Bella Hadid walks the runway for Bottega Veneta as part of Milan Fashion Week autumn/winter 2020. Photo / Getty Images

12 Style Lessons From Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2020

Eighties throwbacks and haute wellies: Lisa Armstrong and Emily Cronin share their trend takeaways

High-waisted trousers
We know — another aspect of the Eighties, and who needs a single retread from that ugliest of decades? But hold the scorn, and reflect instead on what the high waist could do for your legs. Lengthen them. And to your waist. Whittle it (by drawing attention to its narrowest point). Seem more interesting now, don't they? And what about all that extra real estate for belts? Slim, wide, rope, metal — this will be the best belt season in years. Finally, that collection of yours will find purpose. Lisa Armstrong

A flash of Fuchsia
If colours were assigned personality, fuchsia would be the loud mouth airhead with a Harvard law degree. Oh wait, Legally Blonde already demonstrated this exact point. That film came out 19 years ago, and fuchsia is still fighting colour prejudice. That could be about to change as Milan's designers continued a trend that began in New York and London. Fuchsia hasn't been this popular since the Eighties. But if anything can rescue it from the dunce step, it's designer Daniel Lee insinuating now you see them, now you don't slivers of fuchsia into a creamy symphony of minimalist seriousness at Bottega. Finally, fuchsia looks as sophisticated as chartreuse (he had that, too). LA

Fringes
Fact: fringe was everywhere. Whether this strikes fear or joy in your heart, fringing popped up in almost every collection to vastly different effects. Witness it belted into neat day dresses at Boss, bouncing around bottoms and hips at Dolce & Gabbana, shivering over waists and calves at Philosophy, and swishing like so many car wash curtain strips in skirts at Prada. Ferragamo designer Paul Andrew struck a powerful note with his gold-chain-fringed skirts and dresses — fluid but with echoes of armour, they looked just the thing for a flapper channelling Joan of Arc. And at Bottega, the fringe was integral to the fabrics, rather than embroidered on to it. "We were thinking about movement," Daniel Lee said backstage. As they say in basketball, swish swish. Emily Cronin

Capes
"The cape is a statement piece that suggests character, protection and a certain strength," says Karl Templer, artistic director of Ports 1961. "It combines the volume of early Japanese influence and the sophistication of Parisian style." Lob in many decadent ounces of cashmere, a triple column of buttons and knot a pussy-bow blouse and you have the Italian take on the good Count's signature wardrobe item. The short cape has been around for a while, but next winter longer versions will make a serious claim on your coat space. LA

Wellingtons
The shoe making a splash on Milan's catwalks wasn't a crystal-adorned stiletto or a thigh-high boot (although a few of those were pretty spectacular), but a rain boot. Wellingtons showed up in sexy-sexy settings like Versace, where Donatella Versace paired white wellies with kicky skater skirts and red coats. They were there in fleece-lined bubblegum pink, denim blue and lilac at Prada, and seen again at Bottega Veneta, where a croc-like welly grounded some of the more glamorous looks (fuchsia rubber will do that to a full-length red-sequinned dress). Trust Bottega designer Daniel Lee, a Yorkshire lad, to create an It-shoe suited to the British weather. EC

Skinny belts + puffy coats
Always had duvet coats down as necessary-but-unflattering? Time to reboot your fashion software. Prada and Tod's, to name but two, took the simple precaution of cinching in their abbreviated pillow coats with attenuated belts and dying them olive, camel, slate and rust, shades you don't normally see in this part of the Uniqlo store. LA

Eighties shoulders
If all the Italian-tucked trousers didn't remind you of Eighties fashion illustrations, wait until you see the new Fendi shoulders. They're major. As in big. But also dropped. The designer Silvia Venturini Fendi said she was going for a pulled-down effect, and starting just below the curve of the shoulder, rather than right on top of it, did give the puffed sleeves a touch of deshabille that fit with the collection's boudoir overtones. The Eighties influence also asserted itself in broad-shouldered blazers at Versace, Jil Sander, Prada, Max Mara and beyond. Now seems as good a time as any to take up more space. EC

The Italian Tuck
If the thought of trousers tucked into boots summons images of Noughties WAGs, second-skin jeans and other past crimes against fashion, it's time to recalibrate your eye. Milanese designers proposed a new silhouette, one revolving around high-waisted, balloon-fit trousers tucked into slouchy, knee-high boots. At Philosophy, designer Lorenzo Serafini showed quilted, paperbag- waisted green trousers tucked into shearling-lined platform boots (very swashbuckling, very Puss in Boots). Etro showed cream trousers tucked into matching boots, and Alberta Ferretti's refined head-to-toe tonal looks included leather trousers with gentle pleats at the waist. Emulate the catwalk by balancing out all the volume with a strong-shouldered blouse or jacket, and you'll be ready to power-walk right into the new season. EC

The Luxe
Goodness, Moncler is getting brighter and brighter, with all those Genius designers. The latest name to join the Italian outerwear specialist’s roster of guest designers is Jonathan Anderson, of JW Anderson and Loewe fame. Anderson started with the idea of "the inflated archive", revisiting past shapes and blowing them up with new volume. He even gave handbags the puffer treatment. He wanted to "really try to do something very wardrobe-based with a huge amount of desirability". EC

Happy clothes
Everyone in fashion likes to talk about how much more fun fashion shows used to be. Back in the supermodels' heyday, the models displayed personality! They looked happy! Step forward Moschino. Yes, the Barbie-goes-to-Versailles show featured 3ft Marie Antoinette-inspired powdered wigs and bustled miniskirts that were at least that wide. But more than that, this collection offered clothes that made everyone watching smile — and whoop, and applaud Jeremy Scott, their creator. Gigi Hadid, wearing a dress smothered in icing-sugar roses and carrying a handbag styled to resemble a bakery box, smiled and vamped her way down the catwalk like a pantomime princess. Let them eat cake? The fashion jury may still be out on that point, but hey: Let them wear Moschino. EC

Teddy bear coats
Maybe you've contemplated purchasing a teddy coat for a few seasons now, but wondered how much more mileage could this trend possibly have? More than enough, according to Milan designers. Teddy coats appeared in force at Max Mara, including in rope-belted and crackle-patent-piped iterations. The Bottega show included a full-length coat trailing fuzzy tentacles. And at Tod's, new designer Walter Chiapponi showed relaxed suiting, shirts styled to look like they'd been put on backwards, leather dresses — and one cloud-soft, buttery shearling coat with pannier-like external pockets. It looked like the kind of thing you’d long to curl up in on a drizzly day. Or any day, really. EC

Blanket Dressing
"We know every last sheep our wool comes from," says Lucinda Chambers, one third of the design triumvirate at Colville. They're also using recycled materials in some of the garments and chopping up vintage trench coats to make new ones. That gives every item a one-off uniqueness — but it's also quirky and cool. Colville makes avant- garde dressing easy and chic — and as a young, small label, it can build up from sustainable roots while Milan’s bigger labels have to work backwards. LA

— The Daily Telegraph

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