by Julie Gordon
Italy has a long standing fashion history. Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Fendi, and Diesel are just some of the brands that are Italian-made. Italy has introduced many innovations in the fashion industry over the years, ranging from clever ways of cloth-making, to distinctive designs for runways. Although the first ever Italian fashion show took place in Florence in the 50s, the venues that showcase fashion trends shifted to Rome, and eventually to Milan. Along with these location changes, Italian designers were beginning to make a name for themselves. Current household names, such as Roberto Cavalli, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Brioni were emerging at that time.
Italian designers are among the favorites of celebrities, politicians, and even royalty. Jacqueline Kennedy wore a Valentino dress when she tied the knot to Aristotle Onassis. The iconic bold red shoes worn by Marilyn Monroe were created by Salvatore Ferragamo. The King of Pop himself was a fan of Borsalino hats.
Many designers now are trying to reach the masses through collaborations with high-street retailers. Versace is one example. One retailer that has done no collaborations but would be a good fit for the high-low mix is M&S Women. The company reaches many customers and takes environmental responsibility for their operations.
The Milan Fashion Week is undoubtedly a world fashion authority. Here are the dominant trends according to Focus on Style for Fall 2013:
· Vintage 1940s by Antonio Marras, Prada, and No. 21: peplum skirts and feminine streetwear; added personality by combining beadwork and plaids
· Wool, and plaid by Marni, Versace, and Gucci: powder blue instead of gray wool; grunge and punk inspired plaids
· Innovative sleeves by Genny and Dolce & Gabbana: alternative to traditional sleeves by featuring oversized cuffs; emphasized wide sleeves
· All-over prints by Missoni and Roberto Cavalli: graphic optical prints in robes
· Chunky heels by Jil Sander and Bottega Veneta: two-toned front-buckled shoes; lug sole with metallic patterns