Severed heads, geometric fabrics and more breakout trends from Milan Fashion Week

From Gucci to Versace, the runways in Milan were definitely bold…

From Gucci to Versace, the runways in Milan were definitely bold…

(Credit, left: Getty Images, centre: Instagram/@albertaferretti, right: Instagram/@tods)

It's safe to say there was a barrage of maximalism on the fall/winter 2018 runways of Milan Fashion Week. Designers sought out unlikely influences, dipped into bright colour palettes, and delivered flamboyant iterations of the everyday styles we love.

As Fashion Month prepares to head to its final stop in Paris, here's a look at what's trending for fall according to the runways in Italy's fashion capital: Milan.

Bizarre accessories

We've seen some pretty wacky trends go down the fall/winter 2018 runways so far. In New York we spotted neon animal prints and banana clips and in London we spotted kaleidoscopes of colour and shopping bags... but, nothing prepared us for what we saw coming down the runways throughout the last few days in Milan. Seriously…we're talking: severed heads, baby dragons and puppies!

Social media went mad after the Gucci show, for more reasons than one. Models strutted through an operating room-inspired runway carrying snakes, baby dragons and fake severed heads made to resemble the person carrying them. One model even had a prosthetic third eye. According to Vogue, Alessandro Michele worked with Makinarium, a special effects company based in Rome, to create the fashion 'accessories' seen in the "Cyborg Gucci" fall/winter 2018-2019 collection, which took six months to make.

"Our job (as creatives) is a surgical job: cutting and assembling and experimenting on the operating table," Michele told fashion reporters after Gucci's unsettling show, explaining that the severed heads represented "looking after your head and thoughts" and struggling to find your own identity.

There was an outcry when the fashion house sent white models down the runway wearing turbans identical to the traditional dastaar, an item of clothing specific to Sikh religion and culture. Gucci's offensive presentation was nothing more than cultural appropriation at its most blatant, co-opting this representation of faith and culture, and one that when worn has subjected people to be unjustly profiled or violence. In this time, and with so much prior discussion about this important issue, we'd expect better.

Another bizarre fashion accessory found itself on the Milan runway days after Gucci's show stole the spotlight. At the Tod's fall/winter 2018 runway show models, including the one and only Gigi Hadid, carried cute puppies when they walked the runway. As The New York Times' Vanessa Friedman pointed out, "carrying live puppies during a show for a leather house is certainly . . . a choice."

Speaking of accessories… the fashion crowd was mystified when a series of drones flew down the Dolce & Gabbana runway, each carrying one of the fashion house's quilted leather handbags for the upcoming season.

Seriously sheer

Designers got risqué on the Milan runway, presenting fashion watchers with nipple-celebrating looks on the runway. Countless designers hopped on the seriously sheer trend in Milan, perhaps inspired by the #FreeTheNipple campaign, which has been growing in strength online over the past couple of years.

On the Alberta Ferretti runway, the silhouettes were incredibly modest, but the materials left little to the imagination. Models dared to bare all wearing revealing sheer and mesh garments from Italian designer's upcoming fall/winter 2018 collection. Among those in completely transparent tops with tailored trousers and sparkling belts, the Hadid sisters sported sheers. Gigi rocked a sheer high-neck blouse with gold detailing while her sister Bella wore a floor-length sheer gown.

Calcaterra also dressed models in seriously sheer materials. A sheer dark brown jumpsuit with a dramatic roll-neck and billowing cape made the Italian designer's most dramatic statement.

And still more sheer ensembles could be spotted on the Krizia and Philopshy runways. A model at the Krizia show wore a vibrant red coat draped loosely around her sheer blouse, revealing her chest, while models at Lorenzo Serafini's Philopshy show sported sheer prairie frills.

Geometric patterns

The ready-to-wear runways of Milan Fashion Week were an explosion of bold '80s-inspired graphic shapes and geometric prints. Here are a few of the designers that had fashion watchers reading between the fashion lines.

No brand reinvented the geometric pattern trend like Versace did during their fall/winter 2018 presentation. Every single piece coming down the Versace runway featured bold geometric prints in loud colours! Overwhelming? Yes, but each piece breathed fresh energy into the famed Italian fashion house that spent much of last season celebrating their 40th anniversary. For fall, the brand combined those bold geometric patterns and punk references with contemporary youth culture and that trademark Versace glamour to create a new aristocracy.

"Aristocracy is not something you are born to, but comes from carrying yourself in a certain way," Donatella Versace said before the show. "It is in being above it all, and in being an example to other women."

Etro celebrated its 50th year with a womenswear collection for the armchair traveller. The label presented a fall/winter 2018 collection filled boho dress and blanket coats covered with geometric prints, the brand's trademark paisleys and plenty of dizzying patterns.  

Veronica Etro described her collection as "ethnic futurism" and noted: "[It is] as if Ettore Sottsass and Laura Ingalls were chatting together and making this new synthesis of handmade earthiness and rigorous postmodernism."

Paul Surridge's second womenswear collection for Roberto Cavalli also jumped on the '80s-inspired geometric print trend. Most of the models walking the Cavalli runway all sported slinky dresses with glam rock vibes, geometric patterns and animal prints.

"This is a woman who wants to be visible," Surridge said backstage.