A Soft Take on Techno at Spring/Summer '08 Pitti Bimbo - Part I

Talk about a season of opposites! Spring/Summer 2008 is all about high-tech, engineered textiles as well as the simplest white cotton dresses in recent memory. Among the collections at Pitti (June 29-July 1) were styles with Provençal tiny, naive prints, a Moroccan tile theme, a strong tropical mood, ladylike 50's styling and to top all those trends: the motorcycle jacket appeared everywhere.

Designers used the techno materials in all categories as if they were sculptors, molding cloth into delicate shapes, building layers and working with the fabrics' sheen to reflect and absorb light. The outcome of their infatuation with the new textiles is collections with a nod to a girl's femininity and an eye to the future.





Sea's Chic. Last summer's nautical look continues with a natty, ready for the yacht mood. Colors for this clothing stay true to the theme in red, white and navy or royal, and the combination's spin-offs: red and white, black and white and navy and white.

Black and white ticking stripes at Ciunga.

True red, white and blue from head to toe at I Pinco Pallino.


Sun Dappled Tiles. Think azure blue waters, exotic Moroccan tiles in inky navy, delft blue and jade and sun-bleached sand.

Essentiel Girls got the blues.


A season in Provence. Tiny, Provençal prints, usually colored in navy, white and shades of blue are the answer to the previous season's rustic paisleys.


Provençal cotton top and menswear striped capris from Hartford.


Techno-Glamour. Designers used technically advanced fabrications for girlishly sophisticated dresses and separates. Thanks to the material's supple hand, the styles look more molded than sewn. To add to the futuristic feeling, fashions were often colored in metallic gold or silvery grays.

Crinkled cotton and silver from Special Day.


Do the Hustle, or the Fox Trot. Dresses are Fifties' demure with empire or natural waists accented with a narrow belt. The dress's skirts are full and flirty. The flipside to the ladylike styles: ready for the disco fluid Jerseys paired with leggings.

I Pinco Pallino's ladylike vision in apple green and white.

Simonetta pays attention to the waist.


Polo Miss? The polo shirt is feminized with puff sleeves and colored in pastel tones.

Pretty to a tee at Miss Blumarine.


Do the white thing. Loose A-line dresses and tops in crisp white cotton or slip-lined voile reference Victorian undergarments. The look is more modern than nostalgic thanks to clean shapes and minimal detail.

Take a touch of India, mix with a handful of vintage details and you get Chloe's fresh look for summer.


Tux and tails. Menswear ruffled tuxedo shirts are pared down for spring with a single frill down the front. The shirts are often teamed with dirndl or bubble skirts and crisp cotton cutaway jackets.

Tuxedo styling from Uni & Vintage.


Motorcycle mama. The bomber jacket found its feminine side colored in pastels or coated with opalescent finishes. Atop a full skirt or over a dress, the shape adds a touch of testosterone to an outfit.

Motorcycle jacket at Lisa Korn.


In the trenches. The belted trench coat is anything but drab in wrinkled cotton, laser-embellished ruffles or look-at-me brights.

Ermanno Scervino exhibited the prettiest trench at the show.

Seeing clearly at Miss Blumarine.

A red hot trench by Zef.


Trip to Bermuda. Slim Bermuda shorts or capris are worn with halters or crisp Indonesian styled tops for elegant daywear.




Patriot act. Nationalist or anarchist, boys will wear red, white and blue.

Ferrari waves the flag.


Little old men. Distressed tees printed with vintage motifs loosen up classic menswear separates.

Feeling nostalgic at Gas.


Motorcycle daddy. The motorcycle jacket in light, supple leather or soft denim lends an edgy look to classic stripes and dresses up jeans.

The sporting life. Big stripes on tees and sweaters bring rugby indoors.

Bright boy. Hawaiian patterns in bright tones shake up boys' swimwear.





Babes in bloomers. Vintage styled bloomers appeared in soft knits and cottons in infant collections. They're charming with smock tops and simple tees.

Just sweet enough at Sweet Liza by Liza Korn.


Give 'em an A! That's A-line and the loose shape appears in tops, smocks, skirts and dresses.

Light as air layers at Uni & Vintage.

Three trends in one: The loose shape, tucked neckline detail and inky blue eyelet add up to one knock out dress from Alberta Ferretti.


Top heavy. Wide on top and narrow on the bottom or small tops and wide skirts. The look is casual and loose, not body conscience.

The white smock is balanced with slim peach capris at Chloe.


Above it all. The Fifties' style empire-waist dress with a full skirt is making a comeback. So are dresses with bodices ending high on the chest or fitted and belted at the waist.

Baby style at I Pinco Pallino.


In short. Skirts are hot. They're minis, to the knee or just below, and they're pleated. Some sport tucked yokes or are bubble-hemmed. The look is soft and feminine.

The wild side of Oilily.

Playful pleats from Maan.


Narrow minded. Pants are long and lean, shorts are slim and to the knee or just below and shorter shorts are a little looser so they're childlike, not sexy. Leggings are still popular.

Miss Lean Jeans from Miss Blumarine.


Over it. Jackets are cut like motorcycle pieces, draw close to the body with cutaway detail, sport swing shapes with interesting yoke detail, or are tailored into boxy blazers for both girls and boys.

Sweet motorcycle mamas at I Pico Pallino.

Jottum keeps flounces in check with a narrow jacket.

Baby N'oum's beautifully cut swing jacket is charming over jeans or skirts.


Shrug it off. Designers paired the short, simple shrug with wide skirts, atop dresses and over tees with narrow pants.

Lilica Ripilica's shrug is tops.


Kick up your heels. Designers used tulle to shape buoyant, flapper-style dresses.

Miss Blumarine's frill friendly dress.




Keen on lean. Boys will wear lean, to the knee shorts.

Gas narrows its sights.


Great Gatsby. Jackets with a boxy fit in ticking stripes or seersucker.


Originally published July 19, 2007


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