Milan marks the halfway point for this year’s fashion week-scapade. With Paris at the end of the finish line, the Italians brought their A-game. Extravagance, craftsmanship and not a slice of pizza in sight — here is Milan Fashion Week.

Alberta Ferretti

The iconic Italian fashion event of the fall began strong on the first day of MFW with an opening show from Alberta Ferretti. Known for her extravagant clothing done up with tucking, twisting, layering and draping, Ferretti’s SS16 runway show was nothing less than pure, Ferretti perfection. Held at the 18th century Palazzo Serbelloni with an impressive guest list: Vogue Paris’s Editor Emmanuelle Alt, fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni and America’s own Anna Wintour.

Alberta Ferretti said she “was thinking about a woman in the vast expanses of the desert” as the motivation for her spring line. The entire collection had an ethereal vibe — the clothes were immaculately constructed of varying material and gave an overall whimsical feel.

The first look of Ferretti’s RTW collection is a long, free-flowing dress. The model wears an ivory, thin peasant tunic underneath the sheer lace and chiffon tiers of a desert-inspired color scheme of tan, beige, black and rust. The first portion of the show emphasized and showcased a multitude of lingerie-inspired dresses, lacy tops and sheer skirts — a very prominent trend seen throughout the fashion weeks so far. Beginning with beautiful pieces with undeniable sex appeal, the collection moved to looks with organza fabrics of purples, oranges and yellows, equipped with harsh, fraying hems. Staying within the realm of sheer material, lace was used to create simple bralets worn under the sheer tops.

Models were decorated with gladiator sandals, thick cuffs, statement necklaces and large, dangly earrings. Inspired by the likes of Roman goddesses, every model’s skin was perfectly and sun-kissed eyes dreamily decorated with bronze powder. Hair was messily pulled back into buns with wispy pieces of hair framing the face. If a sun-soaked aesthetic was the goal, it was assuredly achieved.

Staying true to her roots of producing clothing with an authoritative femininity, Ferretti sliced, ripped and plaited gowns of feather-like material to create awe-invoking, powerfully sexy dresses with an admirable degree of attention to detail.

Emphasizing femininity and power through lacy accents, unfinished hems and frayed chiffon, Ferretti began Milan Fashion Week with a bang, wowing audiences with her ethereal, raw, yet wearable collection. — Carly Colonnese

Max Mara

Max Mara provided a fresh set of cool classics to lure in all ages. Creative Director Ian Griffiths settled on a tried and true nautical theme yet nothing feels anything less than fresh in this collection. The fabulous basics are there — stripes, sailor trousers, pea coats — fixed among a sea of edgy star knits, maritime prints on silk and modern jackets. The pacing of the show was excellent — one moment, red summer stripes and the next a tasseled skirt paired with a nude starry knit. The fact that the show could move effortlessly from a classic striped jacket and pant combo to summer whites onto an edgy black power outfit can be attributed to a perfected Max Mara trademark of simultaneous dependability and novelty.

Every look that came down the runway had amazing craftsmanship, luxurious fabrics and beautiful movement. The classic silhouette synonymous with Max Mara melded fluildly into this season’s trends (primary colors, stars and stripes). This look of striped yellow sailor pants and cropped star knit with edgy round shades and killer flats shows how in touch Griffiths is with the modern woman’s needs. — Mara Maclean

Moschino

Jeremy Scott has been known to think outside of the box when it comes to his Moschino designs. Mocking everyday conventions, he finds a way to make them unconventional on the runway. This year’s collection debuted in Milano and the “Car Wash Couture” did not disappoint.

The first round of looks was construction themed, starting with the invitation to the show, in the form of a yellow construction hat. Scott manages to dissect the mundane and the not-so-fabulous and turn it into coveted high fashion.  Beginning with what I like to call “the anatomy of a traffic cone”: a series of neon orange looks from jackets to dresses with “caution ahead” emblazoned on them all played on the common street accessory and are enough to give every college girl a multitude of ideas for Halloween. A personal and crowd favorite look being the traffic cone inspired jacket, composed of intricate orange and yellow lace — weird in theory, but brilliant in execution — a sentiment that could describe the entire Moschino show.

After a play on the otherwise dirty world of construction, Scott then gets down to the nitty gritty, literally, with some cleanliness inspired designs. Notably popular was one of the looks Bella Hadid carried, a play on fresh fashion in the form of the always-recognizable Windex brand.

Finally we saw the byproducts of Jeremy Scott’s partnership with Turner Broadcasting and its Cartoon Network brand “The Powerpuff Girls.” The iconic superheroes appear on various looks including sweaters, printed leggings and even a swimsuit, all of which debuted in Milan as well.

A lot of the looks and ideas may not be wearable fashion for the layman, but the designs that strutted the squeaky clean catwalk were visionary on a whole other level. Let’s face it — Jeremy Scott never spares expense to make Moschino and fashion week a spectacle. — Mariam Sheikh

Prada

From the first look, we knew Miuccia Prada was mixing business with pleasure for SS16. Though the death of her aunt prevented her from seeing the show in its live grandeur, we can only imagine the insight behind her sartorial articulation of the modern woman. It’s clear she designed for a woman of conflict — potentially one for a socialite who’s facing an identity crisis — Well, yes, power lunch at 12:30, but what about the ladies, are we lunching? The former version of the modern woman could easily be seen donning any of the collection’s precisely tailed power suits, while her alter ego outshines the #squad in the wispy emerald number topped with the oversize statement trench.

Modernized pencil skirts of the transparent, patchwork and asymmetric varieties radiated cheekiness typically exclusive to the brand’s little sister line, Miu Miu. Still, pantsuits reigned, proving the label’s everlasting contingency to the intellectual vibe of Dr. Prada herself. Accents of otherworldly adornments like colossal ear baubles and slashes of gold lipstick contrasted any seriousness of structured silhouettes. If this is the norm in corporate Prada cubicles, I want in.

The collection’s whimsical overtones appeared throughout the show, ranging from trenches accented by vertical, gilded pinstripes and models donning multi-colored pumps to all those go-go’s. Accessories played a key role in the coquettish, yet bookish vibes, as the line traded in iconic Willy Wonka-esque sunglasses for pastel-rimmed spectacles. An overarching ’70s color palate of oranges, tan and muted greens and browns taught us that the era’s trends are now cemented. However, I’m still trying to figure out those fishnet necklaces, or are they meant to be scarves? Dickeys, perhaps? Alas, Miuccia continually throws us for a sartorial loop. — Caroline Filips

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