Monday, March 9, 2015

Doll's Eye View: Viva Italia! Fall '15 Trends

Compared to past seasons, it's pretty calm in Milan. Think of it as cleansing the palette after a great big smorgasbord dinner. It could be the result of Europe's economic crisis. It might also be a backlash after years of indulgent design. Or maybe fashion just needs to take a break and reconnect with real people and their lifestyles. Nonetheless, there are some very wearable and stylish ideas, even within the simplicity of the season.
At first glance, you'll notice a wide variety of hemlines ranging from micro-mini to ankle length. The truth is, longer lengths are now the look of choice. While there still are super short fashions, the look is always completed with thigh high boots, leggings or dark opaque hose. This is the way the market attempts to prepare you for a major shift in hemlines as they move past the knee landing on the lower leg straight down to the ankles! What does this mean to you? Unless your dolls start chanting "mini-skirts forever," be prepared to think of creating slightly longer dresses and skirts for them if they are to stay in the height of fashion.
Look familiar? It should. It is a longer version of a Patrick Kelly knit dress we featured after last year's exhibition!!!
Tired of all the grey and black? There's lots of bright, in-your-face crayon colors in Milan! Though those tent shape dresses and capes are super short, note the matching thigh high boots (which you can substitute by making spats)!

What I love about European fashion is how the designers incorporate fine art inspiration into their collections. The op-art mini dress and boots, by the way, are completely beaded!! When shopping for fabric, don't be shy about buying bold "art" prints especially for with simple garments.
 The classics are back. More importantly, there are some really pretty patterns and prints used for coats, trousers, jackets and skirts. Here, paisley makes a come back.

 Like everywhere else, furs are pretty common place for next Winter season. What's new are furs in novelty colors and patterns. And yes....there is that fur skirt...this one cut from Mongolian lamb worn with short jacket. Our dolls just love the pattern on pattern effect of the Cavalli coat and dress. For the Dolly Designer version (in the opening photo), I used leopard printed vinyl square I bought at a local craft store to make a raincoat. Hint: when mixing prints, make sure there is at least one color in common.
Leather dresses, skirts, coats and suits are a seasonal favorite, particularly in Italy. Instead of resorting to black, think chocolate. This is a leather group with whiffs of everything from light creamy white chocolate to the deep dark 85% cacao variety. What's really new here....the Tod's leather skirt with appliques.

 Plaid and sweaters.....a classic university look makes a comeback. Skirt are pleated, straight and wrap around the hips like a sarong. Again, notice the length AND notice the over the knee boots! My dolls also have their eyes on those fringed handbags!!!

A very "grown-up" look with an obvious "girly" charm.
After five never looked so good. These are precious clothes for special occasions. Heavy, chunky lace replaces Chantilly. Garments are fur trimmed and evening trousers make a big splash. But again, the silhouettes remain simple.

 The slip dress is ever present in Milan! Here we see it cut from evening fabrics and even leather (Trussardi camesole).

We're arriving at our final destination......Paris. It's a hectic ten days and there's plenty to take in, so our report will be in two parts. Our team will be back shortly with Part I!

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  1. I like the knit dress! : > And I'm one of those people who just wants to wear colours no matter the season, so it's nice to see that there's a splash of colours in some of the designs too!
    Galerie d'Art and La Belle Epoque are also nice with the prints and patterns!
    And now I want to make some high boots for my girls. >__<''
    I really enjoyed this report! <3

    1. Hi Uraru, I also love those thigh high boots and definitely plan to make some for my girls. If you haven't seen it already, there is a pattern for spats which you can slip over a pair of existing shoes. Look for it--(Oct. 24, 2013) "Fancy Footwear: Spats." That pattern is really for knee highs but you can extend the pattern further up the leg. Just make sure the doll's leg can slip out of it before you make it in fabric. Glad you're enjoying the reports. Paris will be up shortly. Big hugs.

    2. Ohhh thank you for the tip! <3

  2. Hi April, you're so right, these collections were highly praised by the press, but they should have called it Milan Austerity Week......
    You did a wonderful job with the Trussardi dress, I love it!
    kisses Billa

    1. Thank you, Billa. Last year, there was a lot of wild and crazy stuff in Milan that frankly, had me wondering...."who wears this?" I suppose there were many others who wondered the same thing. My guess is that the designers made a concerted effort to design clothes that would have a better chance of selling! Sadly, they went a little too safe. When I look at these collections, it's with an eye as to 1) what I think might look good on a doll, 2) styles that are not not too complicated to interpret, but yet 3) those that offer interesting and new ideas. With that in mind--this is the selection I came up with. Nice, but not exceptional!

  3. The leathers are awesome, as are the basic color garments, I actually like practically everything shown in your post! GREAT dress that you made!!! I look forward to Paris! xx

    1. Thank you, Linda. I love the leathers, too and was VERY tempted to do the suit. I'll probably do it later when I have a little more time. Paris is a MONSTER!!! Lots to different directions! Big hugs.

  4. I'm excited about the paisley. The red is so dramatic on the black fabric! But instead of getting clothing inspiration, I'm getting bead inspiration. A big, bold beaded collar with red and orange paisley patterns. If only it wasn't so late, I would start right now. <3

    I'm happy to see a link to the post on jersey dresses, too. It will be fun to revisit! Especially now that my stretchy fabric collection has grown. This will be fun.

    1. I LUV that red paisley/black velvet jacket. I have a Pashmina with a composition of patterns like that. You know, "fashion week" in Paris is not just about what happens on a catwalk. It's also a time when everyone in the industry meets up to gather ideas. There is also a textile fair, "Premiere Vision" taking place. In attendance: designers in the areas of clothing, shoes, accessories as well as retail, cosmetics...... So as a jewelry designer, it's quite natural for you to look at these trends with an eye towards how it might be interpreted for your needs. Design is such an exciting field!!!

  5. Wow, they are very wearable. I think I loved more here than I did from the Paris show. Those paisley and graphic art outfits are wonderful!

    By the way, your "Join this site" button isn't working. I was wondering why your follow me number was so low. I'm following by email, but would still like to join the site.

    1. Hi Vanessa. Glad you found your way here. Thanks for the heads up on the "Join this site" button. I'll look into trying to get that fixed.

      One of the interesting thing about these fashion reports, is that among all four fashion capitals, there is something for everybody. New York and Milan tend to be clothes most people can understand. Most of the time London takes a walk on the wild side and Paris is a melting pot of everything with the emphasis on pushing fashion trends forward. I deliberately devoted Paris pt. 1 to the more extreme catwalk fashions, but part II will feature more wearable styles. Big hugs!


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