Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Doll's Eye View: Milan Fashion Week FW'14

Italian fashion has always been a favorite market of mine. The industry is well known for small, family own textile mills that produce some of the most beautiful and prestigious fabrics in the world. Their knits are legendary. Though icons like Giogio Armani continue to produce beautifully tailored suits and impeccable eveningwear that defies time, Milan, for the most part, departed from their reputation for producing timeless fashion in favor of headline grabbing trendy clothes. Still, there are many lovely styles parading down the catwalks here. And, as you can see from this Doll's Eye view, it's easy to distinguish strong and precise directions even before we look at what Paris will bring to the table for Fall 2014.

Big City Girls
I like to begin here because jacket topped skirts and trousers is the staple of a good Italian wardrobe. And as you noticed in the above photo, Monica wears her Emporio Armani inspired jacket and trousers very well. We like the look of the classic jacket teamed with either a flared skirt or slim skirt with a deep slit or asymmetrical hemline. And if you think I've mislabeled the "Chanel" styled suit, take another look. It's a tongue-and-cheek version sporting lots of gold chain put out by Moschino.

Coat Check
The shift in weather patterns has designers rethinking coat silhouettes. Of course, every doll still needs a classic, grey tweed redingote, but you should think about cutting something in larger, more ample proportions.

It's a Wrap
There are alternatives to the classic coat. Capes, ponchos and wrap can all be made with a rectangle of wool or jersey.

Stormy Skies
There is a lot of black and grey strolling down everyone's catwalk. Personally I have much to much black in my own wardrobe and frankly so do my girls. (It was, after all, the Barbie Basics in those stylish black dresses that started me collecting!) But don't be afraid of experiment with patterned knits. Just as with the above photo, keep the dress or coat super simple.

Cat Calls
This is such a strong look. When you are shopping for fabric, don't forget to pick up something with spotted cat prints. It doesn't have to be faux fur. It could be anything, so long as it has spots!

Bear Clause
This is the third fashion capital to featured big shaggy coats and jackets. Needless to say, this will be a very important look next winter!

Autumn Florals
Underneath it all....the muted colors of Fall expressed through florals. Rayon and viscose are perfect for these looks and will give you the softness to pull off these looks. Don't stop with just dresses. Those floral pants look great worn with a leather jacket.

Printed Edition
There's also a return to paisley, jacquard prints. The scarf dress by John Richmond is something you can make with a single pocket square!

Night & Day
Black and white is usually a look reserved for spring. The Italians are telling's okay to wear them for winter.

Just Fur You
Another strong trend....touches of fur here and there. Trimmed hoods, cocktail dresses with furry trim on the cuff and hem, jackets with big fur collars.

Time to cleanse the palette with an LBD (little black dress.)

Downton Abbey, Italian Style
We could not resist putting this up. A clear reference to Downton Abbey (a trend we saw during NY Fashion Week), the silhouettes are easy and the details, pure luxury. The basic silhouette starts with the Shift dress. Of course, your choice of fabric is everything. Add beads to areas of the Art Deco pattern and through a fur collar around the doll is now part of...Fashion Royalty!!!!

Our French team of dolls are already on the ground and busy at Paris Fashion Week. Before we take a look there's all the red carpet action from the Academy Awards coming up this weekend!

A bientot!

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  1. These dresses are superb....I love the lines, the fabrics, the patterns..... and the "dowton abbey" homage, just great flapper dresses!!!
    I can see that your girls picked the "pure lines" of Fendi and Armani, but there are so many ideas here.....the Marras dress for instance, and I'm going to browse the max mara and Etro collections....
    Can't wait to read about the Academy Awards and Paris Fashion Week!!!

    1. You are so right. Milan was very inspiring.There are many very interesting ideas here that I can visualize for my dolls. As soon as I have a little extra time (and can get to the fabric store), I'm planning to come back to these photos and make a few more things. (I'd love to try a version of one of the flapper dresses!)


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