From leopard spots to perky plaids, the best of Milan’s fall fashions


There’s nothing like show-hopping in Milan, Italy’s fashion-obsessed city. I (@johannahmasters) was on hand for this season’s major milestones, from the late Karl Lagerfeld’s last collection for Fendi to Daniel Lee’s first line for Bottega Veneta. And along with the finales and debuts, I saw plenty of sumptuous looks, done the Italian way in buttery leathers, exotic animal prints and the loveliest florals. Ti amo, Milano.

Mad about plaid

Check out the tartan trend. Alexandra Moura tattered her highland styles, Emporio Armani skipped the heavy kilts in favor of sheer but tailored suiting and Versace toughened up traditional plaid with bondage touches for a few surprisingly sexy looks. Weave some of this into your wardrobe.

Paw prints

Animal prints are prowling back into fashion this fall. Dolce & Gabbana unleashed 11 ferocious looks in its trademark leopard print, including this elegant cocktail dress. Max Mara showed its stripes with this oversize cardigan, while Philosophy spotted a sparkly jumpsuit. Pounce on this feline style.

Luxe leather

Italy always has skin in the game — the leather and suede kind. Salvatore Ferragamo and Tod’s showed head-to-toe looks in napa, and both used burgundy as a new neutral. Fendi got its grain on with supple trenches, while Bottega Veneta tanned “Matrix”-worthy coats. As for this covetable high-necked Sportmax blouse, it’s cut from calf, not cotton.

Spooky chic

Boo-tiful looks ruled the runways, from Gucci’s bewitching masks (think spiky black S&M numbers or brightly colored face covers) to Prada’s eerie Frankenstein-inspired outfits and strangely chic Wednesday Addams ensembles, worn with the screen character’s unmistakable extra-long twin braids. Marni’s dark collection, meanwhile, was all thrills and chills.

Blooming lovely

This season’s botanical prints aren’t the garden variety; they’re highly detailed, delicate florals in subtle colors. Anteprima’s billowy top is a magnificent horticultural specimen, Etro’s silk pants are perennially pretty and Luisa Beccaria’s long-sleeve gown deserves to be nipped in the bud.

Farewell Karl


Just two days after fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld (inset) passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 85, Fendi held its fall 2019 show featuring his last collection for the house. Lagerfeld was celebrated everywhere, from the “Love Karl” sketched above the runway, to the cards on each seat with F (for Fendi) and his signature. The collection included multiple high-collared white shirts, the designer’s signature buttoned-up look.

Iced out

Casadei’s precious new sandals are inspired by a quote from poet Giuseppe Ungaretti: “Immersity fills me with light.” The “V Celebrity” shoes are extra luminous thanks to 36-carat diamond dust applied to the “Blade” heels by a gemologist. Available now for $1,700 and up at Casadei, each pair comes with a certificate. The soles can even be personalized forever with an engraved message.

Hold your own

Artisans take two full days to craft Bottega Veneta’s new “Maxi Cabat” (top). The intrecciato tote is hand-woven from 20 pieces of double-faced leather. The house’s new creative director, Daniel Lee, who staged his first runway show in February, just introduced the oversize version of the 2001 “Cabat” in several new colors, as well as the pouch and a large clutch. Bag one now.

By Johannah Masters

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