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Milan fashion meets global crises with lightness

Last Updated Sep 21, 2017 at 9:40 am PDT

Models wear creations as part of the Fendi womens Fall/Winter 2018/19 fashion collection, presented in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

MILAN – The Milan fashion world is responding to global crises with transparency and lightness.

Designers are choosing diaphanous textiles to create airy looks, often layering sheer trench coats and anoraks over form-fitting knit dresses or jumpsuits for contrast. It’s about comfort, being nimble and joyous in times of uncertainty.

Milan Fashion Week womenswear previews for next spring and summer continued for the second day on Thursday with shows by Fendi, Max Mara, Prada and Moschino. Here are some highlights:



Backgammon in the tropics anyone? Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi collection for next Spring-Summer 2018 proposes futuristic looks with nods to yesteryear.

Plaids and skewed stripes give the collection an underlying order and discipline that also was reflected in the disciplined shoulders and cinched waistlines.

Shoulders often were left bare, courtesy of peek-a-boo cut-outs and asymmetrical ruching. Men’s bowling shirts and rugby polos provided the inspiration for sheer tops that tucked prettily into diaphanous skirts.

“It is a very light collection, with an airy breeze that goes through the clothes,” the brand’s creative director, Silvia Venturini Fendi, said backstage.

Seafoam green, coral and sand dominated the colour palette, “the colours of summer landscape,” Fendi said.

Pretty detailing — tropical leaf cutouts and trailing grosgrain ribbons on hemlines and necklines adorned several designs. Materials included light cotton, nylon and netting, along with leather and the fashion house’s trademark fur, some bearing the double F logo.

The celebrity model trio of Gigi Hadid, sister Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner took turns on the Fendi runway. Gigi indulged fashionista fans backstage with a few selfies as she left wearing a hot-pink plaid suit and wire frame sunglasses.



Max Mara designs for next spring and summer were an evolution of the brand’s trademark monochromes, logo plays and garden florals in pretty silhouette-revealing shapes.

The light-and-airy complemented the form-fitting, as in the sheer trench worn belted over a tight, ribbed knit dress. Creative director Ian Griffiths took a step toward deconstruction, cuffing slim dress trousers to the knee. Longer skirts featured trailing strips of cloth that resembled pleats freed from their usual geometry.

The collection segued into a new Max Mara logo spelling out the brand in floating letters and then into florals shown on suit, dress and trench combos and long billowing dresses worn over trousers.

The shoe of choice is a T-shaped high-heeled sandal, often in matching prints. Bags were worn strapped on the back.

As with last season’s show, Max Mara featured a model wearing a Muslim hijab, part of the fashion world’s embrace of inclusivity and the Mideast market.