The Trends That Mattered Most at Paris and Milan

After so many weeks (five to be exact) of tracking runways, front-rows, backstage, and all the kooky surprises in between, reaching the commencement of Fashion Week Spring 2010 can be somewhat of a let-down. But not when you spend the weekend surveying all the spectacularness of the most recent shows—Paris and Milan to be exact. If we were getting a touch bored of the expected (yellow! sheer!), there's nothing like a shot of Lanvin, Kenzo, and Balmain to bring us back to life. So, to restore your faith, too, in good adventurous glorious fashion, we've assembled our top 12 list of the best trends from Milan and Paris. Au revoir, Fashion Week!
1. Metallic Minis
We know! Nothing new about yet another outpouring of minis, but turned out in gleaming metallics, this new batch feels both glamorous and futuristic. Above, from left: Balmain; Costume National; Christian Dior; Balmain.
2. Matchy-Matchy
All-over prints on the wrong people can be a recipe for disaster. But presented by Ann Demeulemeester and Givenchy, these optical illusions are a study in artfulness. Above, from left: Miu Miu; Ann Demeulemeester; Kenzo; Givenchy.
3. Cornflower
Head-to-toe blue seems like a very bad idea, but not with the silvery-gray tone that emerged from Dior and Gucci's brand of blue. Above, from left: RM Roland Mouret; Hermès; Christian Dior; Gucci.
4. Sari Wrapping & Indigenous Patterns
The most flattering and fresh body-conscious looks for spring applied inspiration from traditional saris. Add to that a bounty of pattern and texture and the results were nothing short of beautiful. Above, from left: Dries van Noten; Kenzo; Dries van Noten; Lanvin.
5. Modernist House Dress
Maybe Mad Men revived the house dress, but we're more inclined to think it was always pretty cool…especially seen through the fresh eyes of Giles and Chloé. Above, from left: Bottega Veneta; Giles; Chloé; Alberta Ferretti.
6. Embellished Nudes
Nude and neutrals are pretty much a staple of spring, but glammed up with rhinestones, brocade, and other embellishments gave this basic shade a schizophrenic sort of chic. Above, from left: A.F. Vandervorst; Miu Miu; Valentino; Alberta Ferretti.
7. Asymmetric Ruffle
Part Flamenco, part mother-of-the-bride, the big body-accentuating ruffles we loved most at Stella McCartney and Lanvin were as sculptural as they were sexy. Above, from left: Valentino; Lanvin; Stella McCartney; Bottega Veneta.
8. Earth Mothers
Brown was big for spring, and we loved the varying degrees of earthiness from rich caramel to soft sienna. Above, from left: Costume National; A.F. Vandervorst; D&G; Hermès.
9. Exaggerated Peplum
We've been very into the return of the peplum, and the new season sees this little flip getting bigger and bolder. Above, from left: Christian Dior; Stella McCartney; Chloé.
10. Pleating and Draping
An extension to the goddess craze, the ethereal chiffon pleats and '70s'esque draping took the female icon to a whole new level. Above, from left: Hermès; Lanvin; Chloé; Gianfranco Ferré.
11. Glitzy Epaulettes
We adore a strong shoulder, so yes, we've been in luck lately. But even moreso now that Balmain, Givenchy, and other designers gave our right angles a little extra oomph. Above, from left: A.F. Vandervorst; Balmain; Andrew Gn; Givenchy.
12. Long Skirts
Perhaps as a backlash to the hemless, we liked that Alberta Ferretti and Kenzo, among others took skirt lengths way down low and lovely. Above, from left: Chloé; Alberta Ferretti; Hermès; Kenzo.
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