2011 February 26

Milan Fall 2011: Jil Sander, Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci

Jil Sander Fall 2011 Jil Sander Fall 2011
Getty Images
View Gallery

(MILAN) Jil Sander
The ski pants were the first indication that at chez Jil Sander, not everything is what it seems. So high waisted and anti-slouchy, they may have been held up with suspenders.  In fact, they were so taut because they were fastened in a slit cut into a platform bootie. Raf Simons was nodding to the work of Louise Dahl-Wolfe while riffing on the on-slope uniform. That means two-tone knits and pullovers in bright, abstracted motifs. But the air in the room changed with the arrival of Simons' take on a puffer. That would be a skirt, a shell, a tunic, or a dress, in the perfectly architectural shapes we have seen before, but with...volume. A series of coats, admittedly inspired by couture (read: Balenciagan) shapes. A black short-sleeved dress, body-con from the front but gently billowing in back, as if she were wearing a cape, may have consumed whatever air was left. A duchess print appeared to have flowers dripping about the fabric, and it made for some more classically ladylike options (for those who can handle volume). So what did that have to do with stirrup pants? It's Raf's world; we just live in it.

Roberto Cavalli
Hungry for animalier? Then you're in the right place, because Roberto Cavalli's idea of Fall involves plenty of it. Now, it's not the sassy variety he occasionally endorses---this is sexier, more bohemian fare. It is best worn with a wraparound chiffon scarf, dripping in long feathers. It also looks great with a cropped chevron-shorn fox, maybe in burgundy. Your hair will be freshly-washed, but your eyes are already rimmed in kohl. In all his Cavallian tendences, there are some very fun things to wear in this collection. Like a navy wool coat trimmed in ornate gold braid, or perhaps a spangled bodysuit paired with sheer-ish chiffon pants? To thine own self be true, says (and does) Cavalli. Surely he deserves his long runway bow!

Emilio Pucci
Who needs Ibiza when the splendors of Tyrol are waiting? Peter Dundas' inspiration was a hybrid of Austrian costuming and ladylike style a la parisienne, and the effects were—if not exactly predictable, certainly wearable. If you are willing to show un peu de poitrine, that is—because while Dundas restrained himself from those ultra-minis, he showed enough up top to lose any sense of mystery. The same designer who continiually redefines the meaning of "body con" did show an A-line, knee-length sueded skirt in loden, straight out of the mid-seventies, and a fuschia version with a matching jacket trimmed with braid. He also offered curve-hugging printed jersey dresses, and a drop-dead green and gold beaded long-sleeved cocktail number on Julia Saner. A little hippie, a little baroque—but Dundas, all the way.