Buyers Praise Milan’s Clean Lines, Kaleidoscope of Color — and J.Lo at Versace

It's time to bid farewell to the fussy, frilly and floral, said Maria Milano of Harrods. "The new mood is all about effortless empowerment."

Jennifer Lopez on the catwalk.

MILAN Buyers couldn’t get enough of the new, more minimal, tailored and toned-down styles seen here for spring, and praised the kaleidoscope of color from brands such as La DoubleJ. The big show moments wowed them, too, including J.Lo’s surprise appearance at Versace in the now-legendary green dress and Daniel Lee’s lineup at Bottega Veneta.

“Milan loved its showmanship as much as the shows and collections themselves,” said Linda Fargo, senior vice president, women’s fashion director and store presentation at Bergdorf Goodman. “J.Lo reloaded for Versace was extraordinary, even by seasoned veteran standards. Trends which resonated for us were the continuation of ‘beautility,’ especially the jumpsuit, new neutrals — gray and spice tones — [and] all the softened tailoring. We’re loving the emergence of artisinal here. Net net, it’s clear the brands here know who they are and where they’re going.”

Maria Milano, head of womenswear at Harrods, said it’s time to bid farewell to the fussy, frilly and floral. “The new mood is all about effortless empowerment,” she said.

Here, the buyers pick their favorite shows and highlight the key trends.

Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director of Net-a-porter:

Favorite collectionsBottega Veneta, Versace and Gucci. The Gucci collection this season was incredibly wearable. It was a tale of two stories be that the more masculine tailoring (the three-piece suits were a highlight) or the more feminine, and in some cases, sexy dresses and eveningwear looks; a square neckline, a pencil skirt or a lingerie dress were all items that we know will resonate with our customer, but with that Gucci twist.

Best venue: Salvatore Ferragamo at the Rotonda della Besana. We also loved Six Gallery, where we hosted our Milan Fashion Week #incredibleshoes cocktail on Thursday night.

Top trends: The Nineties: It’s been a return to the Nineties this MFW, from the minimalism at Bottega Veneta and Prada to the vintage glamour of the Nineties at Versace, where the Killer Black Dress is the must-have Item. Neutral hues: It’s been a sea of neutrals during MFW, from the tonal gray Army at Max Mara, the chocolate brown at Prada and the unexpected pops of orange at Bottega Veneta. Spring knitwear: From the second-skin polo tops at Prada, the matching twinsets at Ferragamo and the deconstructed fine knits at Bottega, designers are really addressing transitional dressing for that buy now-wear now appeal. 

Must-have items: All the accessories at Bottega Veneta had that cult accessory appeal; it is rare that in one show collection so many new bags and shoes are showcased down the runway, but this was standout. From the Supersized Intrecciato Hobo Bag to the Fold Over Clutch, and in shoes it was the Twisted Double Strap Mule, all in a thoughtful color palette of neutrals with pops of pale blue and orange.

What are you saying goodbye to?: Beige is no longer just the neutral color to know, it’s all about unexpected hues of chocolate, rust and amber paired with interesting pops of colors. 

Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue:

Favorite collectionsVersace. Donatella and Jennifer Lopez broke the Internet again and brought the entire audience to their feet when J.Lo walked in that iconic jungle-print dress. It had all the elements of what makes Versace so iconic. Beautiful fashion, star power, glamour and the drama of fashion. Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta delivered a knockout collection and that moment we had all been waiting for. He focused on bringing the codes of the house forward with design, luxury, quality and refined elegance. Prada: Mrs. Prada’s return to purity, elegance and simple dressing is refreshing. We loved the boxy blazers, the gauzy dresses, and the chic update on the leather suit in gold and orange. Her effortless evening with embroidery on flowy cocktail dresses is perfect for any summer destination. The handbags were a standout, from the bucket bag to the straw bags. Other standout collections in Milan were Etro, Brunello Cucinelli, Gianvito Rossi and Aquazzura.

Best venueLa DoubleJ’s festive garden party at the Four Seasons transported us back to summer.

Top trendsThe return to simple dressing; clean lines; the new neutrals; trench dressing; utility; the short; the boxy blazer; sharp tailoring; fluid dresses; knit dressing; boho glam; pastels; punchy brights; color blocking; jungle prints; orange; scarf ties; leather; denim; embroidery; glam cocktail; oversize bags; the shoulder; the clutch; the straw bucket/tote; the floppy hat.

Must-have items: Anything Bottega Veneta — the ready-to-wear, the bags, the shoes.

What are you saying goodbye to?Casual dressing. Spring is a chic and polished season. 

Maria Milano, head of womenswear at Harrods: 

Favorite collections: Bottega Veneta’s spring-summer show was even more desirable than the first under the direction of Daniel Lee, incorporating feminine silhouettes and soft leather that exuded wearable confidence. This, of course, alongside a host of covetable new bags, including the Iconic Pouch on a chain. Bottega holds its reign as the hottest brand as Lee continues to design with the modern woman in mind. We also loved Prada, bringing a stripped-back, pure and wearable approach to its runway, Agnona for its understated, chic silhouettes and muted tones and Gucci for its experimental color combinations and new bag and shoe statements. And, how could we forget about Versace and THAT J.Lo dress, which completely broke the Internet!

Best venue: We loved Missoni’s outdoor pool party, staged at a vast public pool at dusk and Prada’s Fondazione setting, featuring colorful, glossy painted tiles by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, which set the scene for Miuccia’s archive lineup. Gucci’s show at its headquarters in Milan offered an ultramodern feel to the collection with the models traveling and walking on conveyor belt-style runways, bringing relevance and futurism to the runway.

Top trendsThis season we have seen a shift toward a cleaner, more pared-back aesthetic. In Milan, we saw a focus on relaxed suiting in a varied array of fabrics and even featuring waistcoats. Shorts, either as part of a suit or in luxe leather have come to the fore and generally tonal dressing has remained at the top of the agenda, with muted, earthy hues, such as camels, khakis and grays leading the way. Pops of bright, citrus shades added a fresh summer twist. Jumpsuits and boilersuits prevailed and looked especially luxe by classicists Loro Piana, Salvatore Ferragamo and Max Mara. Finally, the Seventies are enjoying a Renaissance, as seen by the flower power fabrics at Fendi and the retro hues and chunky platforms at Gucci.

Talent scoutingWe’re incredibly excited to have picked up La DoubleJ, whose bright prints, voluminous designs and playful details have us dreaming of summer already. We have our eye on a few other brands as well, so watch this space.

Must-have items: We’re lusting after everything by Bottega Veneta, but especially the oversize Intrecciato Nappa cross-body bags.

What are you saying goodbye to?Fussy, frilly and floral — the new mood is all about effortless empowerment.

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