Italian lessons

Image of Vanessa Friedman

Bare essentials

Blame it on Michelle Obama’s elegant arms and the related tricep/bicep workout craze, but women want to show off their upper limbs like never before and there are few ways to do so as stylishly as in a one-shoulder top. Once upon a time, a bare shoulder was almost a synonym for disco nights, but these versions are altogether more grown-up, polished and accessible.

Navel gazing

Forget cleavage and thighs; the erogenous zone of choice next season will be that thin slice of skin between the bottom rib and the top of the hips. Call it “the navel nook”? “The belly button barrier”? We’re open to suggestions.

Whatever the name, there’s no question it is the Next Bared Thing, and not just for youngsters but also professionals entering the office. Wear it with tailored trousers and a jacket, and you have a sudden suit update. At least on casual Fridays.

In fact, this is actually the more accessible relation of the current bra top trend, as embraced most effectively at Gucci.

From left: Roberto Cavalli; Dolce & Gabbana; Fendi

Summer fur

An allegiance to seasons went out of the window long ago at the ready-to-wear shows. It has been years since designers – especially designers of major global brands that sell at all longitudes and latitudes – paid any attention. Of course, it has been years since the climate paid any attention to seasons either, so why not address the weather issue as it is? Fashion has – hence the preponderance of “summer fur” on Milan’s catwalks, not just from classic fur houses such as Fendi but across the board.

For the latest from the international shows, go to

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