Fashion Trends

Must-see accessories from Milan Fashion Week

From designer bag trends to quirky new shoe styling, here’s how to wear the most memorable accessories from Milan Fashion Week 2017.

By Jessica-Belle Greer
Italy is renowned for its artisanal approach to design so it’s no surprise its national Fashion Week focuses just as much on the finer details and accessories as it does larger-than-life fashion.
While some of the new styling rules around accessories may cause alarm for us demure New Zealand shoppers – giant webs of gems and colourful socks teamed with heels – there are plenty of ways to incorporate even the more risky trimmings to our outfits.

Oversized hats

Big brims spotted at Dolce & Gabbana (left) and Gucci (right).
Hold on to your hats, this sun-smart accessory is making an eccentric comeback.
Where once you may choosen a statement hat to amp-up an otherwise modest outfit, now sunhats are best paired with sunglasses or equally bold earrings for a go-big-or-go-home trend.
Dolce & Gabbana's take on big brims was textured, patterned and vibrantly coloured to maximal effect, while Gucci's softer hats were more about 3D details.
The takeaway from this trend is that the hat is only one aspect of an overall look. The new shape sits high on the end but with a low brim for a slightly more mysterious ensemble.

Statement sunglasses

Shades to make you smile at Dolce & Gabbana (left) and Versace (right).
Provided they are best worn when the sun comes out, sunglasses are a perennially positive accessory that should be a joy to wear.
Never was this more clear than at the always exuberant Dolce & Gabbana show, where models rocked rounded shades with raffia fringed round borders, frames that looked like fingers and all over gem-covered structures.
Best worn with wit, these sunnies tend to be distracting but don't let these put you off this refreshing new trend - also look to bold colours and patterns, as seen at Versace.
Even a pop of pale blue is enough to bring a smile to our faces.

Bold earrings

Statement earrings at Missoni (left) and Marni (right).
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, statement earrings are the most major accessory trend of 2017.
One earring seems to be enough at Missoni, where jagged geometric and gold shapes fall like sharp tears. As demonstrated here, sticking to one ear can work in your favour if the jewellery piece is a strong, oversized shape as it will ensure the look is not overwhelming.
Otherwise, for those of you who like to stick to two earrings, it's safe to say anything goes - we've seen oversized earring pairs in large loops, reflective shapes and even big round fruit at Dolce & Gabbana.
If you want to earn double points for being on-trend, we suggest a cluster of pearls - this is the gem of the moment, revisited in many contemporary designs.

Gem webs

Big webs of gems at Dolce & Gabbana (left) and Gucci (right).
When it comes to layering necklaces, more is often more and this certainly came to the fore at Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci.
Costume jewellery in equally bold and intricate designs make a big impact. This is why we suggest wearing these with block colours to offset the jewels.
Otherwise, winding a long necklace around your neck several times is a versatile way to tap into this trend, perhaps with a necklace already tucked away in storage.
As suggested above, pearls are no longer prim and should be worn with a new sense of decadence. They look particularly striking when worn as a layered choker or teamed with other fun pendants and accessories.

Long belts

Leg lengthening belts on models at Trussardi (left) and Laura Biagiotti (right).
Gone are the days of trying to find a perfectly fitting belt that neatly tucks through a loop with no overhang. Now it's the longer the better when it comes to belts that freely let extra material hang for the easiest accessory trend to try yet.
A long belt is both flattering and versatile - with one long line falling down the body it has a lengthening effect and this looks good with almost any outfit.
Choose a black leather belt with extra length to add some sophisticated edge to a floaty midi dress, as styled for the Trussardi runway, or add a slightly shorter version with trousers in a similar colourway to add some texture to otherwise plain pants.

Handbag handles

Colourful straps with all the add-ons at Fendi (left) and Versace (right).
This year it seems the shoulder strap added to your handbag could be of more importance than the bag itself with thick belts now being sold on their own as an accessory.
The fascination continued at Fendi, where colourful pouches looked as if they had been clipped onto their thick strap and an abundance of tacked on tassels created statement straps.
Versace played up this trend even more with colourful long handles that were a mix of craft and art.
Straps are a fun way to update a handbag, keep an eye out for thick 'guitar strap' handles or cute bag charms that can easily be clipped on or off to suit your mood.

Socks and heels

Sweet sock statements at Prada (left), Fendi (centre) and MSGM (right).
We first saw this styling trick at the Salasai show at New Zealand Fashion Week in August, and it shows no sign of slowing down as fashion weeks move from city to city.
For Prada, dark black socks contrast lighter coloured shoes with black details, while those who want to step out in something softer like the look at Fendi, low-denier stockings are worth dipping your toes into.
Those young at heart may like to try contrasting block colours, such as mint green socks and plush purple heels as seen at MSGM. It's a sweet yet bold take on the trend that takes the guesswork out of teaming patterns.
For more, see this month's Simply You magazine, visit our Facebook page, and follow us on Instagram.