Milan Fashion Week gets smaller and smaller every year. It’s partially due to the poor Italian economy (what a mess!), and the fact that many Italian designers are choosing to show in Paris instead. Still, out of only 34 shows, definite themes emerge. In this case, we have five designers (okay, four, but I’ll explain later) taking on a traditional Japanese dress: a kimono. 

Etro
I have a friend that hates Etro. I think she’s crazy, of course. I love their prints and loose, perpetually-vacationing silhouettes. As usual, this show was print happy, with gorgeous exotic florals, but some of my favourite looks came from plain solids. I sort of have a version of this outfit in my closet: my karate Dogi. 
Emilio Pucci
Peter Dundas took Vietnam as a point of inspiration for this collection, resulting in an array of beautiful textures, from white on white embroidery, to Pucci’s signature lively patterns, to prints with Asian motifs like — surprise! — dragons. Don’t you just want to wake up in the morning, slip this kimono jacket on, and proceed straight to the poolside?

Prada
There were major Geisha moments at Prada, particularly in the sillhouette, which echoed the folding and wrapping of kimono dressing. There is such beautiful crispness to the duchesse satin, and, of course, the beautiful Warhol-inspired flowers. 


Prada
And there are the Japanese wooden shoes as well that I think are really great, sans the silver socks. The shape is like a piece of furniture. 
Aquilano Rimondi

Venice Carnival and Fellini are cited as inspirations behind this collection, but there is definitively an element of Kabuki chic and references to Japan. Here is another stunning wrapped silhouette with an intense print.

Gabriele Colangelo
There were no Japanese influences cited by Gabriele Colangelo, but there is certainly something kimono-esque happening here. I guess it’s in the sleeves and the proportions. (This is a stellar collection by Colangelo — adding to my to-watch list.)