Fashionably early: Milan Fashion Week

Amid the high glamour of Milan Fashion Week over the past seven days we saw the start of next spring's big trends. Here are five key ideas to start cultivating now, if you want to be truly fashion forward. Just be careful on those heels... Report by Carola Long in Milan


Minis

So microscopic were the minis at Roberto Cavalli that anyone sitting in the back row might not have been able to see them. The ultra-tanned designer showed tiny ruffled skirts, as well as short bustier dresses, while Versace opted for boxy, belted mini dresses, and the Gucci show featured skimpy kaftans with angel sleeves. It was the return of the tiny skirt, rather than the buttock-skimming dress that was most notable, however, and Pucci offered a take on the trend in palm print. High hemlines are supposed to go hand in hand with prosperity, so maybe these designers have some kind of economic crystal ball that everyone else would like a look into.

Jumpsuits

The all-in-one has been trying to stage a comeback for several seasons now, but still most of us ain't biting. At Pucci, designer Matthew Williamson offered a tropical print jumpsuit perfect for DJing at the Notting Hill carnival. Armani and MaxMara offered a beaded evening version and silk overalls respectively. When classic labels board the bandwagon, maybe it's time to admit that resistance is futile.

Super-high shoes

Next season, private chiropodists will be buying second homes thanks to the increased number of women hobbling to them with damaged feet. Dolce & Gabbana put models in sequinned wedges, while Marni showed platforms with spike heels and multicoloured leather straps. Despite Carla Bruni's best efforts to promulgate the flat, designers insist on using shoes that are so high that even professional models come tumbling off them, as happened at Pucci and Prada.

Crop/bra tops

Having appeared at London Fashion Week, both crop- and bra-style tops made their presence felt on the catwalks in Milan. Miuccia Prada teamed her straight skirts in crumpled silk and linen with 1950s-style, ruched bra tops that combined the sultriness of a Fellini heroine with a techno edge. Her show also featured short knits in burgundy. Roberto Cavalli paired delicately patterned pink and cream bra tops with jackets and minis. They showed off the svelte stomachs of the world's top models to perfection, but how flattering will they be on the rest of us?

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