Earlier Milano Unica Brings Good Reactions

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Milano Unica moved from September to July this year. More exhibitors and steady visitor numbers appeared to justify the change reportedly requested by customers and widely canvassed in the trade. a reaction to the way timings in the industry continue to move faster and earlier. In particular it was hoped to encourage a new balance between womenswear and menswear by accommodating earlier timetables.

Confidence in the offer was boosted by an interesting trend area, which took the inspiration of films by great cineastes as the jumping off point for various elements and styles, ranging from Sherlock interpreted by Kubrick, or Little Buddha interpreted by Tarantino: a confidence with colour and decorative design for both men’s and womenswear, an approach in which wool featured strongly.  

The chief inspiration where wool featured was Sherlock, in which the flamboyant checks and stripes of the Victorian era, predominated. The mixing and matching of various patterns and weaves were pivots interpreted for a more edgy, imaginative take on traditional patterns and colours with high twists and bouclés for dramatic overcoatings, together with double face, brushed and embellished fabrics.

For young people sustainability has been identified as one of the most important modern trends, requiring proof of good practice and quality. Many manufacturers mentioned their strategy on husbandry of resources and manufacturing practices.

Another major focus is the use of advantages in technology. The epitome of this is elegant, crease-free travel in a wool suit which requires little upkeep, an idea seen at many labels, Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana, Cerruti among them and it applies equally to menswear and womenswear. Originality and imaginative design is the most important element: such as the designs at Dashing Tweeds, boldly original and collections with an unmistakable signature.

Knit and woven looks were almost interchangeable, often made to be worn in layers, advances in washable fabrics, including wool, featured widely. Colours were more likely to be muted but rich: deep reds, greens and browns enlivened with an overcheck or flash of imaginative colour scarlet, orange or yellow often brushed or double face.

Wool with texture, furry fabrics and fancy fabrics were trend setters: tartans and checks, from gingham types to large overchecks in bright colours including acid greens and bright accents in red and orange. These were often seen in thicker wools for substantially heavier garments.

Prestige cannot be underestimated, especially in Milan, with the Made in Italy label widely quoted, and where fine wools, silks and cashmere are widely appreciated; added to this was the offer of top-end British mills with top quality wool worsteds, woollen jacketings and blended fabrics, the Japan Observatory with crisp, elegant wool cloths and the Korea Observatory with high-tech developments and interpretations particularly of padded and quilted featherlight fabrics.

Luxury was to the fore, where fine wool was mixed with camelhair or alpaca for visible luxury with shine, and the softness and opulence of the brushed look. Many of the wool looks were basically English and Scottish; country cloths reinterpreted by both Italian and British designers for urban chic as well as classic underplayed traditional coatings and jacketings in richer colours.

- Janet Prescott

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