2011 February 24

Milan Fall 2011: MaxMara, Fendi, D&G

Max Mara Fall 2011 Max Mara Fall 2011
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(MILAN) MaxMara
MaxMara's gone country for Fall, if by that you mean a lot of lean, clean mohair, flannel, cashmere, and of course, tartan motifs. Inspired by the Brits—or perhaps enamored with Catherine Middleton?—the collection was a bit heavy on the basics. But then again, can there ever be too many hooded parkas, cashmere bustiers, flannel sheaths, or body-con knits? In a palette of mostly white, camel, and grey, the collection's directional edge came courtesy of a tartan motif. A straight kilt, shimmering in transparent sequins, was presumably intended for day, but it was a floor-length off-white skirt with a hint of embellishment that was most successful. The fur trend was not ignored—it was just MaxMara-fied, and used to line hoods, or even form a mink skirt on a leather trench.  

Yum. Those who are currently lusting over Spring's best brights---and by that, we mean those colorblocked Fendi bags---might want to save a few sous for Fall, when Fendi's sumptuously textured collection deigns to hit retail. This is high-low done Lagerfeld, in an appealing palette of cadet blue, navy, mustard, mulberry, and loden. Treated cotton trenches and skirts are turned inside out, seams blazing. The tights are ribbed, but not as much as the swingy cable dresses, pull-on pants, and sweaters. Cropped, pleated trousers in felt underscored the modest daywear silhouette, while leather dresses bridged the gap between jour et soir. And of course, the furs. The use of mixed materials is what has traditionally distinguished this house, and Lagerfeld's take on the concept included the most elegant version on camoflague seen on the runways in recent memory. Mongolian lamb and shearling were brilliantly balanced in a slouchy overcoat, but come on—that's just for lunch. Formal affairs will obviously require a fox knit into a chevron pattern, which is literally winking at you with all the glitter. Accessory-wise, Silvia Fendi delivered another crowd-pleaser with structured shoulder bags, clutches, and even totes in patent, stingray, wool felt, laser-cut, and everything in between. Thick-heeled T-straps and Mary Janes, with kitschy patterns, were equally worthy of one's AmEx.

Never has D&G felt more like Dolce & Gabbana's "little sister" line. The duo's Fall 2011 collection is one big nod to the 1980s, and all the wackiness that entails. Alphabet prints, tube tops, printed leggings, sweatshirt dressing, even a rockin' tutu touch—these are not exactly serious work looks. And that's probably exactly why D&G's latest generation of customers is likely to respond well. Anchored in black and white (prints, stripes, and those letters!), the collection regularly pops with injections of neon orange, red, and fuscia. And while the fully-styled looks may seem a bit daring for a, say, thirtysomething customer, there were plenty of great knits and especailly boyfriend blazers that may appeal to Dolce and Gabbana's more mature clientele.