Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Doll's Eye View: Milan Fall/Winter 2017 Trends

This season in Milan was classic Italian! For years, I looked to the Italians for timeless fashion that never goes out of style. But in recent years, it seems the "creative at all cost" bug had bitten many of the designers who lost their touch and put all kinds of craziness on the catwalks. I'm not sure what happened this season. Could it be this "new world order" has forced designers stop experimenting and retreat to the "sure value" of their "home base?" Maybe it's a pause to reassess their own cultural strength in able to build a more authentic future product. In any case, my girls liked much of what they saw....clothes in simple lines and easy-to-wear styles with a bit of an edge!

9 to 5
This is about the working woman and her increasing prominence in the world. These are great classic looks in neutrals and plaids that play with proportion. Look for structure in the shoulders (a trend that's gaining traction) and a pop of color via accessories. Note the layering of a mid-calf coat over a slightly longer skirt or the trompe l'oeil jacket that gives the illusion of being duo-tiered (Fendi). Lengths are mid thigh to mid calf but the overall look is that of understated elegance and class.

Neutral Territory
A continuation of the above theme, again this is all a salute to women on the go. Silhouettes move at the same pace as the wearer. They skim the body in fluid shapes landing below the knee or over trousers. But the main focal point here is the color palette...soft beige and winter pastels for casually elegant looks that slip easily from late day into chic evening attire.

No doubt about it, this is a story about color. The kind of rich, delicious tones me and the girls LOVE to see for this time of year. Again, we're looking at classic items but ones drenched in the spicy colors of saffron, paprika, curry, chili, and cinnamon. Also worth noting here: below the knee lengths for skirts, fitted blazers and loose fitting trousers. Nothing is choked. Everything fits over the body with ease.

Sweater Girl
While on the subject of spicy, tangy color palettes....this is the best way to go sweater dressing next fall. Missoni is known for it's silky jersey dresses in prints that mix, match and sometimes clash. This year, they look particularly interesting to my girls' eyes! The best thing is that, it's easy to recreate the spirit of these looks for dolly using.....socks! (And yes, there is a Dolly Missoni post planned for the near future here!!)
What makes this so much fun is that you can put two opposing patterns together to get this trendy look. The secret is for both to share at least one color in common. Both the cardigan and the dress underneath were created from (Dollar store) socks!

White Out 
We saw lots of white on the red carpet at the Oscars and now we're seeing white as a serious trend for next Winter. When planning dolly's wardrobe, think about making big overcoats, fitted blazers over wide trousers, outerwear with fur touches and popcorn knits in snow-cone white or creamy vanilla.
For me, what makes this look is the popcorn knit jacket over the straight legged trousers. The pockets and the hem dragging the floor were overkill, so I left them off Nathalie's pants. I can't knit so I made the jacket from a winter scarf I found on sale.

White with slashes or patches of black....the girls love this theme beginning with the over sized coats right down to the slouchy sweater over jogging pants. For the coats on either end, we imagined using the pattern for the kimono as a base. In any case, these big white shapes are tossed over the shoulders of anything black!

Animal Magnetism
What would winter be without a few jungle critters. Animal prints are fashion's newest "neutrals." With so much absence of pattern in print in recent years, these prints--particularly the pantsuit by Emilio Pucci--looked so fresh, very Soho,  and....spot on!
Again, we are talking about a mix of patterns which results in a creative, artsy approach to the Fall season. Grace loves her oversize zebra striped tunic worn over an abstract black & white stripe.

A Lick of Licorice
Think leather but think about it in small doses. In contrast to a "hard core" biker girl look, this trend simply uses leather to add a bit of luster to a streetwear look. A wimple miniskirt, the licorice detailing of a maxi dress, a leather tunic or bra over a sweater....this is a simple yet somewhat edgy way to update ordinary items in your doll's wardrobe.

Simple Thoughts
The little black dress and beyond is a timeless way to rock winter fashion. What the girls liked here are the little touches that make it special. Things like using fabrics or leather with texture, opera length leather gloves, accessories that add a pop of color or the white cuffs that poke out from sweater sleeves.
Samantha wears a slip dress extraordinaire.... The devil is in the details as it's all about familiar shapes in subtle textures. I could have used a thick, brushed wool for this dress. But I had a bit of leather which, admitted, I struggled to use. This is a one-piece slip dress cut from leather with a flat nap. I teamed it with matte rayon stovepipe pants and accessorized it with opera length leather gloves.

An Evening Encounter
Evening wear in Italy this time around has all of the glamour we're used to seeing, but without the bling.  Once again, it's all about texture! A silvery top over a sweep of white satin, a nest of feathers woven over the torso, or even the drama of pleated, black dotted Swiss gathered into a cinched waist over layers of white tulle a la 1950's! What the girls love about these looks is there are no rules in what constitutes glamour.
Case in point....Monica's dress. It starts out with something as simple as a taffeta camisole and a stretch lace skirt. We made an overskirt attaching many strips of ripped tulle and polka dotted sheer to a ribbon tied around her waist. Simple and stunning!

If I had let them, my dolls would still have me in Milan making more of this collection. However....Paris is just ahead. Come on girls....there's still LOTS more to explore. LOTS more clothes ahead!

A bientot a Paris!

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  1. Great piece! I'm always amazed by how fast u put these fashions together! And sorry I couldn't make it to doll chat tonight. - DnF

    1. Thank you DnF. The secret to putting this up so fast is that I start with a super simple base! It's simply a question of modifying an existing pattern. But...every now and again, something trips me up and takes me longer than anticipated. Dollchat takes place every Tues nite. So feel free to join us when you can.

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Your take on the fashions are splendid.

    1. Thank you, Muff. When the trends are this gorgeous, it's easy to be inspired! Glad you enjoyed this post.

  3. I love the 9 to 5 and Simple thoughts. Also, from the Evening encounter I love the second outfit from the right. Not super thrilled about the animal print fashions.

    Nice review!

    1. Thank you Monstercrafts. I like those two categories as well. But I try to give myself one week to do what I'm going to do which means I don't make everything I'd like to. "Simple Thoughts" is in my comfort zone. Sometimes I like to try something that's not as there are often pleasant surprises in store. And then....sometimes not. Dresses have ended up in the trash...But at least I tried!

  4. Wow you are the best <3 I love the outfits <3

    1. Thank you Urszula. I'm still learning, though I admit that I have made lots of progress over the last 4 years! Big hugs.

  5. Niesamowite i piękne! To określenie nie tego, co pokazał kreator mody, ale właśnie TY! Twoje ubranka wykonane dla lalek są przepiękne! Zwłaszcza jasna kurteczka (pop-corn) oraz wieczorowa kreacja z tiulu i koronek! Jestem zachwycona!
    Pozdrowienia z Polski!

    1. Olla wrote:

      Amazing and beautiful! This is not what the fashion wizard showed, but YOU! Your clothes made for dolls are beautiful! Especially bright jacket (pop-corn) and evening dress with tulle and lace! I am delighted!
      Greetings from Poland!
      Thank you Olla. When I first began to do these trend reports, I put up a little bit of everything. But over the years, I've gotten a general idea of what types of styles the readers here like. So after looking at hundreds of catwalk clothes, I select ones that I like which could work for the tiny proportions of the dolls. This time around, I loved much of what I saw on the Italian catwalks. Happy to know you enjoyed this too. Big hugs.

  6. I really love these new fashions! Where spring can be trendy. Fall should be classic! I recognized the dollar sock when I saw it! I made a dress out of that sock for one of my Native American dolls because of the pattern. Now I think she need an colored cardigan to go along with it! I do so love Missoni! Thanks for keeping us in the know!

    1. Oh how funny we bought the same sock!!! LOL! When the fashions are so gorgeous, it is a real pleasure to copy them for my dolls. I'm not sure why, but I found Missoni very inspiring this time around. I have avoided doing a "sock" post because there are so many others on the internet. But somehow, the mix of patterns looks so fresh and new and gave me a great excuse to make an argyle vest! The most important thing, I think, is knowing that what you are making--in this case with socks--is the height of fashion!

  7. Every time I see something you make, I want to run and grab a needle and thread. Then I remember it's me holding it and it won't quite come out like that. But I still love seeing everything you make.

    1. Thank you Jaye for your kind words. If my posts make you want to pick up a needle and thread....then I've done my job! LOL!! But you know, I've learned that no matter how things come out, dolls will appreciate anything you do for them and will never complain! (Now what they say privately to each other is another story....but to your face, they will always smile!)

  8. Hey! This is a beautiful post, April!
    Love the commentary as well as the fashions and your couture.
    And in love with the polka dot dress you created! So chic for dots! lol

    1. Thank you so much Jano. There's a lot more to designing a fashion collection than most people realize. There are so many influences--social, political, economical, art, current events... It's not just making pretty dresses! At the risk of ruffling a few feathers, my educated guess as to the type of fashion we're seeing right now may have something to do with the current US First Lady! Like her or not, designers and forecasters have their eye on what she wears and I think the impact of her more "conservative glamour" sense of fashion is marking trends! I too love the polka dot dress because of its whimsy..essentially a camisole, a skirt and an "apron" full of "scraps!"


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