One of the most unique shows at Milan Fashion Week was Versace’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection inspired by mermaids. Using predominately pearlescent white combined with gold studs and rivets as detail, models swished down the catwalk in figure hugging dresses with garlands of material draped over one side of the gown, like a mermaids long hair. Starfish were abundant, as part of a soft aqua and white print that featured on dresses, hot pants and cropped bustiers or appliqued onto evening gowns later in the show. White was not the only colour used, there were hints of yellow and pale lime combined with shell and starfish prints, or as a block colour for dresses, in particular a soft lime one shoulder dress with gold stud detail down the side or a strapless canary yellow gown with crystal and sequin detail. In a collection with so much gold and satin, Armani presented some very sleek pieces also, in particular a black one shouldered mini-dress and zip detail jacket. In attendance at the show was Frederica Pellegrini of Italy, photographer Bruce Weber and quite fittingly given the inspiration of the collection, Ian Thorpe an Australian Olympic swimmer.
From Mermaids to bright and colorful vegetable prints, Dominico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s collection for Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2012 offering traced its inspiration back to southern Italian villages. Models strutted down the catwalk in bras and hot pants or mini dresses to Mambo Italiano sung by Sophia Loren in an array of prints which included aubergines, chilis, tomatoes, courgettes and garlic. What made the prints accessible was the clever way they were matched with cream lace tops or jackets with floral embroidery detail. The lace and appliqued flowers continued as theme throughout the show which had a very demure 40’s silhouette, voluminous calf length skirts and structured dresses, reminiscent of Scarlett Johnansson’s figure, who sat front row at the show and is the current face of Dolce and Gabbana. The second half of the show used black as the main colour which was made lighter with multicoloured sequins lining the edges of coats or dresses, or heavy jewels were applied all over clothes in a bling frenzy. The show closed with intricately jeweled body suits and bras, showing that even though the D & G will close after this season, their extravagant glamour is here to stay.