The best of Milan autumn-winter 2017-18 – knits, checks and classics

Colours, knits and duvet coats rule the catwalk for next winter, with a dose of 1940s glamour and a sprinkling of updated classics

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 February, 2017, 12:31pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 February, 2017, 6:40pm

There were occasional moments of wackiness, but Milan Fashion Week unleashed more seductive collections for autumn-winter 2017-18 that updated the classics and focused on great-looking wearable clothes with the little quirk or tweak here and there. It also marked the debut of designers Fulvio Rigoni at Salvatore Ferragamo and Francesco Risso at Marni.

Miuccia Prada’s autumn-winter 2017 show hits the mark in Milan with cosy knits, fur and fun


Craft and cosy knit were quite a popular trend around Milan and nowhere was it more obvious than at Prada where Miuccia mixed seductive colours and textures in knitted outfits, often embellished with embroidery and fluffy marabou feathers. Missoni is a knit house and there were some wonderfully bright graphic patterns for tubular knits worn in long, slim layers. Stella Jean’s knits came embroidered with military insignia as part of her cold war-inspired show that also mixed folkloric patterns from the Russian steppe. Otherwise, you cannot go wrong next autumn with a skinny rib knit and big, slouchy colourful sweater.

Duvet dressing

In London, designers suggested you take your eiderdown to work, in Milan duvet dressing is a whole lot more sophisticated, as seen in the Astrakhan puffer jackets at Salvatore Ferragamo or the voluminous flowery printed duvet coats at Dolce & Gabbana. Etro’s puffers came in Oriental prints and patchworks of exotic print and textures and bright quilted velvet at Fausto Puglisi. At Tod’s, where the creative emphasis is on outerwear, the white duvet jacket with its big poacher pockets comes straight from the Alpine slopes. Other versions came in black and brown and slipped like gilets over motocross leather jackets.

Check in

Checks are having a moment, as in classic country tweed checks, and bold black and white windowpane graphics. The Emporio Armani show opened with a series of monochrome checks in Prince of Wales, windowpane and broken versions in wool, faux fur or laminated fabrics such as skirts and trousers. Gucci’s were traditional masculine country-style checks for jackets and double-breasted coats. Missoni ran a whole series of multicolour plaid tailored pieces such as the coat worn by Gigi Hadid. At Marco de Vincenzo the checks were pleated and worn like aprons over skirts.

Fendi seduces Milan with sky-high red stiletto boots

Modern classics

Classic by design was the theme for MaxMara, but classy modern classics spoke for a number of fashion labels, Fendi and Jil Sander included. MaxMara is known for its coats, and there were many gorgeous styles in camel, cognac and lipstick red. These were slipped over pencil skirts, velvet trousers and slouchy rib knits. There are, in fact, a lot of over the knee skirts around this season. Fendi was less about making a statement this season and more about focusing on feminine silhouettes such as soft A-line skirts in masculine fabrics, finished with some luxuriously crafted furs. At Jil Sander, designer Rodolfo Paglialunga worked ample shoulders onto coats teamed with roomy trousers and skinny sweaters.

Forties glamour

Designers have been riffing recently on 1970s and ’80s fashion, but this season the glamorously waved hair, updos and red lips took us back to Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner in the ’30s and ’40s. Bottega Veneta’s belted double-breasted jackets with strong shoulder lines and pencil skirts were particularly evocative of that era, as also were the militaristic jodhpurs worn by Eva Herzigova that opened the show. MaxMara’s elegant collection of coats and pencil skirts suggested film star glamour and the shimmery satin bias-cut gowns at Blumarine and Bottega Veneta were inspired by silver screen sirens such as Jean Harlow.


Milan loves black, but you would be hard pressed to find any apart from a few pieces at Versace and Aquilano. Like London, any colour but black is the trend. Occasionally, colour is worked in a maximalist way with prints and textures at Gucci, Marco de Vincenzo and Etro, but often it was done in one colour, such as purple at Ferragamo or the orange, lime and pink at Emilio Pucci that, despite being an unusual development for a print house, looked very upbeat and positive. There were great colour mixes in Prada’s knitwear and coats, pretty pastels at Blumarine, bold graffiti and slogans at Moschino and vibrant knitted and woven patterns at Missoni.

Little and large

You can either pack your whole life into a handbag, or just slot a credit card and lippy into a purse the size of a pendant next season. Tod’s produced luxury bags, both little and large, the larger ones coming in polished leather and pony skin, the micro ones in pony skin. Fendi also showed large bags, some with small detachable purses, or three small purses in different materials on a key ring. Over at Pucci a new range of luggage came in matching giant swirly prints that will stand out on the luggage carrousel at the airport as the fashion pack leaves Milan for Paris.