Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks AW12

Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks A/W12The big guns in Milan and Paris finished off the Autumn/Winter 2012 Ready To Wear collections with dark looks for the fall season.

From gothic and baroque to figure skimming to old Hollywood glamour, what they all had in common were dark tones and multiple textures. There was a return to brocade, needlepoint and tapestry for texture while frothy layers of tulle, feathers and applique added volume and interest. Fur was big on these European catwalks but the high street and chain stores in the UK and US are sure to offer some faux fur alternatives when they interpret the trends.

Here are our top picks for Milan and Paris for autumn winter 2012 before we return to summer wear and the hope of some sunny spring weather.


Alberta Ferretti

Ferretti’s autumn winter range in aimed at the thoroughly modern Millie who is  ‘equipped to handle the challenges of today’s world.’ It’s  power dressing with a nod to 1940s softer styling. Her gowns in strong deep colours were sexy chic and beautifully intricate with beading, fringing and applique detailing.

What To Take From It: Lace overlay, applique and feminine 40s style suiting

Alberta Ferretti AW12

Dolce & Gabbana

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said they were inspired by the stylish women of Sicily and this is evident in the restrained blacks with the rich golds that reflect the opulence of the Italian Renaissance, the needlework of the talented Sicilian craftswomen and the cherubim  of the Catholic church. It is a classic but bold look that shows femininity yet confidence.

What To Take From It: Baroque gold embellishments, embroidery, needlework and tapestry fabrics and  floral accents.

Dolce & Gabbana AW12


Designer Frida Giannini said about her collection: ‘this is modern-day romanticism. A dramatic sensuality, a dark glamour. With subtle tones of provocative intellect.’ Dark rich tones and deep red lipstick gave the models a gothic, worldly look. It was a very wearable collection from dandy-like day wear to sexy sophisticated gowns.

What To Take From It: Deep dark velvets and feathers, frothy tulle and Russian styling of tucked into boots leather trousers with fine wool capes.

Gucci AW12

Jil Sander

In his final collection for Jil Sander Raf Simons went against the gothic grain and sent a very spring-like collection down the runway with pale rose, black and white reminiscent of classic Chanel. Rumours are that he will officially take over from John Galliano at Christian Dior and this was a stunning collection that showed he has what it takes to fill Galliano’s massive designing shoes.

What To Take From It: 40s Hollywood glamour dresses, pale pink mixed with black, hemlines below the knees.

Jil Sander AW12


Describing her collection as ‘urban nymph’, Angela Missoni’s colour palate came straight from a woodland with deep browns, coppers and blacks, burnt oranges and soft moss green which perfectly complemented her warm rich knits. It was a figure hugging collection that created a long lean silhouette to give the wearer the confidence to tackle the urban jungle.

What To Take From It: fur and ponyskin (faux or real), patterned knits, ballet wrap style cardigans.

Missoni AW12


Alexander McQueen

Sarah Burton’s latest collection was ethereal, flamboyant and true couture. ‘I wanted it to be very positive, it is about a beautiful future,’ Sarah said after the show. Her textures and volume lead the way in Paris  and we look forward to seeing more feathers, in shades of pink, grey and black, in the stores next winter!

What To Take From It: Add texture and layers with frills, feathers and pompoms, ice-creamy shades of nude and black, colour coordinated boots.
Alexander McQueen AW12


Karl Lagerfeld’s crystal collection was multifaceted from heavy tweed suiting to gossamer light dresses. It was an edgy range that showed that despite his advancing age, Lagerfeld is still at the top his game. ‘It’s all about creativity,’ he said. ‘When that stops, it’s really over.’  We love the half shoe boot, half  pump and hope to see an interpretation on the high street soon.

What To Take From It: Cigarette leg trousers under dresses, heavy wool suiting, feather and sequin embellishment.

Chanel AW12

Collette Dinnigan

Australian designer Collette Dinnigan showed she well and truly belonged in Paris with this womanly, intricate and cultured collection. She said of her fairytale inspired collection: ‘I don’t know if it’s influenced by my daughter but it’s what I imagine the Snow Queen to be: that dark queen sitting in a cold castle all dressed in black with crystals and hard edged.’

What To Take From It: Lace trims and socks, crystal, overlay and heavily sequinned dresses.

Collette Dinnigan AW12


Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz showed variety  from simple sculptured dresses and coats in primary colours to intricate luxe gowns with lace and fur trimming, pleating and bejewelled beading. ‘This is a song for all those I love, and who helped me make my dream come true,’ he said as he introduced the show.

What To Take From It: Bright wools, cinched in waists and hip skirting, fur trims.

Lanvin AW12


Pierpaolo Picciolo and Maria Grazia Chiuri presented a very conservative collection which already received some criticism when 20-year-old Descendants actress Shailene Woodley wore their white full-length gown to the Oscars, a look that many said was too mature for her. Despite this their collection was grown=up and elegant with influences from South-East Asia to Eastern Europe. ‘This was about getting back to our roots, and appreciating all the kinds of global influences we grew up with,’ Picciolo said.

What To Take From It: fret work fabrics, prim ladylike dresses, feminine long leather coats and ethnic floral applique, cute Mary-Jane shoes.

Valentino AW12

Miss B

Miss B

Miss B is a Belle About Town who likes to bring a little bit of style into every aspect of her life. An experienced journalist with over a decade in the industry she turned to the web to fill a gap for tech-savvy stylish women who want the best life has to offer at their fingertips. She loves a decadent cocktail bar, a beautifully cut dress, the perfect pair of heels, quality over quantity and is partial to Asian-fusion food, enjoys holidaying in the sun and shopping breaks to New York. But her first love is of course London!


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