- Associated Press - Thursday, February 21, 2013

MILAN (AP) - Many of the fashions displayed on the Milan runway Thursday had a yesteryear appeal _ but with a contemporary edge.

Coats are a mainstay for next winter, many of them oversized with accentuated cuffs _ part of a trend toward architectural references in clothing. Fur coats and jackets make the biggest comeback in many a season, perhaps appealing to new markets in cold weather climates, and certainly fitting for the snowy Milan weather.

Many of the styles, from the flared skirts to belted suits, recalled couture favorites from earlier fashion eras. However, the styles were updated by paring down the silhouette and using coarse fabric for elegant wear that in the past has been associated with silkier materials.

Spandex gave a modern glint to looks, including form-fitting dresses, jumpsuits and turtleneck tops, which were softened with sewing details or by coupling them with softer materials like fur and cashmere. For romantic looks, there was lace paired with leather or animal prints for a new twist. Gold lame and sequins add luxury to sensual evening wear.


The palette featured a lot of blues, green, red, some white and flashes of yellow along with mainstay black.

Hardy, practical shoes were a mainstay, but designers aren’t neglecting pretty looks and are still coming up with sandals, pumps and feminine slippers and booties.

Bags tend to be large, but not huge, and no few have a Mary Poppins practicality.

PRADA

The Prada finale was a long luxurious mink coat with ample collar and cuff like the ones the Hollywood divas used to wear in the 1950s. Underneath the model wore a sheer see-through silk dress.

It was only the showiest item of the winter collection presented Thursday evening, based on yesteryear luxury, from the opulent coats to the gilded gowns to the mink wraps.

Miuccia Prada season after season has a fashion vision, and follows it through regardless. This round she revisits vintage couture in a contemporary context.

Coats have extra wide cuffs and are often belted at the waist and flared toward the bottom. Skirts come in wide ballerina styles, as do some the dresses. The jumper dress is another 1950s look, which Prada revisits, even for evening, not to mention the many coat dresses in the collection.

Totally Prada, and anything but retro, was the uneven hemline (one side much longer than the other) that the designer used for daytime belted sheaths as well as gilded, belted gowns.

Fabrics ranged from coarse tweeds to shimmering metallic materials, plus leather and fur. Crocodile takes on new importance when used not only for bags, but also for skirts and even a suit.

The latest Prada shoe, either a sandal or a bootie, has a thick high heel, but a heavy rubber sole.

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