Hazy days and nautical nights in Milan

New trends emerge as Milan takes the Fashion Week baton from London

There is always at least one design house which takes nautical as its key theme for spring/summer, and for 2009, that house is D&G.

The invite for yesterday’s show should have been a dead giveaway, covered as it was with seafaring flags (I now know exactly the right flag to raise for foxtrot, sierra and zulu should I be stranded halfway across the Atlantic anytime soon), and if it wasn’t, the very first anchor-print silk neckerchief paired with high-waisted, wide-legged sailor trousers gave the game away.

With all the blue and white striped maillot tees and vests, not to mention hats, shorts and dresses (oh, and lots of fishnet tights), the show had an unmistakable French frisson to it as well, although what the interspersed shiny gold lamé pieces had to do with the French Riviera is anyone’s guess – it appears next season’s flirtation with all things 80s isn’t just reserved for London’s designers.

If designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have a hankering for the 80s, for Angela Missoni it was all about the 70s, with beautiful kaftans, kimono-style jackets, culottes and jumpsuits combined for a relaxed, languid silhouette. Colours were just as laidback, with moody browns, golds, oranges and pinks swirled together in a hazy, summery palette.

WATCH THE LATEST RUNWAY FOOTAGE FROM D&G, MISSONI, ARMANI, BURBERRY AND ALBERTA FERRETTI HERE.

At Burberry Prorsum, the beautiful collection borrowed from a similar colour scheme, albeit a different season, with soft, autumnal shades of grey, brown, blue and bronze used to exquisite effect on ultra-fine knits, Barbour-style hunting jackets and sweet, drop-waisted dresses. Prints, when they occurred, appeared inspired by Monet: gentle and unobtrusive, yet mesmerising at the same time.

Armani, too, looked to the painter’s archive, using sweet yet soft floral prints on a series of flippy organza sundresses at his morning show. Less unobtrusive were the Italian designer’s crystal-encrusted evening gowns, which were designed, surely, with the red carpet in mind.

Someone who knows plenty about red carpet dressing is Alberta Ferretti, who also allowed crystals and jewels to play their part at the final show of the day, however, the central role was reserved for yards and yards of retro fringing, which appeared on everything from skirts and dresses to wraps and jackets.

It seems both the 70s and 80s have a lot to answer for in the coming season…

SEE ALL THE LATEST MILAN FASHION WEEK PHOTOS HERE

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