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Puffy and fluffy, with shoulders: Five trends from Milan Fashion Week

By ALEXANDRIA SAGE Published Feb 28, 2022 10:01 am

Milan Fashion Week wraps up after six days of catwalk presentations showcasing the best of Fall/Winter 2022/2023, Italian-style.

Though spirits at the high-profile fashion event were dampened by the invasion of Ukraine, those attending got a front row sneak peek at the trends to be seen in months ahead—hopefully in more peaceful times. 

Here are a few: 

Power shoulders

Bring out your shoulder pads, ladies. Expansive, exaggerated, and wide, wide, wide, 1980s' shoulders were back on the runway in a big way. 

Dolce & Gabbana had a field day here, offering up the perfect wardrobe essentials for anyone needing to muscle someone out of the way. Shoulder pads beefed up black double-breasted suits, day-Glo jackets in orange, fuchsia, and canary yellow, and were on display beneath transparent dresses paired with garter belts, imparting a sexy linebacker feel.

Versace went for maximum contrast with oversized, wide-shouldered long coats in pale blue and Barbie doll pink paired with the brand's signature corset tops in contrasting colors. At Prada, roomy black dresses with generous shoulders were accented with chains that swept across the neckline at an angle.


Call it what you want—transparent, flimsy, or practically nude—see-through looks were all over the runway, from Fendi to Bottega Veneta. Fendi's barely-there silk chiffon skirts and slacks left little to the imagination in soft tones of apricot, mint, and rose. See-through had texture at N°21, while Lorenzo Serafini at Philosophy ticked two boxes with a super sheer nude turtleneck exposing generous shoulder pads.

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At Missoni, the brand's famous zig-zag was seen on subtly transparent lurex fabric sewn into shimmering slip dresses and long, form-fitting tunics, while at Prada, legs peeked out through diaphanous silk on tiered, below-the-knee cigarette skirts with panels of leather or grey wool. Bottega Veneta showed shimmering, translucent slip dresses bedecked with transparent sequins. 

Puffy and fluffy

The craving for comfort in challenging times means the ongoing trend of Teddy Bear and puffer coats is unlikely to fade away. It's hard to give up Teddy.

Puffy, fluffy, and oversized were the coats seen in Milan, some modestly so and luxurious, as at Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti, and some not for the faint of heart—think high glamour meets Muppet.

Versace brought puffy and shiny, a favorite combination for Italians, into a deliciously ample red down belted coat, while Philipp Plein offered a similar vibe in a bomber. An abundance of wildly distressed fabric in a shade of faded denim became a supersized men's coat at Diesel, with similarly eye-opening versions in dusty rose and avocado for women. 

But Dolce & Gabbana designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana took the category to its apex, with creations on their colorful metaverse runway that would give the Abominable Snowman a run for his money. 

Black and white and fuzzy and warm, one (faux) fur coat invoked a chic Pepe le Pew, while another, a cocoon of glossy black quilting, could easily double as a sleeping bag in a pinch.

And dispelling the notion that fuzzy is fattening, Bottega Veneta showed an impeccably tailored, slimming sheath dress in a teddy bear fabric. Max Mara similarly incorporated the comforting look into shorts and tunics. 

Tiny tops

Teeny, weeny tops were seen over and over—exposing everything but a strategic portion of torso—and paired with everything from shiny pants at Missoni to shredded jeans at Diesel.

Already seen during the fall shows in a triangle bra version, this season's offerings opted for a bandeau look. Rihanna, in the audience at Gucci, opted for such a crop top in black latex—providing maximum visibility of her pregnancy.  

At Roberto Cavalli, the bandeau tops were in luscious mustard and emerald green mohair, paired with voluminous skirts or pants. Designer Fausto Puglisi's so-called "cage dresses" featured black, form-fitting dresses with narrow bands of fabric across the chest, given an underground, S&M edge with the addition of metal rings. 


Warning: this mini-trend is not for everyone.

For good or for bad, the bodysuit made an appearance in Milan, most memorably at Roberto Cavalli, bedecked in cheetah print and accessorized with long matching cheetah gloves and leather straps for good measure. 

A quasi-catsuit came crocheted at Etro, while Blumarine showed a red long-sleeved version with a plunging neckline. 

Wear it at your peril. (AFP)