CHIAVARI, Italy – True story. A few years back, just before the changing of the guard at the American Consulate in Milan, Italy, the wife of the incoming Consul General called the wife of the outgoing Consul General to ask her a very important question. “How are they?” she wanted to know, ‘they’ being the Italians. “They wear a lot of black,” said the wife of the outgoing Consul General. And that was all the incoming Mrs. Consul General needed to know.
It’s no secret that Italians live and breathe fashion, it’s in their DNA. But the Italian fashion scene is changing. There’s less high fashion and more street fashion and today, more than ever before, the two are beginning to mesh.
Here’s a preview of Italian fashion trends for fall 2013. The photos tell it all. It’s always the most dramatic, eye catching clothes that make the headlines, but you have to look beyond the obvious to what else the photos are showing us – future trends.
There’s a lot of fru fru in fashion and practical looks are far and few between. Here is one of the best of the season. The coat is by Herno. It’s wool with a down filled top (€900/$1,216); turtle neck dress (€1,350/$1,824); striped tights by Miu Miu (€120/$135);
Fashion Trends to Watch: Longer skirts and mix of materials (down filled top/wool bottom coat)
Max Mara, the king of coats is putting his money on camel this fall. The coat is wool and silk with a leather border (€900/$1,216); camel blazer and pants by Max Mara, blazer (€519/$700), pants wool and cashmere (€380/$513).
Fashion Trends to watch: Again the mix of materials, wool/silk with leather, really wide pant legs, shorter coat lengths – to the knee, and shorter coat sleeves. I see a return of elbow length gloves, preferably leather, in the not too distant future. And don’t over look the animal print sneakers. Sneaks are a huge fashion accessory in Italy this year, as are animal prints (again!) and not just for the young crowd either.
In French this black and white pattern is known as pied de poule, or chicken feet. For the rest of us it’s houndstooth check and it is one of the big fall/winter trends this year. The coat is by Les Copains in lana boucle, which is also a trend to watch as textured fabrics make a comeback (€600/$800), sweater by Strenesse in angora (€395/$530), jersey pants by Pennyblack (€95/$128), hat by Blumarine (€100/$135).
Fashion trends to watch: The return of boucle and the 1950’s classic, kind of pointy toed pump.
There are elements of almost all the trends you’ve seen so far in this final photo, and no, that’s not an American football she’s holding, it’s a rugby ball. I think that’s what they are called. This look is by Etro. The sweater is 100% angora (€575/$775), the kilt is cashmere (€1,165/$1,574) and the suede Diadora Heritage sneakers (€155/$210).
Fashion trends to watch: This look puts together the trinity of fall’s fashion trends - three-quarter length sleeves, longer skirt and sneakers. It’s got them all.
This picture is a faux fashion shot. While you will see quite a bit of shine in fashion magazines this month, trust me, next year you’ll be stuffing this Mini-metal skirt by H&M (€79.95/$108.00) in the give-away bag. The mixed wool sweater, (I have never understood exactly what mixed wool is) is by Marella (€159/$215). It’s the wrong color for serious dressing and probably best worn with jeans. Cute though.
Fashion trends to watch: None
As for new fall colors, blue is the new black, or at least that’s what the designers are pushing. Deep, dark beautiful blues, or even more electric blues. This blue trend started creeping in last year and has now come out of the shadows to dominate store racks. Look for the new blues at a store near you.
Fashion Trend to Watch: Blue, blue and more blue.