If New York Fashion Week is known for its commercial appeal and London is known for fostering up-and-coming talent, Milan's reputation has more to do with old-school opulence and a legacy of luxury. All that was on full display this season, with Italian designers leaning toward lush fabrics and ornate details.
While there were plenty of established labels simply doing what they do best — whether that meant over-the-top kitschiness at Jeremy Scott's Moschino, princess-y glam at Dolce & Gabbana or leather mastery at Tod's — there were some surprising updates, too. Gucci's eclecticism took a turn for the scary with face-obscuring masks and lots of sinister-looking spikes, while Etro leaned so far into the elaborate textile thing that some models appeared to be wearing literal rugs down the runway.
As always, there were motifs in the form of patterns, silhouettes and details that plenty of designers had in common, no matter how disparate their overall aesthetics. Read on to discover the top trends that emerged from the Milan runways for Fall 2019.
Plaid has never really gone away, but designers stepped it up this season and proved its versatility for fall. There were sheer plaids at Emporio Armani, deconstructed plaid dresses at Marni, sexy bondage-inspired plaid ensembles at Versace and mixed-print plaid coats at Alexandra Moura.
'The Matrix' Aesthetic
The iconic black leather looks from "The Matrix" that started making a comeback last year are still going strong for Fall 2019, with brands like Alberta Ferretti, Byblos and Bottega Veneta showcasing Trinity-worthy outerwear. This season's update? Chunky combat boots that truly make their wearers look ready to fight some bad guys.
Dramatic neck bows
While New York designers showed their preference for the ruffled collar this season, their Italian counterparts opted for the pussy bow and exaggerated bow tie-like collar details. Whether rendered romantic as at MSGM or whimsical as at Fendi, these collars make necklaces completely unnecessary.
Strong shoulders, nipped waists
Suiting isn't going anywhere, and bold shoulder shapes that call to mind the power blazers of the '80s continue to have a place on the runway. But in contrast to the oversized fits we've seen elsewhere, Milan's designers opted to pair bold shoulders with neatly nipped-in waists, providing a sort of yin-and-yang balance to the silhouette.
Is there anything so pleasant as the way a pleated skirt looks when it moves? Italy's designers don't seem to think so. Whether they opted for chunky cheerleader-esque pleats as at Gucci or delicate, sparkly pleats as at Emilio Pucci, creative directors leaned on the folded fabric technique to add a little fun to their ensembles.
Polka dots may have childlike, girly-girl connotations, and designers like Dolce & Gabbana capitalized on that. But the timeless pattern showed up in other ways, too — like in a sexy translucent tulle at Alberta Ferretti, in a power-clashing print at Moncler and in a pattern actually made of raised stones at Marni.
Hats are a bit of a no-brainer for the fall season, but the new shape showcased on the runway was anything but. Hats with long, low-hanging brims were everywhere, whether in the form of translucent visors at Gucci, mullet-like creations at Emilio Pucci or brims with actual hole cut-outs for the eyes at Vivetta.
As the signature garment of superheroes, royalty and iconic villains, capes are an easy way to up the drama factor in any outfit. That took a variety of forms on the runway this season, from Prada's romantic lace versions to Missoni's poncho-like ones to Salvatore Ferragamo's black leather iteration.