7 Spring 2021 Fashion Trends From Milan Fashion Week To Get Excited About For Next Year

a close up of a beach

© Courtesy of Giannico

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It’s been difficult to get a handle on real, actual fashion trends since the pandemic has relegated most people to their homes, where WFH fashion has consisted squarely of sweatpants, tie-dye and ugly sandals.

But part of the beauty of fashion is the anticipation of something new, the idea of reinventing one’s self for a new season. Milan Fashion Week’s spring ’21 season suggested just that, with whimsical colors, carefree footwear and details that gave a glimpse of a hopeful, joyful post-pandemic life (whenever that may be).

Here, a look at 7 trends from Milan Fashion Week to look forward to for spring 2021 — and options for shopping the look now:

1. Scarf prints

Whimsical, colorful prints inspired by silk neck accessories were a big draw on Milan’s runways, where Etro put them on matching sets, Versace did an under-the-sea motif and Giuseppe Zanotti brought them to a series of sneakers.

Shop the look now

To buy: Farm Rio scarf mix pants, $123 (was $175)

To buy: Gianvito Rossi silk scarf ankle-tie sandal, $347 (was $695)

To buy: Tory Burch Selby scarf sandal, $248

2. La Dolce Vita

If it seemed like all the Italians were thinking about was a summer holiday, that’s because they mostly were. La Double J’s JJ Martin introduced swimwear and beachwear to her ever-expanding line, using her signature retro and retro-inspired Italian prints. Both Stella Jean and Philosophy also went for vacanza estive with bright colors and bold prints.

Shop the look now

To buy: La Double J swing dress, $258 (was $645)


To buy: Vince Camuto Marybell platform sandal, $129.  

To buy: Dolce & Gabbana floral stretch cotton-poplin flounce dress, $348 (was $1,394)

3. White linens

Good news for anyone hoping that the “Nap” dress will come back for next summer. The leisure trend of summer 2020 is getting a bit more detailing for spring ’21, with delicate embroidery and a focus on linen materials. Think of it as garments that can double as fancy napkins or tableclothes.

Shop the look now

Gallery: Giuseppe Zanotti’s Spring 2021 Collection at Milan Fashion Week (Footwear News)

To buy: Anita Dongre embroidered shoes, $135 (was $450)

To buy: Lunya silk shirt set, $198.

To buy: Sleeper Atlanta linen dress, $224 (was $320)

4. Intricate woven leather

Leather has always been an artisanal specialty of Italy, but the country’s designers leaned in even more for the upcoming season, with delicate but durable pieces featuring a variety of weaving motifs that show off a true craftsmanship that can’t be found elsewhere. No doubt that Bottega Veneta’s own intrecciato on its must-have footwear has also influenced the season.

Shop the look now

To buy: Sam Edelman Rishel woven leather flat, $70

To buy: Bottega Veneta BV Curve woven leather sandal, $1,650.

To buy: Miista Taissa woven leather block heel pump, $295

5. Kitten heels

No one is wearing heels anymore — which is perhaps why Italian designers are suggesting that we ease back into the footwear with an easier-to-handle kitten heel next spring. Valentino took to the shape with its new Roman Stud series of shoes, while Prada showed one with a totally unique tongue. And Giannico and Casadei and more showed them in sunny, happy hues.

Shop the look now

To buy: Marc Jacobs satin slingback pump, $338 (was $484).


To buy: Calvin Klein Mega kitten heel slide sandal, $109

To buy: By Far Gabriella slingback, $190 (was $475).

6. The gladiator return

Will the beloved (but sometimes beleaguered) gladiator make its official return next spring? Gianvito Rossi seems to think so. The sought-after Italian designer showed a whole series of them in his new spring ’21 collection. On the runway, exaggerated versions showed up at Blumarine. And we’re already seeing more at Paris Fashion Week.

Shop the look now

To buy: Stella McCartney Faler woven gladiator sandal, $358 (was $895)

To buy: Giuseppe Zanotti Danse de Feu gladiator sandal, $675 (was $1,350)

To buy: Ancient Greek Sandals Stephanie leather gladiator sandal, $108 (was $270).

7. Spring tights

Stockings are usually reserver for fall/winter collections, but there were hints of hosiery at Milan’s shows and presentations. Max Mara showed a mix off odd pairings, like brown ankle-strap heels with alien-blue tights, while Emilio Pucci took its signature prints back to some of its stockings, which were unexpectedly worn with toe-ring gladiator sandals (see above trend).

Shop the look now

To buy: Emilio Pucci lace tights, $85.

To buy: Marc Jacobs The Left and Right Glam tight, $105 (was $175)

To buy: Wolford merino tights, $75

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