MILAN — This season, some of Italy’s traditional luxury brands were evolving and moving into different segments of the market. These brands may be diversifying, but they’re still relying on impeccable fabrics and classic styling to sell their lifestyle.
In the land of luxury, Loro Piana is queen, and she sits on a cashmere and chinchilla throne. There’s no doubt this family-run company knows how to make classic cashmere pieces, but now, they’re beginning to weave in subtle versions of current trends. For fall, they sent out military-inspired coats, pinstriped suits and great leather jackets lined in cashmere. A sable vest layered over a four-ply cashmere crewneck will make even the most spoiled St. Mortiz ski bunny swoon, and, for her apres-ski moments, the company suggests suede-trimmed throws, cashmere blankets and sable pillows from its growing homewear collection.
At Frette, luxury living is about creating synergies between the home and the outside world. In her first collection for the company, Christina Azario created a calm richness steeped in subtle hues and prints. For the loungewear collection, Azario favored simple styles in silk, cashmere and velvet that can go from soirees to sunrise. Silk pants and a matching tank, when paired with a quilted wrap jacket, are perfect for hosting intime dinners at home, while a long swag velvet robe would be beautiful for the opera. For the bed, Azario started with Frette’s signature jacquard and then layered on different materials, such as pique and sable, in grades of the same color. Luscious, yet light — the look is an absolute dream.
La Perla, the high-end innerwear company, is toning things down a bit for fall in its ready-to-wear collection. In past seasons, the clothes were often oversexed and at times bordered on the trashy. La Perla finally realized that, while women love their innerwear sexy, they don’t necessarily want their clothes to be overtly suggestive, as well. This collection flirted with party-girl looks from the Fifties, as in the deep pink tulle skirt paired with a corset top that had just the right touch of naughtiness. This season, the firm also launched a new knitwear collection, which is being produced by the Veneto, Italy-based Miles SpA, which does knits for Armani and Valentino, et al. Among the best: second-skin dresses spliced with extra-fine wool to create transparencies that were revealing but not X-rated.