Milan Fashion Week ended last weekend, counting a total of eight days, more than 100 fashion shows, 94 showroom presentations and another 51 showroom appointments for a total of 224 collections.

More than 15,000 visitors and over 2,360 journalists attended the womenswear shows for the spring/summer 2009 season. Five maxi video screens were also placed in the city center, enabling the public to view three films on fashion shows, backstage images and designer interviews.

Not only did Italian designers participate at Milan Fashion Week; there were also foreign brands including Mikio Sakabe from Japan, Christian Weber from Austria, Jean Pierre Braganza from the UK, Kira Plastinina and Valentin Yudashkin from Russia, Laitinen from Finland and Sandrina Fasoli from Belgium. Among the Italian newcomers, Gabriele Colangelo was the talk of the fashion capital as well as the 6267 design duo’s first collection for Gianfranco Ferré.


The big summer 2009 themes on the catwalk are bright colors and gemstones, high waists, knee-covering skirts and dresses, romantic tiered dresses, fringed skirts, big belts, lots of transparent tops and blouses, and animal prints for everything—from skinny jeans to evening dresses.

In spite of a tough economic climate worldwide, the Italian fashion industry still expects to see a 0.5% increase in exports for 2008. Emerging markets such as Russia and China, Hong Kong and South Korea as well as the Emirates continue to show strong export figures. In total, total fashion exports rose 2.4% in the first trimester of 2008, while imports declined by 2.3%.

Milan Fashion Week is organized by the Italian Fashion Chamber, or Camera Nazionale della Moda.

The schedule for the next Milan shows are as follows:

Pre-Collections - November 18 to December 18, 2008
Menswear - January 17-21, 2009
Womenswear - February 25 to March 4, 2009

Expect the hottest fashion topics to be covered in the next issue of Sportswear International due in late November.

—Michaela Schmidinger, Fashion Features Editor