Another edition of Milan Fashion Week (September 19-25) has come to a close. The shows highlighted womenswear trends for the spring/summer 2013 season and were more fun and surprising than one might have expected. Despite the somber economic atmosphere and weather that varied between very hot days and grey rain, the city hosted many events including initiatives by White Milano such as the Uma Wang and Stella Jean shows.

The week welcomed an estimated 15,000 buyers and 2,000 journalists from all over the world while presenting 71 fashion shows and a total of 146 collections (including still presentations). The city's organizers showcased its most precious jewels, in terms of historical locations, palazzos and special events, to depict Milan as a hard-working city where people can still have fun and encounter the world’s best fashion products.

Anna Forever
One of the many events that took place was the opening of the Picasso exhibition with a tribute to Anna Piaggi, the unique fashion icon, artist and journalist who passed away on August 7, 2012. Natalia Aspesi, renowned journalist and Piaggi's cousin, Rosita Missoni, Manolo Blahnik, Carla Fendi and Franca Sozzani were among those who came out to pay their respects. The eccentric fashion editor's family also released an announcement promising to donate Piaggi’s huge collection of apparel, accessories and curious objects to the city with hopes to create a special foundation in her name.

Armani Eccentrico
Armani Eccentrico
Armani, an Italian Eccentric
Giorgio Armani's Eccentrico, a unique one-night exhibition dedicated to 51 of the designer's most elaborate and outstanding Giorgio Armani and Armani Privé dresses and accessories, was not to be missed. The result was a high concentration of opulent, glittering couture fashion and colorful, dreamy and extraordinary creations including two special outfits that Armani designed for Lady Gaga, one of which was made using real silver.

What Women Want?
Antonio Marras recreated the feeling of a wedding party, inviting guests to sit at richly decorated tables, sipping coffee and nibbling on colorful cakes while watching an artsy mix of festive, patchwork dresses of pastel-meets-Lurex tweeds and crystal and lace. Dolce & Gabbana once again went for a Sicilian holiday atmosphere, this time presenting dresses and accessories adorned with Pupi Siciliani (local puppets) prints and fun bustiers, woven like rattan baskets. DSquared2 recalled the atmosphere of a 1990’s photography studio where top models played the protagonists of glossy photo shoots of past decades. La Perla presented an exclusive lingerie collection designed by Jean Paul Gaultier and, finally, a special night dedicated to six Argentinian fashion brands including La Martina ended with a late-night tango session.

Forget Miniskirts!
They’re out for next summer; better opt for midi-dresses like those seen at Bottega Veneta with their floral print elongated silhouettes, accentuated shoulders and elbow-length sleeves. Iceberg also presented ankle-length skirts in printed silk, often paired with leather perfectos (another must-have for the season) covered with studs and crystals, mostly on the shoulders. Ermanno Scervino opted for longer skirts as well, though tighter around the body and with entangled materials.

Silhouettes to Keep in Mind
Standout silhouettes were constructed, A-line and trapeze-like, such as those shown by Marni with essential laser-cut leather blouses and A-line skirts in faux crocodile. Other highlights were white dresses, clean cut in the front and playful in the back with unexpected elements like a coulisse, a low cut or a special curvature. There were no embroideries or applications, with maximum decor instead taking the form of wallpaper-like geometric prints.

Jil Sander, the label’s first show since the return of Jil herself, focused on very clean curves and necessary styles. Ferré opted for short, clean tunics, mostly featuring macro-zippers at the back and showing asymmetries and geometric, sculptural silhouettes. Wide, fluid trousers were another key trend, as seen at Emporio Armani in daytime hues and at Giorgio Armani in silvery-grey silks for night.

Hot Summer Nights
Colors were a must at Gucci, which was inspired by sleek 1960’s silhouettes enriched by volume and asymmetry. Coral, fuchsia, emerald and yellow were big, often worn with a bag of the same color, as were colorful animal prints. Aigner focused on lively micro-designs while Bally opted for pencil dresses in lacquered orange and cutout elements. Iceberg mixed colorful geometric blocks into knitwear and also added contrasting bright hues to Lurex-knitwear evening dresses.

Marni s/s 2013
Marni s/s 2013
Obsessed With Prints

Prints were everywhere. Pixel motifs and blurred geometric macro-dots characterized Chicca Lualdi's collection in pink/red and blue/green tones. DSquared2 went for fuchsia silk trenches and mini-suits covered with white microdots. Emporio Armani showed soft geometries such as optical-effect checks mixed with dots, again, while Ermanno Scervino preferred an ethnic black-and-white stylized decor. Etro, on the other hand, made their woman feel as though she’d entered a magical garden filled with colorful flowers to be worn and mixed with contrasting macro-stripes.

Decoration’s the Name of the Game
Lace, crystals and sequins were a must in many collections. Calvin Klein presented a soft series of a sort of superlight armor made of thin, woven wires laid over plain black and white dresses. Fratelli Rossetti showed a whole collection of shoes and bags made of laser-perforated leather that created a modern interpretation of macramé lace. Roberto Cavalli mixed prints with lace and scarf prints enlivened Dondup's newest silk dresses while Prada reinvented her Japanese heroine by putting her in wrap-around white fur capes adorned with red flowers and Japanese platforms matched with silver sci-fi socks and ribbons. Bulgari's newest bags were covered with orange sequins and small, hand-embroidered fans, each featuring semiprecious stone element closures.

Don't Forget Denim
Not many collections had denim on display, but those that did offered interesting interpretations. Dsquared2 went for gold chains and metallic details on super short miniskirts and ultra-slim stone-wash jeans. Iceberg presented a double-breasted, super-aged denim dress characterized by 1980’s-style strong shoulders (another trend for the season) and Calvin Klein Jeans showed black and white denims printed with urban landscape silhouettes. Finally, Geox expanded its denim offer with breathable pastel-colored jeans in a wide variety of fits.

Back to the '90s
A special exhibition hosted at Palazzo Giuureconsulti's press lounge presented a selection of 1990's magazine covers, including some of our own from Sportswear International. The exhibit focused on themes that are still relevant today such as various interpretations of black as well as glamour, sport, minimalism, urban landscapes, gothic and unisex designs.