By: Kelly Ahern, guest blogger
Forget basic black, crÃ¨mes and neutral tan Milan Fashion Week 2011 has proven yet again that bright bold colors are here to stayâ€”all year long.
The Italians have always been known to push fashion boundaries and embrace shocking color palettes each and every season, but 3 of Milanâ€™s most infamous fashion houses took color and texture to a whole new level with their AW 2011/2012 collections.
From exotic reptile skins, gem colored furs and retro embellishments Italian luxury labels Gucci, Versace and Dolce & Gabanna left me wanting more.
Gucci took me on a trip filled with debonair dreams and svelte sex appeal.
With perfectly slicked back hair and minimal makeup – besides the statement lip color of course – the Gucci models took to the catwalk looking strong, sophisticated and powerful.
The integration of wool, silk, gauzy flowing skirts and what appears to be velvet – combined with thick fur, skinny belts, soft scarves and reptile skin accessories – made me want to reach outÂ and physically touch Frida Gianniniâ€™s creations.
For the most part, each of the looks appeared to be extremely cozy and comfortable.
The array of textures and warm colors almost overloaded my sensesâ€”but certainly in the best of ways. Each of the Gucci models commanded attention as they took the runway hostage.
Each looked like a woman on a mission, conveying the utmost confidence and class.
Giannini alluded that the fiery songstress, Florence Welch, was her major inspiration; leading her to create â€œcontemporary female dandiesâ€ adorned in electrifying emerald, fuchsias, deep purples vibrant red and teal.
Reminiscent of the 1970s the jewel-toned pantsuits and fur stoles combined with plumed fedoras andÂ strategically tailored coats lead me to imagine dapper business men slinking down busy New York City streets, on their way to high-level advertising exec job or the heading to the New York Stock Exhcangeâ€”however, their rich red lips, highly-defined cheekbones and super trendy accessories prove that theseÂ were the fiercest ofÂ females.
Giannini also included snakeskin pumps and the new â€œJackieâ€ bag.Â The stylish “Jackie” is the epitome of a multi-functional handbag, as it comes with a detachable shoulder strapâ€”a classic accessory that is sure to become a must-have for the season.
And just when you thought you had seen enoughof theÂ reptile skins and fur, Giannini spiced things upÂ and kept the collection interestingÂ withÂ silk jersey scarves,Â eye-catching organza and chiffon dresses with mile high slits.
All in all, Gucci can be summed up in one wordâ€”pretty. Each piece with their adjoining accessories, simple hair and perfectly applied makeup was all just so beautiful to look at, I could hardly peel my eyes away.
Versace used tailoring, strategic pops of color and geometric shapes to build an AW 2011/2012 collection that any fashionista could easily incorporate into their wardrobe.
Keeping it fun and flirty, the collection was chock fullÂ of leg baring dresses, fitted jackets, pleated mini-skirts and calf-high boots.
The always gorgeous Abbey Lee Kershaw opened the Versace show wearing a black fitted military jacket, embellished withÂ shiny gold buttons.
Her open toed suede boots also flaunted the signature embellishment.
The majority of the pieces seen throughout this collection were sharply tailoredÂ and tight-fitting, with equally sexy geometric cut-outs that gave way to subtly sexy skin.
Again the antique golden buttons added that little something extra to the Verscace mini dresses.
Leathery reptile skins came out in full force and made an appearance in this oober-sexy, slinky dress and skirt, and like Gucci, Donatella Versace also showcased a bit of furâ€”giving the collection the opportunity to be a little bit of everything – sleek, chic and seductive.
Although the Gucci collection showcased some serious black throughout the show, it was the energetic burst of the fashion houseâ€™s signature colors â€“ turquoise and purple â€“ that added a bit of pizzazz to two-tone laced up boots and accessories.
It was variations of these two hues that helped tie the entire collection, cohesively together.
It was a bit posh and very much vogue.
Overall, Donatella maximized the power of suede, cutouts, baroque prints and very distinct tailoring to make a tough â€“ yet alluring â€“ statement.
- Dolce & Gabbana
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana certainly are a pair when it comes to creating their luxury brand D&G.
It was edgy, a bit punk and a whole lot of pop-culture, jammed into one in-your-face burst of color.
For their AW 2011/2012 collection they were inspired by none other than the childhood favoriteâ€”alphabet soup.
That and typography if you ask me.
The use of crisp bold fonts, gave the D & G collection a very hipster-meets-techie feel.
From graphic letters splashed across leggings, tees and chunky oversized sweaters, D&G embraced the retro, 80â€™s punk for all its worth.
It seemed like the dynamic duo channeled a mash-up of Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller to create their layered looks.
TheÂ D&G models came strutting down the runway in high socks and Converse-inspired sneakers, exuding Molly Ringwald finesse with every step.
In zesty yellow, traffic cone orange and florescent pink Pop Art graffiti wasnâ€™t only on the apparel but it adorned the catwalk as well.
The 80s baby theme was carried throughout the entire collection from loose boyfriend jackets, chiffon skirts, plastic charm jewelry.
The only accessories I think that could have made the show anymore realistic would have been the addition of candy necklaces and perhaps a pack or two of Razzles.
The truth is, fashion is all about having fun and I think it goes without saying thatÂ Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana had the time of their life creating this carefree, sugar-coated collection.
D&G reminded us that we can have fun all year long, no need for drab plain colorsâ€”embrace life and a hot neon palette.
Kelly Ahern is a recent Roger Williams University graduate living in New England. Graduating with a degree in Communications-Public Relations and a Core Concentration in Italian, Ahern is an aspiring PR professional who loves social media, fashion and traveling. Currently she is a Social Media & Content Strategist for a Rhode Island-based digital marketing firm. You can find her on Twitter @Kelly_Ahern.
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