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In Milan, Denim Charmed with Arts and Crafts Motifs

What New York and London lacked in statement denim, designers at Milan Fashion Week more than made up for with Fall/Winter 20-21 collections that felt personal and lived-in.

True to Etro’s nomadic philosophy, the brand told a F/W 20-21 story dense with rich earth tones, statement belts and layering. A denim vest and jeans were adorned with matching floral appliques and trimmed with brown suede fringe along the hems and seams. Another jean was decorated with metallic sequins, fringe and patchwork made from silken fabrics. These pieces came together in a collection that emphasized modern bohemian luxury with items like relaxed men’s shirting, silk neckerchiefs and carpet-print velvet coats among the standouts.

Denim was one piece of Antonio Marras’ collection that mimicked the look and feel of vintage fabrics and garments. Patchwork constructions and contrast stitching added a handmade feel to men’s dark jeans. Re-worked Trucker jackets featured insets of plaid, chinoiserie fabrics and paisley-like florals. The pockets of a button-down denim shirt were removed and its shirttails were tacked up to reveal its floral lining. And yellow-tinted jeans were embellished with a dizzying array of embroidered lines with loose threads. Pieces throughout the collection seemed like they could still (intentionally) have pins holding them together.

Gucci continued to live in a hybrid retro world that was one part ’70s hippie and one part ’90s grunge. Leather trench coats and floral print dresses were styled over wide-leg jeans, while ruffled lace shirts and smocked baby-doll tunics were paired with oversized ripped jeans. The denim pieces signal a step away from the maximalism aesthetic Gucci has fueled during the past few years.

Ermanno Scervino experimented with dirty washes, too, notably with a pair of denim culottes with front cargo pockets.

Versace offered a cleaner take on patchwork denim by tapping various shades of denim to create striped jackets, jeans and skirts. The same technique was carried into the brand’s leather pieces.

Printed scroll work added a regal look to Emilio Pucci’s lavender denim set. MSGM offered an aristocratic touch, too, with jeans laser printed with toile designs.

MSGM also injected a pop of street style with bright blue overdyed jeans. At Versace, a denim mini-skirt was layered over a pencil-length skirt made from red quilted nylon. Meanwhile, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini played with quilted denim, presenting the concept as a boxy blazer and floral-printed paper bag-waist jeans.