Top Ten Italian Fashion Trends in 2012

Twenty twelve ushered in a whole new look and, as always in fashion, the year pays tribute to moments of past eras. In this case, the 1920s play a significant role. We see a bit of kitsch coming out of houses like Prada, especially in the shoe and jewelry collections, as well in several houses producing unusual eye-catching floral and animal prints. Lest you think it all a little over the top, you can rely on a fairly ladylike 1950s hemline in both pants and skirts. More specifically, here are the 10 top trends of 2012 to keep you on point and looking fabulous.

1. Oversized Bags in very geometric shapes are back for day, especially big and sometimes slouchy clutches (Versace), and oversized square totes like those from Prada and Dolce & Gabbana and nearly everyone else. For evening, look for demure handhelds with plenty of long chain and interesting detail like those of Pucci. Green is big everywhere and the emerald green crocodile minaudiere from Fendi is a noteworthy little gem, though maybe not indicative of the overall trend in evening bags.

Animal print dresses by Blumarine and Roberto CavalliAnimal print dresses from Blumarine (left, right) and Roberto Cavalli (center) 2012 collections.

2. Animal Print everything, especially leopard print, is on pants, hats, gloves, bags, and coats. Cavalli likes this in any season, but he outdid himself for Fall 2012. Everywhere you look you see animals, from big cats and wild horses to coral headdresses. Let the animal out a little.

3. Hidden Platforms in strappy heels give a very sexy lift to 2012, as do ankle booties from Fendi and some blessed full-length boots with more leather than we know what to do with. The power of footwear reigns regina.

Black cherry lipstick on Gucci modelsGucci runway models with black cherry lips during Milan 2012 shows.

4. Black Cherry lips and rich color play on the lashes, especially a midnight blue mascara at Gucci, offer a little dark romance to any look this year. Your daytime romances, no doubt, will be bright.

5. Knee Length Skirts are on trend. After the hemline being down low last year we are moving back up the leg, but not too far. You can see this with Giambattista Valli & Bottega Veneta. We’re staying ladylike, but no longer at the nunnery or on the rolling hills of Little House on the Prarie, thank you.

6. Early in the year Color-Blocking in nudes and pretty pastels are on the streets, and a few pops of neon trim are still hanging on. For Fall, expect more vibrant tones: deep blues, emerald greens, burgundy. The strong color-blocking we saw earlier is replaced by a more head to toe mono look in terms of color. Monochrome tops and bottoms are what’s what at MiuMiu and several other houses.

7. Cutout Craze has been big news this year: everything from mesh shoes at Dolce & Gabbana and lace overlay skirts at Marni, to laser cut leather dresses up and down the walkways. If it doesn’t already have a hole in it, we’re not buying it.

8. Flappers & Deco those slender hipless silhouettes with beads swinging like it’s the 1920s hit early in the year with the influence of The Artist, and for Fall we see the homage to the era continuing, though a little more subtly, with oversized flower brooches on tailored suits at Armani and Deco style numbers on an otherwise very contemporary (and divine) Crazy Carats watch from Fendi.

Oversized jewelry from Dolce & Gabbana and Miu MiuOversized, statement jewelry from Dolce & Gabbana (Milan runway 2012) and Miu Miu cameo dreams (Spring/Summer 2012 collection).

9. Chokers from Ferragamo and earrings with big drops and dangling parts from Prada and Bottega Veneta paved the way for statement jewelry this year. Don’t miss those deep emerald greens in your jewelry too, preferably encrusted. Also if you’re looking for something fun, Miu Miu, with that trademark irony, has pushed the conservative and classic cameo right into contemporary living with some big bright kitschy sherbet colors.

10. Pants Hemmed Short - without any fear of a sheen, and often tapered at houses like Trussardi & Miu Miu - will crop out most of the long sweeping flares we were seeing. Look for the rising tide and crisp looks with this trend.


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