Message from Milan

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Recession? What recession? Milan’s fashion week has been less innovative than London’s, but also more ebullient. Armani led the pack, with a collection that looked to the 80s for ideas.

Milan’s Fashion Week, always more glamorous than London, if far less innovative, is usually an indication of what we mere mortals are going to find in the shops next year. After all, nobody at Milan ever came up with an idea that wouldn’t sell.

Here are 10 trends to choose from.

Pink dress1 – Short skirts

OK, great if you’ve got the legs for it. Personally, I’d keep short skirts on the long side if you’re over 40, and make sure you wear opaque tights. 

2 – Shoes that look like shoes

Yay. At last. Narrow high heels if that’s your preference, but there were lots of flats, too, especially at Georgio Armani, to go with those short skirts. 

3 – Shorts

Oh God no. Please. At any age. Particularly hideous were the puffball designs at Armani. 

4 – Big accessories

Fine if you’ve got the height. Avoided by titchy me. 

5 – Texture

Blugirl skirtPradaskirtSkirts made out of poppies at Blugirl, skirts with a crinkly finish at Prada – a very interesting trend.

6 – Standaway necklines

Again, this 50s emphasis on the decollete. Welcome for most women over 40, as this is the bit that ages the least – most women have a fine pair of shoulders well into later life. 


7 – Puffed shoulders

Armani trouser suitThe big trend of this winter, I predict. A useful and feminine version of the wide shoulder, which balances your hips, covers a chubby arm, and goes well with the full, wide-leg pants seen this season – both seen at Armani. Keep the fabric soft and pliable for the best look, and update last year’s cardis with a pair of soft foam shoulderpads.

8 – Confident colors

Lots of zinging pink, lime green, mint green and strong, acid blues. It’s like the recession never happened. Bear in mind, though, that in Milan, the fabrics were high end – taffeta and good silk crepes – don’t try these colours in cheap fabrics.

9 – Underwear as outerwear

As seen at Cavalli, who generally likes women to look like cheap hookers. Best avoided, I feel, especially if you did it when it was new, back in the 80s. 

10 – Gold and animal prints

Mmn. Could be very tacky if there’s too much of it, so only one item at a time, I beg of you. A bag or scarf in animal print is a great lift, or a coat or skirt if you’re feeling bolder. 



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