Milan Fashion Week, dedicated to the F/W 2009-10 womenswear collections, came to a close yesterday. Despite the general “cold” economic climate, fewer US and Russian buyers, and the IT Holding Group under controlled administration, the climate was optimistic. Fashion companies mostly focused on substance by offering research and creativity rather than just show and sensation.

In terms of trends designers mostly focused on the ’80s with a revival of wide shoulders, lots of rhinestones and crystal appliqués, fur and fur details, and conspicuous jewelry. There were also punk elements including total black, studs and chains everywhere, and shrink-to-fit leather items.

Marni showed great care and research into blending fabrics and silhouettes. The Italian brand presented innovative material blends such as thin jerseys and sequined silks juxtaposed with heavy and elaborate materials such as wool-lurex jacquards. Deconstructed jackets came with fur sleeves and exposed hems, while shift dresses were accessorized with oversized jewels and jacquard tights.

Antonio Marras reinvented military jackets by cropping and decorating them with denim details such as pockets and belt loops as well as sequined motifs and lace appliqués.

Angelo Marani offered a broad range of one-of-a-kind couture-style five-pocket jeans with luxe trims, lace, prints and a variety of other appliqués.

DSquared mostly focused more on creative styling. For instance, a long, elegant evening silk dress became cool when worn with a cropped denim Western-style jacket, or when a leopard fur bolero and a pair of silk hot pants were mixed with denim pieces. Also brand new were several brown cotton Western-style jackets accessorized with huge diamond-like crystal applications.

Etro reinvented ethnic-style evening dresses with colorful prints and shift dresses with golden fishnet appliqués.

Burberry presented a series of silk chiffon dresses decorated with prints taken from its designer Christopher Bailey’s personal collection of historical English prints.

Riding the punk wave, Richmond focused on a revival of punk glam styles featuring zippers on its dresses or printed oversized motifs that reminded one of zippers’ teeth. Prada reinterpreted this theme by covering shoes with brown studs and dresses made from stripes of leather.

Meanwhile, the jeanswear market took the opportunity to debut several new developments. We Are Replay’s new collection now bears the signature of Fashion Box Group’s new creative director Gigi Vezzola. The new collection reinterpreted tuxedo denim styles in a modern and feminine way.

Also Seven 7 presented a new collection designed by Karim Rashid, the designer known for his collaborations with Alessi, Prada, Umbro and Miyake. The new jeans line can be personalized with a series of different exchangeable details such as buttons and leather tags.

Although the general atmosphere was quiet, the city also hosted some significant store openings. For instance, Blugirl and Frankie Morello opened their new boutiques. Kenzo celebrated the refurbishing of its store and Bikkembergs opened a new 1,300-sq.-meter flagship resembling a soccer player’s huge apartment.

—Maria Cristina Pavarini