TRENDS

Here are the 5 key elements of Italian fashion, say the Italians

Before we get started, we need to get one thing clear. Milan is the fashion capital of the world. Paris, New York and London are all wannabes. That’s just an unbiased fact from an Italian woman.

But to be honest, I have always been proud of Italy’s place in the fashion world and through my twice-yearly trips to visit family, I have felt the influence of this country on my style.

Italian style has become synonymous with the styles of its most notorious brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Fendi and Gucci. Bold, colourful and sexy are words that immediately come to mind. (For one of these brands, it is also racist, insensitive and misogynistic, so be sure to keep that in mind if you want to make an investment).

Italian fashion is about living your most glamorous life, while still walking the fine line of elegance. The Italians invented the concept of ‘redundancy’, so to have Italian style you have to be unmistakably redundant.

It is this spirit of loud expression that made me fall in love with fashion. There is no city like Milan, which has always remained elegant while pushing the boundaries of fashion. They are Italy’s trendsetters and have spread a cultural awareness of style throughout the country.

There is one more thing to remember when dressing like an Italian. There is no such thing as casual.

The moment you walk out the door, you are no longer casual. In Milan, you would be hard pressed to find many people wearing jeans. For most Italians, a trip to the local bakery is an everyday affair that requires clothes that are appropriate for the Italian streets. This is perfect for our times, as clothes bring us joy and allow us to dress beautifully even when there is no occasion to do so.

During these difficult times, we can look to Italian fashion for inspiration and learn how to find joy in the way we dress.

Finally, when putting together your next Italian-inspired outfit, remember that it’s all about making a statement. And that statement is always the same, and very simple. I’ve arrived.

In this case, Italian fashion allows people to really express who they are because it embraces being loud and bold. It’s not afraid to wear too much because it has the confidence to see that maybe other people are just wearing too little.

Loud Prints

You don’t have to shout to speak up. Why waste time on words when you can say more with the way you dress?

Women are often told they say too much – well, we have something to say and it’s clear that men need to hear it. So say more when it comes to what you wear and don’t be afraid to do so.

Wearing loud prints is a staple of Italian fashion and recently Versace’s loud prints (seen in Kaia Gerber’s photo above) have taken over the world. It’s about having fun with your clothes; it’s about trying different ideas that communicate who you are and what you like.

Need a place to start? Bold florals, as in Dolce & Gabbana, and art-inspired prints, as in Versace. Nature and art have long been a source of inspiration for Italian designers, and for good reason, as both have such a strong presence in this country.

Dramatic silhouettes

Theatricality is at the heart of being Italian, it’s how we communicate (yes, with our hands). And, I mean, we’ve popularised the most famous type of opera, which is arguably the most dramatic performance vehicle around. There’s nothing like telling a story and romanticising that story to the highest possible dramatic level.

When taking inspiration from the Italians go for coats and big sleeves. I grew up in awe of the huge winter coats my family wore and while I wouldn’t be caught wearing a dead animal, I support the trend as long as we make it fake.

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