail: Embellished
It is in embellishment that Milan truly gets its chance to demonstrate artisanship, and Fall 2014 didn’t disappoint. From feathers, to appliqué, jewels to sequins, designers didn’t let the already fussy texture theme get in the way of adding more. Marni gave us an absolute masterclass in how best to embellish, in full skirts brought to life feature wedges of feathers or giant paillettes festooned with yet more feathers: this was Milan at its finest.
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