From baby-doll dresses to full-cut skirts to coats that could double as robes, designers' love affair with more-is-better shapes continued in a big way.

Alberta Ferretti: Alberta Ferretti’s fall collection was autumnal to a T with nubby tweeds, cozy knits and passementerie coats putting a chill in the air. Chiffon dresses, while not particularly wintery, came cut loose on the body and were decorated with bits of crafty crochet.

Meanwhile, Ferretti joined the gaggle of Milanese designers eager to experiment with amped-up volumes, cutting her coats to flare at the hips and inflating skirts. Of course, those big, bold shapes can quickly turn thick and tricky, and the pumped-up look fell like a leaden soufflé with heavy crocheted lace dresses and hostess skirts. Soon enough, however, Ferretti was floating once again, sending out several wonderful evening looks, including a pale gray party dress streaked with icicles of shining silver.

Trend Les Copains: Two trends sweeping through Milan are a sober mood highlighted by new volumes and proportions and a fascination with lord-of-the-manor fabrics. Antonio Marras, the creative director of Trend Les Copains, channeled both in a strong fall collection that shunned pure traditional fare and played up the designer’s keen eye for shape and passion for fabrics. 

The first exit summed up the mood — a flowy rose silk blouse under a brown pinstriped riding jacket and matching breeches, complete with a rhinestone whip and leather cap. That silhouette dominated the runway as Marras offered endless variations on the theme. An off-the-shoulder pink sweater with appliquéd roses topped mud brown velvet breeches, while a black sheared fur jacket with floral motif was worn over flannel riding pants. The look carried over to evening as a sequined paisley twin set paired up with blue denim breeches.

But Marras knows his spiffy horse set also needs clothes for those après-stable moments. Then they can trot off in bouclé skirts and jackets, embroidered flannel coats or fur-trimmed hopsack versions over chevron pantsuits. Marras delivered clothes that blended commercial clout with a trendy edge, and that’s good horse sense.

Piazza Sempione: Piazza Sempione creative director Marisa Guerrizio knows that her clients appreciate a nod toward seasonal trends and just that. She understands how disconcerting it would be for her loyal customers to go from slim pencil skirts to this season’s love affair with volume. So rather than overwhelm them with fashion hyperbole, Guerrizio concentrated on updating Piazza Sempione’s perennial elegance through subtle changes in proportions, textures and patterns.

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