Doll's Eye View: Milan Spring/Summer 18 Trends

For the most part, the dolls in the house LOVE Italian fashion. While there were a few disastrous shows (like Gucci) that made them cry, there were numerous others that tickled their fancy. For this a spring summer collection, we would have liked more color,  but still, the girls found enough sexy styles that had me sewing frantically over the past six days.

Short Stop
While're not in a hemline dictatorship. That said, look to the Italians to make best use of all lengths when it comes to mid-summer styles. Summer starts with the cool, sexy look of super mini dresses, boxy shorts and bra tops. Colorful digital printed fabric is particularly hot!
For Gail, we did a three-piece ensemble in a "designer" printed fabric: over-shirt, bras and belted skirt. If you're wondering about the origins of the 1/6 scale Versace classic print for this look, see "Dolly Versace" for instructions on how I printed this myself.

Casual Encounters
This is about no-stress, easy to wear pants and dresses. Important here are jumpsuits that glide over the body, knit dresses (dolly sockwear), or spacious tops and dresses belted at the waist. It's the small details, like a sleeve slit at the shoulders and held together with laces that make this look really specially special.
Sexy and comfortable in her 2-piece dress, Iman chose matching arm-warmers and sneakers in a similar color palette to accessorize this look.

Scarf Tricks
This season saw Donatella Versace pay tribute to her late brother, Gianni with a collection of iconic looks using the house's classic logo prints. It all looks as if she cut up scarves to create these styles...which by the way, gave the girls lots of big ideas. (They're already in my scarf drawer imagining all sorts of creations! Thank goodness they can't use scissors!!!) Here again, silhouettes are pretty simple: bra tops, short bolero jackets and straight legged trousers--all cut from scarf prints!
Michelle's eye, however, was focused on this Giorgio Armani dress. It's a batsic sheath dress with a scarf sewn into one shoulder whic is then threaded through a slit just under the bust. It's a way of giving a basic black (or any other color) dress a great pop of color, print and flare!
Jerry, on the other hand, is not into such fancy clothes. She's perfectly happy with a top made from a scaled down scarf worn over a simple pair of white jeans. I actually cut a small square of silk from an existing scarf. My super simple version is suspended from a simple wire necklace.

Day to Night
Black and white...a trend which we've seen since New York...prevails. At this point, let's just call it a classic summer trend. The most striking looks we've seen is when the dress or top is literally sliced in half (vertically or diagonally). Great drama even when the garment is as simple as a top worn over a contrasting pant or skirt.

Dinner at the Duomo di Milano
When in doubt...wear black! That seems to be the motto these days. (My girls are not complaining. Except for the younger Barbies, the rest of them LOVE black!) This group is comprised of easy to wear garments in a variety of summer fabrics (from lace to organdy)..but all drenched in black. The girls loved Max Mara's organdy sarong skirt worn over a matching leotard. And we all very much like the flirty little dinner suits created by Dolce Gabbana and Versace.
Though this looks more winter than spring or summer, Liu loved the classy look of a bolero jacket over a knife pleated skirt. What makes this one a wee bit more special is the addition of her black opaque tights.

Silhouette wise, there's not a lot that we haven't seen before. The real story here is the soft, nude color palette. There is that amazing organdy sarong skirt of Max Mara, but we also loved the blush lace used for No. 21's slip dress as well. And, take another look at those Max Mara pants in lined organdy.

Celestial Angels
Soft flowing gowns and one that twinkles....these are soft formal wear dresses that could have floated down from the heavens.  What the girls love about them is the billowing sheer fabric that drops from the shoulders or swirls around the legs. These are dresses that make my dolls feel like the vinyl princesses they are.

Fit to Be Tied

And now for the devilish corsets, tutus and bra tops that wrap around the torso, bondage style.... all of this made for some very edge looks that are a lot of fun to make. The Alberta Ferretti bra and short was a black version of something we saw coming out of New York last summer. But it was still fun to see it in black. The corset worn as outer wear is a big trend coming in. I could not resist making the heavily laced version for one of my dolls.
Here's Samantha showing off this sultry Dolce & Gabbana look. Instead of using my normal corset pattern, This one is essentially six squares of leather skinny rectangles loosely held together with embroidery yarn. The look begins with a bra and old fashion pantie, over which I made a handkerchief skirt from black chiffon. After completing the corset, it goes over the doll's body and the strings are adjusted to conform to the body's curves. I used velcro to fasten the two panels in the back.

Not every doll is as daring as Sybille. We were all intrigued by this dress made entirely of tulle. It's not perfect, but...this all begins with a corset top made of tulle and a pair of old fashion panties. (I did make another bra for her, but it seemed to dense. The rest of the dress is a tube of tulle. I made a running stitch on both sides of the tube using embroidery thread which allows me to adjust the length. If I make this again, the tulle tube needs to be shaped and fitted closer to the body so that it fits a little better. And again, though I personally wouldn't wear this dress...there are dolls in my house that are already fighting over who gets to wear it for New Year's Eve!!!

There is one more stop on this fashion month train! Up next...PARIS!!! Stay tuned!!!

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