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Milan Fashion Week: the pastels trend making pink cool again

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Lara Faye
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Milan Fashion Week: a show goer wears the pastel trend with Gucci accessories

Milan Fashion Week has delivered some major fashion moments this season. From a Marie Antoinette-inspired collection at Moschino to candy-coloured stomper boots at Prada, the pastels trend is here to spark joy in your wardrobe.

When it comes to Milan Fashion Week, more is always more. If Italian heritage power houses Gucci, Fendi and Versace have taught us anything, it’s to expect an explosion of print, colour, pattern and sparkle, and they have yet to disappoint. This season they left fashion editors reconsidering their loyalty to all-black dressing as some of the biggest names in fashion delivered an array of major maximalist fashion trends, including a new interpretation of the classic colour palette: pastels. 

New York and London Fashion Week may have made a case for neutrals but the Italian fashion capital has converted us to the joys of dressing in full colour. But don’t pastels feel all a bit too prim and proper? If you’re breaking into a cold sweat as you start having visions of matching twin-sets in sickly sweet shades, there’s no need to reach for your CBD oil and lavender rollerball. This season, pastels have shed their reputation for subtlety and become the boldest way to way colour. 

What a fashion week it’s been. We’ve seen a riot of sugar almond pinks and spring bouquet yellows run riot at Moschino’s raucous Marie Antoinette-inspired collection, fallen back in love with blush at Fendi and learn that pink doesn’t have to mean pretty at Prada. From chunky trainers to silky separates, here are the key moments from Milan Fashion Week that have made pastels the only colour we’ll want to wear come autumn. 

Think that pastels always equate to pretty? Think again. At Prada we saw a new generation of tough, no-nonsense womenswear painted in a candy-coloured array of pick ‘n’ mix shades. Ever the queen of combing contradictions, this season Miuccia Prada took the practical and the utilitarian and reimagined them in baby pink, powder blue, buttercup and parma violet shades. Waterproof combat/wellington boot hybrids with the kind of ultra-thick soles that were made for stomping in were seen in baby shower tones, and styled with crisp shirting, neckties and belted puffer jackets for an androgynous look that could not for a moment be dismissed as cutesy.

But the stand out look from the collection had to be the trainer and knee-high boot hybrid that we’re already envisaging with all our autumnal outfits. The Cloudbust trainer might already be an iconic Prada style, but this season the classic chunky style has been given a millennial pink makeover. Wear yours the Miuccia way: with lashings of attitude. 

We didn’t call the Oxford Dictionary to check, but we’re reasonably sure that Moschino is the very definition of maximalist style. Season upon season we can trust creative director Jeremy Scott to serve us a riot of colour that puts the joy right back in dressing. In previous seasons we’ve seen collections inspired by references as diverse as Picasso and the Looney Tunes characters, but this season Moschino’s autumn/winter 2020 show delivered a fashion feast that paid homage to Marie Antoinette. Whether Marie Antoinette ever said the infamous words ‘let them eat cake’ remains up for debate, but what is certain is that the collection she inspired was the most joyful show at Milan.

Larger than life pastel looks took the form of over-the-knee lace up boots, puff sleeve tops subverted with corset detailing, French court-ready dresses made of velvet furniture fabric and, of course, outlandish wedding cake-inspired dresses in candy coloured tones. Bold, brash and ready to star in a costume drama of their very own, the new way to wear pastels is anything but demure. 

The pastels trend hasn’t just been confined to the clothes. For their autumn/winter 2020 show, Fendi created the millennial pink interior of our Wes Anderson-based dreams, with show goers sitting on the kind of  retro-inspired blush velvet sofas that we regularly dream of. On the catwalk too, a palette of pink-toned pastels reigned supreme. Oversized carrier bag-inspired totes in a muted shade of Barbie’s dream house pink were paired with dainty satin pumps and square-toed sock boots in a coordinating shade, and worn with ankle socks, belted woollen cardigans and an immaculately painted lip for a contemporary interpretation of feminine 1950s power dressing. Cinched waists, emphasised shoulders and slicked back hair created a structured silhouette that was sweet, but never sickly. 

Whether you choose to wear your pastels as quite literal arm candy courtesy of Fendi, with Prada’s devil-may-care attitude or channel your inner Marie Antoinette with look fit to make Versailles feel under dressed, this autumn the grey clouds won’t be able to compete against the whirlwind of colour on the pavements below. 

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Images courtesy of Getty and Instagram.

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