By  on October 18, 2007

The most-viewed 2008 Milan spring collections on

It was a strong Milan collections season "that suffered not a bit for its brevity," said WWD. And, while press and retailers left Milan exhausted from the condensed schedule, they nonetheless were in high spirits, thanks to the fresh, colorful and feminine fashions. "It was one of the strongest weeks here in many seasons," agreed Yasmin Sewell, buying director at Browns and Browns Focus in London. "It seemed more directional than in the past, but still commercial." Buyers' favorites included Dolce & Gabbana, Jil Sander, 6267, Marni, Fendi, Prada and Versace. And key trends for the season were ethnic-themed prints, transparency and full skirts of all lengths. Eighteen of the 20 designers this season were also in's top 20 last season — and, interestingly, two of the top 20 also featured ads for their new fragrances during their shows: Gucci and Emporio Armani.

Page views: 2,583,113
"What is fashion but a tale of enchantment?" asked WWD. In Miuccia Prada's case, it's an exquisite fairyland. She showed a collection full of gentle, eccentric dresses, and she toyed with skinny knits and separates. Prada stole the number-one spot from Dolce & Gabbana, which topped last season's ranking.

Page views: 2,233,479
Stefano Gabbana called it an "homage to contemporary art," as he and Domenico Dolce opened their spring show with a blank slate, so to speak. They sent out a charming white party dress and moved onward to dresses, coats and pants, some lightly painted. "The finale was a fashion dream," said WWD.

Page views: 1,997,719
Frida Giannini opened her show with a TV spot for the house's new Gucci by Gucci fragrance. Fragrance aside, the collection continued the Fifties motif she started for resort. She worked with black and white, injecting shots of bright pink and yellow, and showed sack dresses and terrific reimagined motorcycle jackets, shirts and pants.4. VERSACE
Page views: 1,636,468
"This is for a working woman," Donatella Versace said before the show. "Everything is sensual, but sleek and simple." Indeed. She showed smart, tailored looks, including a kangaroo-leather coat and cropped trousers worn with relaxed shirts. She went softer with her silks and jersey dresses. Evening was colorful and bright.

Page views: 1,416,580
Once again, Christopher Bailey distanced himself from the cool chick-meets-retro gal, and concentrated on a "luxury warrior" collection instead. The Celtic shield-inspired hardware studs on belts, sheaths and trenches worked the warrior angle, while his skintight ruched skirts and dresses were more of the sexy variety.

6. D&G
Page views: 1,409,822
Dolce and Gabbana's spring was full of flirty, free-spirit looks that screamed part-disco girl, part-hippie chick. Dresses cascading with free-flowing ruffles opened and closed the show, and in between was a parade of minis, maxis and vibrant florals. Tailored looks were tomboyish — think button-down shirts and classic sweaters.

Page views: 1,369,560
The Marni collection was an impressive continuation of geometric shapes and crafty accessories that designer Consuelo Castiglioni has been featuring the past few seasons. She worked again with nylons, latex and gabardine on her dresses, dotting them with bright neon pinks and greens.

Page views: 1,175,298
Inspired by the Italian countryside, Giorgio Armani showed signatures that "bore a fresh modernity that made the casual air urbane and romantic," said WWD. Pants were plentiful — cropped and tied at the knees, or others with billowing bottoms. Evening was full of sultry gowns embellished with fringes and embroideries.

Page views: 1,168,159
This season, Dan and Dean Caten gave their girl "a little more glitter and a lot more glam," said WWD, outfitting her in a series of ultrashort dresses — from cotton shifts to silk baby dolls — adorned with plenty of gems and hardware. Other noteworthy pieces were the barely there bathing suits and the leather cocoon coats.10. BOTTEGA VENETA
Page views: 1,043,910
Thomas Maier's description of his collection as being "of pronounced subtlety and quiet" was spot-on: The designer showed a lineup of retro style-meets-Italian movie star. Cuts were intricate, mainly in natural-toned gabardines and linens — Maier played with ruching, pleating and various lengths of sleeves, too.

Page views: 1,026,334
Dresses of all lengths lined Alberta Ferretti's spring runway. She worked her trademark draping, tucking and twisting techniques into most of her looks, including the jersey and chiffon dresses. Most came in shorter, cocktail lengths — save for the sweeping mint green and white numbers — that stayed above the knee.

Page views: 1,015,451
Karl Lagerfeld chose a single silhouette for Fendi's spring collection: midcalf length, circle-skirted and cinched at the waist with stone belts. Old-fashioned? Not Karl: "It was modern, novel and never boring," said WWD. He started with waistcoats that fell away into long, skirting coattails, and moved on to print dresses.

Page views: 965,371
Straying from his usual steamy and sizzling approach, Roberto Cavalli this season chose to try his hand at gentility. Much of the collection was serene. He showed a lovely white drop-waist lace gown, bell-bottom trousers, textured peasant blouses and billowing frocks.

Page views: 929,989
An under-the-weather Raf Simons showed "a breathtaking fusion of the cerebral and celebratory" for spring, said WWD. It was all about precision: he featured intricate and geometric cuts on his ponchos, tube tops and skinny pants. He also displayed numerous jackets cut high over hourglass knit tops and pants.

Page views: 929,324
"American Southwest by way of Japan is the best way to describe Matthew Williamson's most recent Pucci effort," said WWD. The wide range of styles also was evident in the accessories, which included feathered and fringed vests, crocheted ponchos, kimono sleeves and slinky belts.16. BLUMARINE
Page views: 844,071
With a clear theme in mind — the jet-set stretches of Saint-Tropez — Anna Molinari worked with a candy-colored palette for spring. From there, she went in a number of different directions. She showed some Seventies looks, a few slinky Greek-goddess gowns, safari prints, ruffled dresses and some sequined hoodies.

Page views: 785,126
Though the Missoni house is known for its loud and lively collections, Angela Missoni chose to play with a gentler side. She opened with soft, feminine pieces, such as the ivory duster edged with ruffles and the blousy prints, which were matched with tailored pants. There were watercolor-like prints in her silk gowns.

Page views: 758,503
"This was one of Armani's merchiest presentations in recent memory," said WWD. The show began with a commercial featuring Emporio Armani's new Diamonds fragrance and moved into all kinds of wearable looks. There were beachy tank-and-mini combos and variations on tricky pants.

Page views: 642,177
Basing his collection on the portraits of photographer Araki Nobuyoshi, Alessandro Dell'Acqua found a fresh angle on the already-been-used Japanese theme for spring. A kimono was shrunken into a mini coatdress, and a lotus branch was seen climbing up feather-fringed sheaths, while obis circled the bodices of his dresses.

Page views: 614,998
Gianfranco Ferré's untimely death in June left his staff to execute the spring collection. The house showed high-waisted pants, long chiffon gowns and tiered baby-doll dresses. Said WWD: "Let's hope that when [Lars Nilsson takes the reins], he holds them with the same kind of tautness and authority for which Ferré was known."

Source:; In all, Milan's top 20 12-day page views totaled 26.4 million

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