Last fall didn't serve as a particularly exciting time for dressing up. Though the first throes of sweats fatigue were beginning to set in, the reality of a new round of worldwide lockdowns didn't set a scene for passionate attention to clothes. While not out of the woods yet, Milan Fashion Week's Fall/Winter 2021 trends are a testament to the fact that the fashion world is feeling optimistic.
It wasn't just the literal inclusion of bright colors that heralded this happy aesthetic. The short hemlines, big furry coats, and oversized bags were all frivolous in the best way. When fashion has been about the physical — safety, comfort, and practicality — for so long, the time has come to make it more about emotion and opportunity. While there are still sleek neutral suits for the holdout minimalist, expect to see an explosion of lighthearted runway looks. Prada's lineup of colorful coats, Blumarine's nod to the '00s party scene, and Ferragamo's futuristic leather separates all set the stage for a whole lot to look forward to in the next six months.
Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: The New Prep
Preppy fashion tends to call to mind an aesthetic that can be stuffy or even pretentious. But this season, there's a new, cool take on the rugby shirts, plaid minis, and buttoned-up blazers you know so well. Relaxed silhouettes, playful colors, and styling with edgy accessories on runways like Etro and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini take preppy far from the country club.
Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Winter Is Coming
Bundle up — big time. For the coming Fall, consider adding a big, furry coat to your collection. Not only is it guaranteed to keep you cozy outside of the house, it creates a whole outfit and mood with next to no effort. Add sneakers, boots, or heels — they all work.
Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Color Contrast
Jewel tones may be the usual palette for the latter half of the year, but this season, you'll want to make sure you invest in a handful of bright hues — red, lavender, yellow, and teal have been particularly popular over this month. For a more laid-back take you can pair a single piece with neutral suiting, or you can take things up a notch and clash your hues, as seen at Emilio Pucci.
Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Hero Piece
Superhero jokes aside, there's no easier way to finish off an outfit than by tossing a cape or poncho on top. It can serve to add warmth up top a lá Valentino and Sportmax, but the piece can also offer a bit of glamour and aloofness as shown by the dramatic black-tie ensemble from Moschino below. Fall is all about finding the outerwear that will best serve you for the swiftly shortening days and diving temps, so here are three words to keep in mind: consider the cape.
Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Naughty Aughties
Love it or hate it, the fashion world is setting up for a celebratory post-Covid world, conveying optimism through bright colors, grabby prints, and lots of cutouts and see-through sartorial options. Throughout Milan, much of this party dress seemed pulled straight out of the '00s, with (dreaded) low-rise bottoms, party tops, and minidresses all making appearances on the runways. If you're itching for a chance to start dressing up again, look back to style icons of the era — Beyoncé, J.Lo, and the Olsens — to inspire your new era of fun fashion.
Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: About That Bag
If you ever spot a woman toting a bag from across the room and ponder what exactly is inside, just know this trend is sure to pose some big questions from others. What exactly does one put inside a giant tote? It's up to your imagination, but the proportions of handbags this fall leave you plenty of options. While the exaggerated sizes of Marni and Sunnei's designs aren't exactly for the faint of heart, testing out Tod's shoulder style is doable even for more streamlined shoppers.