Boldest prints, bicycle shorts and more breakout trends from Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019
This season, Milan delivered the drama, true to expectation
The Spring Summer 2019 runway season in Milan delivered the drama (true to expectation). Our favourite Italian designers sought out unlikely influences for their new collections, dipping into bright colour palettes, quirky patterns, sheer silhouettes and racing back to the '80s to deliver some of next season's biggest trends. As Fashion Month prepares to head to its final stop in Paris, here's a look at what's ahead for spring, according to the runways in Italy's fashion capital.
Cycling back to the '80s
The high-waisted cycling short trend that Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have been endorsing on Instagram for the last few months has finally hit the runways. There was no sign of the trend in New York or London, but the skin tight '80s staple was all over the runways throughout Milan Fashion Week. Models walking the runways for Fila, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli could be spotted wearing biker shorts with cinched jackets and belted shirts.
One of Jenner's BFF's, top model Bella Hadid, wore navy cycling shorts on Fendi's runway, while fluorescent cycling shorts dominated the Blumarine runway, and printed ones popped up at Prada.
Taking the trend to a whole new level? Belgian label A.F. Vandervorst sent white, formal biker shorts down the Milan runway pairing them with cut up vintage wedding gowns, satin-and-lace mini dresses and satin suit jackets. Biker shorts for every occasion!
Shaking off the dead of winter with vibrant colours and diverse patterns was definitely an ongoing theme throughout Milan Fashion Week. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's DNA-inspired SS19 show set the tone for the trend with an army of animal prints, baroque brocades, polka dots (most notably worn by Monica Bellucci), stripes and a riot of over-the-top florals.
Etro also jumped on the 'more is more' mantra with their fantastical Paisley Islands-inspired runway presentation. The Italian fashion house showcased a rich tapestry of prints and exotic flowers on quirky tiered dresses, silky pajama suits and swimwear.
Of course, other fashion houses in the Italian fashion capital didn't shy away from mixing vibrant prints and whimsical patterns. Labels joining Milan's pattern party included Versace, Moschino and Marni.
Sheer silhouettes were relatively scarce on the runways in New York and London, but Italian designers got risqué on the Milan runway, presenting plenty of sensual, sheer silhouettes.
At Alberta Ferretti's presentation, sheer slip dresses sheer maxi gowns and lacy camisole tops in a palette of soft pastels stole the show. Each of the immaculately crafted frocks had a carefree sun-washed look, and the collection shifted to all-black for the finale. Gigi Hadid closed the show wearing a long black sheer chiffon dress with plenty of embroidered details.
Emporio Armani also dressed models in a variety of seriously sheer materials and super-luxe athleisure-wear for their walk down the runway at Milan's Linate Airport.
Morphing human bodies
Italian label GCDS, which stands for God Can't Destroy Streetwear, shocked fashion watchers when models strutted down the spring/summer 2019 runway sporting three prosthetic breasts barely covered by tiny neon bralettes with black bands. Designer Giuliano Calza wanted the show to reflect topics like the future of the environment and pollution. "We're a young group here — we're all under 30 — and I wanted to talk to people our age about the future and get them thinking about plastics, water shortage and the environment," Calza told WWD after the show. "Full sustainability is impossible, and I wanted this show to be a wake-up call."
Of course, this isn't the first time Italian designers have morphed the human body… Remember last season when Gucci sent models down the runway holding decapitated heads? Wonder what we'll see coming down the runaways in Milan next season!
Christopher Turner is a Toronto-based writer, editor and lifelong fashionisto with a passion for pop culture and sneakers. Follow him on social media at @Turnstylin.