Etro AW16 show report Milan Fashion Week

The most romantic of houses goes for urban edge with a punked-up collection
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Veronica Etro had revisited the London of her youth for Etro AW16, and the collection was hazed with a purple patchouli cloud of nostalgia for the grungy bohemian peasant dresses of the early 1990s, and the sort of chunky, oversized knitwear favoured by the teens mooching around Camden Lock. Her sheer chiffon dresses were printed in the house’s famous Paisley, and worn with woollen, motheaten-looking mohair socks, stripy scarves and lumberjack plaid coats. Models wore biker boots collapsed at the sides or a velvet Mary Jane.

Etro’s punked-up version of this most romantic of houses was to give it an “urban edge” in “upscale materials”. This new mantra echoes a tone found at many houses in Milan, and puts more emphasis on wearability. For a show that can sometimes recall a group of fairy extras in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the urbanisation was firmly convincing, although the proportions were sometimes a little offset — high heels and long dresses that cut off around the ankle tend to look more stilt-like than sophisticate.

The show was also a useful synthesis of many of the big trends in Milan: next season, stand by for a tonne of embroidered velvets, as seen also at Prada and Roberto Cavalli; micro-bags, which have been sprinkled all over the catwalks here like designer purses for dolls; and colourful stripes and hand-painted leathers. Minimal is not welcome in Milan.

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