Best of: Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017

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From London, with its pool of vibrant young designers, we head south to see the Spring/Summer 2017 collections of the long-reigning Italian fashion houses of Milan—Gucci, Prada, Versace and the like. It’s been a while since Milan Fashion Week was considered one of the hip fashion weeks on the international circuit (the designers there have long been overlooked for their more imaginative counterparts); however, over the past two seasons since Alessandro Michele was promoted to creative director at Gucci, there has been a new side revealed of the Italian fashion world—one of youthful creativity and flamboyant imagination—and we’re all on board with the new vibe. Here’s a look at a few of our recent favorites.

Gucci

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Hands down the most influential man to come out of the European fashion scene in the past year, Alessandro Michele, with his enviable color schemes and a well-tuned imagination, has made him not only the figurehead of the iconic Italian luxury label, but also the front man of this nouveau Milan. Michele's 70s-inspired Spring/Summer 2017 collection toed the line of poetry, complete with Gucci's signature stripes, a bright pink runway, oversized glasses and platform shoes, and the most perfect repertoire of sheer floral and oriental prints. How could you not love that?

Bottega Veneta

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The men and women's clothes on show across Bottega Veneta's Spring 2017 runway were all spectacular, but we wouldn't be honest with you if we said they were the only reasons we fell in love with this collection. The real truth? During this season's show-stopping double-celebration of creative director Tomas Maier's 15th year with the now 50-year-old brand, the 72-year-old (and gorgeous) Lauren Hutton made a runway appearance sporting a reproduction of the very Bottega Veneta clutch she toted in the 1980 film American Gigolo. But it didn't stop there, at the end of the show, Maier brought out his entire studio team with him on his final bow—and we couldn't get enough of all the feels.

Marni

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Unlike Bottega Veneta, creative director Consuelo Castiglioni's Spring/Summer 2017 collection for Marni was all about the clothes; she was a sculptress in the way she worked with heavy textures and shapes, somehow making them appear light and elegant. Our favorite look was the burnout velvet dot-patterned dress with drapes and gathers, but in close second was her heightened modern minimalism (drop shoulders, pleats and dyed prints galore!).

Prada

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Each of the labels mentioned on this list are fixtures of the Milan Fashion Week schedule, but one that has always been in a league of its own is Prada. Miuccia Prada's 1990s minimalism-inspired found a new future with a glimpse from the past. Her Spring 2017 retro prints were a dead ringer for the up-and-coming wardrobes, as were her light yellow silks and sleek jersey options, each of which were so luxe you couldn't possibly pass by them without a swoon.

Salvatore Ferragamo

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The Spring/Summer 2017 collection marked the debut of Salvatore Ferragamo's newest member of the team, Fulvio Rigoni. As the head of design for women's ready-to-wear following Massimiliano Giornetti's departure, he pieced together an overall look of feminine sportswear, including a cropped anorak and a narrow high-waist skirt combo in tech fabrics. But it was the floral dresses, the athletic separates and the crisp suiting that were the make takeaways this season—and the shoes, of course. As no Ferragamo collection would be complete without a range of covetable footwear, Rigoni allowed himself to be inspired by the rainbow suede heels Ferragamo designed for Judy Garland in 1938, and this season creating feminine wedge sandals that rivaled his sporty crocheted sock shoes for spring.

Versace

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The season was all about female empowerment for Donatella Versace. Aggressively athletic garments were sent out onto the runway to the beats of DJ Violet (a favorite collaborator of the label) and revealed an entirely more day-oriented Versace. In a huge shift from her famous sexy evening aesthetics, Versace offered instead an energetic range of jumpsuits, windbreakers, tracksuits and leggings, each as alluring as her slinky party dresses. Sporty, sexy and all around a huge surprise we could easily see more of in the future.

Brent Taalur Ramsey is an American fashion writer living in Paris.

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