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What the Milan Fashion Week taught us about the future

Using colours, sequins, silk, lace and ruffles, designers reminded the world to celebrate every moment of life

Models present Giorgio Armani Fall/Winter 2021/2022 collection during a live-streamed show at the February Milan Fashion Week.
Models present Giorgio Armani Fall/Winter 2021/2022 collection during a live-streamed show at the February Milan Fashion Week. (via REUTERS)

The curtain fell on another Milan fashion week, or at least the screen went dark on this season's all-digital affair, in which designers looked ahead to better times.

The autumn/winter 2021-2022 collections had an air of hope for when coronavirus is banished or at least brought under control: for when home clothes are shed and new outfits see the light of day, for when life simply returns to a semblance of normal.

Sequins set the tone for an irresistibly festive mood, with the standard set by Prada.

Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada used them for a sparkling lining of a large faux fur stole.

Elsewhere they were more full-on, entirely covering an otherwise straight-cut coat, or on skirts, bags and shoes.

At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli used sequins on a skin-coloured dress, or a shimmering floor-length cape.

They were inserted into knitwear at Missoni or Brunello Cucinelli, while at Armani, sequins invaded a black tuxedo jacket, the effect completed with ruffles and gemstones.

After months cooped up indoors, intimate wear was given an outing: dresses with thin straps in silk, lace or voile were on the catwalks of all the major houses.

At Fendi, there were fluid silk dresses, extended to the neck with the incorporation of long scarves.

New artistic director Kim Jones also used silk for trousers and tops, as if the working girl had transformed her silk pyjamas into an ultra-chic urban outfit.

Valentino's nets and laces revealed more than they hid, and MM6 Maison Margiela had camisoles with thin straps in a collection where everything was backwards, where underneath was on top.

Bomber jackets brought a hint of G.I. Jane to the collections, although more in the vein of Marilyn Monroe visiting the Marines than Demi Moore's shaved head.

At Prada, the nylon jackets were oversized and black. At Etro, they had an ethnic feel, at Pucci they were branded, while at Max Mara they highlighted the label's founding date of 1951.

For Alberta Ferretti they were in leather, while Dolce & Gabbana made them sexy with Madonna-style conical additions to the chest.

Black was used to claim a more formal wardrobe.

At Valentino, the colour dominated with only flashes of white, gold and check.

At Prada, it contrasted with elements of colour on the arms, legs, necks or in accessories.

Armani used it to similar effect, the collection based on black with blue, green and lilac. A grand finale of black at Fendi brought hyper-sophisticated looks.

Meanwhile, the strong woman with a contemporary Amazonian spirit at Alberta Ferretti wore black overalls, capes and wide black trousers.

Like an animal coming out of hibernation, the heavy coat of the Yeti or Star Wars' Chewbacca is back, whether real or fake.

For Prada, the fur was synthetic and ubiquitous, used not just for coats and stoles but also in the decor of the show, covering walls and floors.

Fur specialists Fendi presented several grand looks, but with a novel approach -- reusing materials from previous pieces.

Florentine house Ferragamo was fur-free, but showed knitwear with dramatic fur-like fringes.

At Dolce & Gabbana, the fur coat was colourful, sometimes pink, golden or multicoloured, and always oversized.

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