Tag Archive for 'Milan'

Oohs, aahs (and a little ‘eh?’) from Milan

Just back from the first part of my buying trip to Milan for the coming Autumn/Winter season.

Colours are super-sophisticated – greys with hints of amethyst. I’m really pleased that there are more of the new kinds of jersey fabrics which came in this year and which have been flying out of the shop.

Shapes are sophisticated too.  Beautifully cut; still structured, but oozing tactile luxury.

I haven’t seen the prototypes for our Sfera range yet, that will happen on my next trip in a couple of weeks.  But there have been lots of Italian ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s coming from our factory.

A couple of designer highlights: Malo has a new designer who we’ve worked with before and their knitwear is really promising again after a few disappointing seasons.  One of our recent finds, Santoni shoes, are gorgeous – many with the new shaped wedge heel so we can walk comfortably again but still look great.

Bizarrely (but happily for us, I guess), while everyone is talking about the kind of glamourous and edgy tailoring with which we’ve been successful, there is still very little evidence of it becoming more prevalent in the showrooms – you really have to search it out.  Which means we need to both heavily edit the collections and continue to build our Sfera collection.

I’ve even started to find that other buyers I meet are commenting on the clothes I’m wearing and asking where they can buy them.  So it’s probably not surprising that while fashion magazine editors are all talking about tailoring in their leader articles, it’s hard to find any examples pictured on their other pages.  

Rest assured you will continue to find them on Confidence Tricks and on the Wardrobe website.


Previewing winter in Milan

Hot-footing around Milan looking at what we’re going to be wearing for next summer, it’s always crucial to see what is on show for this coming winter.  So I’ve decided to interrupt the capsule wardrobe series with this little preview.

One thing stands out: fabrics for Autumn/Winter are denser because in general the styling is more tailored and structured – it needs the weight of the fabric to make it work.

Structured, tailored styling needs the heavier fabrics used this season

Although the look can sometimes be chunkier, the actual composition of the fabrics and the way they’re used will still be very comfortable and a well put-together look will be stunning. 

However, this season more than ever, the proportions need to be carefully thought-out because otherwise you may find yourself with purchases which are not particularly versatile. There were some heavier fabrics around last winter (at Wardrobe, for example, we anticipated this year’s fashions to ensure continuity for customers using the capsule wardrobe approach). But if you’re not used to planning your wardrobe, be sure to pay particular attention to what’s in there now (and seek advice from shop stylists).

The really good news is that this is a season for everybody. Styles have become much more sophisticated, more elegant, more modernly classic, so women of all ages, shapes and sizes will be able to look up-to-date and fashionable.

Typical fabrics next season are stretch flannel jersey, tweeds and textured wools, such as black and white dog-tooth checks.  Look out for interesting detailing like seaming and beautiful buttons.

                    Stretch jersey is a popular fabric this season    Interesting seaming

                    Dogtooth pattern jacket    Beautiful buttons

There are lots of dresses and skirt suits – and, of course, the jacket is the most important item if you’re not wearing a dress.

        There are some really stylish dresses available this season    Skirt suits are going to be very popular this season

Boots are very important this winter and the ones in stretch leather and stretch suede, although expensive, are really worth the outlay particularly if you have less than thin calves.  Many have some interesting detailing, a thicker sole, and a spat design including buckles.

Shoes have a heavier feel to them and are not dainty this season. With clothes fabrics being heavier, soles need to be thicker to balance the look. Consequently the heel of the shoe is important as a very thin heel is going to look out of place except for evening wear.

         boot    shoe

To accessorise, look for good belts with good buckles (I know they’re hard to find, but we’ve found them); a small clutch bag to carry with a bigger work bag.  Important jewellery is ear rings, gold or silver bangle, important rings and a larger sized watch (but not too big or it will look cheap).  Large necklaces, for example, could be a bit overpowering with the shoulder and collar detailing on this season’s clothes; however with a skirt suit with a plain white shirt underneath a chunky necklace can still look good.

The best advice for this season is to seek out a professional who is knowledgeable.  Get it right and the look will be unbelievably beautiful; get it wrong and…


(ps: the photos above (apart from the footwear) are all from Wardrobe’s new website which will be live with the Autumn/Winter collection very soon at www.wardrobe.co.uk)


More from Milan

Back from Milan and I’m more than a little excited about next winter’s collections.

Next winter will be all about shapes.  Among the best designers, the cuts are really interesting – slightly exaggerated, with a lot of shoulder, sleeve and pocket detailing.

I’ve included a few pictures we took to give you a flavour.

Detailing       Detailing2

And there’s a new take on fabrics – more modern and slightly heavier. Plain wool gabardine is largely absent; instead you’ll see stretch jerseys and stretch flannels.

4        5

Colours are interesting too: earth, terracotta, paprika, curry, sage, olive, walnut and, of course black.

2     3

There’s a definite 80s spirit, but with the emphasis on BuonGusto – it’s more refined, not at all flashy.

With good fabrics and good manufacturing, next winter’s collections will look breathtaking.  Bordering on couture, but completely wearable.

Here’s the catch: you’ll be able to tell the difference if it’s done cheaply  – the new look will look extreme if it isn’t done right; and a good tailor on the shop’s premises is vital to ensure it fits you perfectly.

This means that it will be even more important than usual to interpret what the fashion press tells you. The cut and the cloth are what makes clothes expensive and these are both integral to next season’s style.

The difference in fit between the mass produced brands (even at the top end) most heavily featured in the press and the best hand-finished clothes will be particularly noticeable bearing in mind that we are not all size 10.

More than ever, less is more will be the way to go.  You’ll be looking at one or two good pieces that can be used in lots of different ways.  More on that in another post.


Buon Gusto

I’m in Milan – buying for next Winter.

The word on the Italian fashion industry’s lips this season is: Buon Gusto.  It’s the idea that is driving thinking among the best Italian designers; and, while it’s already starting to come through this Spring/Summer season, going forward it’s going to really dominate the fashion world.

Literally, Buon Gusto means good taste.  It’s about not being flashy, not about labels or logos.  It’s about beautiful fabrics and “appreciative glances from men and other women”.

This Winter season is going to be a good one – I’m particularly excited about the shapes – there’s a real sense of drama, a definite 80s spirit but a more refined, more architectural look. 

More to follow on this when I get back.