Seen at Milan Fashion Week SS18

One of the most important dates in the global fashion calendar, Milan Fashion Week boasts over 150 presentations and runway shows over five days. It’s the most outrageously glamorous pageant—a true carnival of style conjured from chaos behind the curtain.

For Spring/Summer 2018 (this year showing from September 20–25) the Italian style capital dialed up the spectacle to its glitziest yet. Lashings of sparkle were seen everywhere from stellar names such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Missoni to the talents just emerging into the fashion firmament. We take a look at some of the best:

Taking a stylistic about-turn this season, Fausto Puglisi decided to “desaturate” his vision, sending out a collection that was mostly white, sometimes veiled by black, with only occasional flushes of blush-pink. The idea was to concentrate on silhouette and embellishment without the distraction of color. Ruffles and lace added Sicilian romance to the restrained palette, while Swarovski crystals were worked into gorgeously baroque patterns.

Genny’s tribute to tribal style explored natural desert hues, with rare detours into china-blue and orange. Shimmering ruffles, puffs of tulle, and tactile fabrics, as well as the exquisite delicacy of the palette, served to soften graphic ornamentation and large geometric crystals. We predict that those silver gladiator sandals will be all over the beaches next summer.

“Made in Italy” reaches its zenith at Laura Biagiotti. Channeling La Dolce Vita style through 18th-century landscape painter Carlo Labruzzi, the runway alternated between crystal-patterned slip-dresses and the lightest of long gowns. Noteworthy details included painterly motifs in muted colors and delicate white linen or silk chiffon knitted into standout textures.

Among the Swarovski-sponsored designers was Armando Costa, whose elegant nomadism stitched together such free spirits as Romany gypsy and Sixties hippie with a hint of American Indian. It is his attention to handcraftsmanship and fine materials that make the whole work. Look out for crystallized eyes, headbands, bralettes, hot-pants and legs, then see if you can spot the Michael Jackson glove!

San Andres Milano is another Swarovski-sponsored designer grabbing headlines in the fashion press. He took us to his native Mexico with a collection freshly dipped in the country’s colorful heritage. Wildly flamboyant blooms and ruffles sashayed down the runway along with bright geo prints stuck with giant jewel-like insects.

Going boldly once again, Arthur Arbesser’s striking geo prints headlined his show. The Swarovski-supported designer combined eye-popping hues with stark black and white to achieve maximum impact. He gets away with the assault on our retinas by softening his clean lines with loose cuts. Clever stuff like the double drawstring pockets and original details like the retro puffed sleeves underline this designer’s big talent.

Once upon a time at Vivetta…there was a fairytale fantasyland, all gauzy gold embroidered with sparkling flora and fauna. It was the delicate sequin macramé and crystal appliqué that brought it all to life. Inspired by contemporary artist Andrey Remnev, the Swarovski-supported label created a palette that evokes the pale pigments of the purest dawn. Set against Russian-icon gilt and citrus brights, the effect was breathtaking.