When visiting Italy, above eating and drinking, people-watching may be the most rewarding sport of all, simply because this country takes fashion very seriously. Some of fashion's oldest and most iconic houses call Milan home, so the trends you see here during fashion week set the tone for Paris, too. Milan Fashion Week's Spring/Summer 2021 runways could have centered around comfy, streamlined fashions that have become so popular during the pandemic. But it seems in many ways Milan has taken the opposite route, infusing designs with delightful prints, eye-burning colors, and unnecessary volume. If you were in need of a reminder that fashion could be fun, this is it.
Even on the streets outside the handful of socially distant shows this season, it seems that the fashion world is craving alternatives to the cozy WFH staples they've come to rely on over the last few months. And though this season was missing a few of Milan's heaviest hitters — Gucci and Bottega Veneta both chose to sit fashion week out — the arrival of Valentino (which usually shows in Paris), the debut of Raf Simons at Prada, and the lively collections from stalwarts like Marni, Versace, and Fendi made for a week that felt like a step forward from New York and London.
Where the start of fashion month was more subdued — with brands offering smaller, pared-back collections or sitting out altogether, Milan marks a return to bright personal style by way of loud prints, colors, and textures. To learn more about the top trends across Milan's runways, read on.
Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Bold Prints
The return of cross-continental vacations may still be way off. But it seems in Milan, jet-setting is already on the mind of many designers who infused their collections with bright, summery prints, nodding to bright tropical flowers and nautical themes alike. A highlight was Versace, where models wore neon dresses adorned with sequin starfish.
Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Color Clash
Sleek, timeless neutrals have been a continual trend from fashion week to fashion week, but in contrast, Milan is pumping up the saturation and offering mix and match combinations of bright colors. The best part about this trend is that you don't have to do any shopping to test it out. Simply pair unexpected colorful pieces in a way you may not have considered before.
Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Sheer
At Fendi, sheer dresses were layered with both slips and relaxed trousers, a nod to the versatility and playfulness of see-through clothes. Opting for something light and floaty allows you to show off what's layered underneath, making it an ideal option for warmer months when you want a more complex look but it's too hot for a jacket.
Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Desert Hues
Good luck for minimalists: Streamlined de-saturated pieces continue to pop up on the runways of Milan. Whether it be in the form of tailored suits, clingy slips, or sweeping maxi dresses, a muted color palette means that the cut and fabric of choice will be the center of attention.
Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Bra Out
After first popping up in New York, bra tops have continually appeared in spring's runway collections, sometimes layered under blazers, other times worn over tops or even just styled solo. If stepping out in lingerie is out of your comfort zone, try a structured bustier that you can add on top of a button-down or distressed tee.
Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: High Volume
Norma Kamali's Sleeping Bag Coat is the most iconic example of oversized comforter coats but, more recently, quilted jackets have also served as a nod to simply surrounding yourself in blankets. In Milan, designers chose to take a more demure approach, creating pieces that can be snuggled into while still seeming sophisticated. At Prada, a graphic coat almost completely hides what you might wear underneath.
Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: Crochet
If you have yet to pick up a craft during your time spent in quarantine, that's OK — you can simply wear one instead. Crochet, both heavy knitting and a more delicate doily style, appear on Milan's runways including Valentino and Ferragamo. The movement and breathability of this trend makes it ideal for the transition into summer 2021.