Dolls' Eye View: Milan Fall/Winter '18 Trends

L'Italia è bellissima!! After the shows in NY and London, the girls were really happy to get to Milan where they were able to bask in the classic sophistication of knits, leather and old school glamour.

Animal Kingdom
From what we've already seen in NY and the UK, it's safe to say, animal prints are a big thing for next fall. Here in Italy, this trend is spelled out in a number of different ways. It can be worn as simply as a spotted jacket over a pair of jeans, or a top to toe "total look" employing a variety of different patterns (spots or stripes) or even scales of patterns teamed together in the same garment.
With this look, "more is better." Maybe neither you nor I can get away with wearing this much animal print, but our divas have the figures and the attitude to pull it off! The key to this look lies in the mix of two different fabrics with different scales of leopard spots. I already had the fabric for the top and pants, but needed a second knit for the skirt and handbag. With no fabric store around, I headed to the beauty supply store where I found a small turban with just enough fabric! The skirt has leather straps that attach to the waistband and drop down the sides of the skirt. The handbag is from the tutorial you can find by going HERE.

Fur Babies
This theme is about fur trim in a great big, old Hollywood sort of way. Any coat will suffice. It's all about simply adding a boa to pump up the look!
Dovima wears a straight grey wool coat. I made the boa by sewing together a few scraps of rabbit fur taken from the cuff of an old glove. The rabbit fur adapts to the scale of the doll, but scraps of faux fur can be used as well.
We had a LOT of fun here. Kate immediately grabbed a light grey "bathrobe" style wool coat already hanging in the closet. We had some striped faux fur on hand. It is fluffier than the rabbit hair and even though we tried to cut a narrow strip of it, the result still makes for a voluptuous allure. But still, my girls simply LOVED this 1930's glamorous Hollywood movie star look. I expect they will be getting into my stash of faux fur for some time to come!

Skin Flicks
This is the third variation of the animal kingdom trend. This time we're talking abuot garments made from leather and embossed animal patterns (scales). Even if you don't want to go the way of leather, you can still create the look using substitutes: pleather or faux leather, felt or vinyl squares embossed with snakeskin scales (carried by many craft stores). And if you are particularly motivated....you can create your own fabric by hand painting (or foiling) scales with metallic paint to create a sensational evening look like the one by Antonio Barard pictured above.

Coat Check
The cut of these coats are simple. It's all about the fabric! The choice of fabric is behind all of the sensational looks here...be it shiny vinyl, butter soft leather, cushy wool or very regal brocade.
If I had access to a wonderful brocade, I would have made a dolly version of the golden Albino Teodoro coat. Carmela reminded me, however, we already had a vinyl coat in the closet. This is a classic look that never goes out of style and can be worn over everything!

That Shirtwaist Dress
The shirtwaist dress is one of my all time favorites. It is both comfortable and stylish and can be worn in nearly all situations. Making this is very simple....it is an elongation of the oversized shirt pattern and can be cut from any fabric. But what's new here.....these dresses are cut from leather!
I used a lightweight leather for Brie's dress and the pattern for the oversized shirt which I lengthened into a dress. Her matching handbag was made from the tutorial found HERE.

Bar Code
Like most other seasons, there is a dominant presence of black and black/white looks running throughout the collections. All black can be rendered more interesting by using different materials in the same look, by raking in stripes of white, or by using contrasting accessories. Again, silhouettes are basic, skirt lengths tend to be long...dropping below the knee.
A simple leather car coat, a pair of stretch pants, a T-shirt with a face and Tamron is ready to hit the road!

Pinot Grigio
Like Italy's favorite white wine, this group is light, crisp and easy to digest. It's almost like cleansing the palette between the animal prints, the hot colors and the density of all black fashion.

Grey Scale
In between black and white there is grey. But unlike grey skies, these looks are glamorous! As with most other looks on this page, note the style trends: longer hemlines, looser silhouettes, shorter dresses worn with pencil thin pants.

Soft
Soft is a state of mind here....soft colors....soft,cuddly fabrics....soft in the way the garment fits and gracefully drapes over the body. Think about big, loose, jersey jackets over sweaters and wide trousers. A-line dresses under softly flared coats, or even ponchos belted over narrow pants.

This is Joan in a cream white 2-piece dress version of the Agona outfit. I started with a basic jewel-neck cashmere sweater knit dress over which a waist-length stole from the same fabric wraps over the bodice and snaps in the back. The back story-- Initially I made a capelet instead of the stole. When I finished, Joan resembled one of the nuns from my childhood Catholic school. It was NOT the look I was going for. At first I thought my choice of fabric had impacted the final look. So I stopped to analyze the style and what had attracted me to it. It was the tight square piece that drew the arms close to the body and cut across the shoulders in a horizontal line. I replace the cape with a stole that cradled the shoulders. After taking another close look at the original photo, I discovered the dress was actually designed with a stole and not a capelet! The cashmere, by the way, came from an old moth-eaten skirt belonging to my beloved mother. 

Late Bloomers
Atypical of winter fashion..... hybrid flowers blooming out of season. A necessary element to Italian style--femininity is sculpted in bloom of ruffles.
Getting the look is as simple as using two strips of decorative trim: one that fits over the bodice and the other gathered into a pretty ruffled skirt.

Very Berry
Another a color story with easy to wear styles. While shopping for fabrics, feast on tones of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and strawberry.

South of the Border
Ole, ole!!! Hot spicy colors, flared silhouettes that swing and swirl around the legs...this is one of the most festive (and colorful trends we've seen in a long time. We loved the wild Pucci prints, the circle skirts with the big patch pockets and even the knit dress in curried tones edged with lots of fringe.
This can be any wild and wonderful print of any fabric. The important thing about Cathy's look is the circle skirt (with patch pockets) cut from a festive print and worn with a simple sweater or top.

After Hours Around the Duomo di Milano
The latest (Italian) version of the late night, go-everywhere black dress where the details and the accessories make the difference!

We LOVED Versace's version of La Dolce Vita (1960) starring the glamorous Anita Ekberg and Anouk Aimee. While I didn't do a line for line version, I did something similar and little bit sexier. The original dress is looser (the fabric fall down from one side of the neck and is caught in the center back seam) and it has a hoodie built in. I used a sweater knit for Sybille's version and added fullness to one side of the dress which is then shirred into the side seam. Sybille's dress has a funnel neckline. Thinking back of the movie stars from the 1960's (Gina Lollobrigida, Sopia Loren comes to mind), I simply wrapped Sybille's head with a jersey scarf and slid on a pair of over-sized sunglasses (borrowed from my 16" Tonners).
I normally wouldn't do something this simple, but since it was Versace.... and this doll begged me.....Katoucha's dress is made of a double layer of polyester organza drawn into the waist with a fancy belt. It's one of those basic looks that rely on the choice of fabric, a look that you can dress up with lots of jewelry or quietly slide under a fancy coat or jacket.

Easter's right around the corner. The girls already have a drawer full of hats thanks to previous posts.
Joan's Agona dress has the kind of deep Southern style you'd most likely see in attendance at many Pascal celebrations. The only thing needed was a hat. So I made a small beret with a cluster of fabric scraps. The perfect way to top off Joan's holiday outfit! Happy Easter to you all!!

But wait, there's more! We'll see you next in Paris for the last of Fashion Month!!!

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