Milan's wacky, wonderful fashion week closes on quiet note

MILAN — After Gucci's heads and Dolce & Gabbana's drones, Milan Fashion Week wrapped up Monday on a tranquil note with shows by Japanese designers.

The six days of previews for next fall and winter is likely to be the most talked-about in a long time. Gucci's Alessandro Michele's message reverberated well beyond fashion world's epicenter when on Day 1, he sent out two models carrying replicas of their own heads through a pristine operating room backdrop. And the fashion crowd was awestruck on the penultimate day when Dolce & Gabbana unveiled their latest handbag, flown down the runway by a bunch of drones.

These houses are providing master classes in how to grab the attention of the new consumers. The trick remains to stay true to the brand's traditions and DNA — something being undertaken by new and new-ish designers at Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, Marni and Jil Sander.

Highlights from Monday's shows:

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UJOH'S BRITISH ASSYMMETRY

Mitsuru Nishizaki's latest Ujoh collection combines British-inspired check, plaid and stripe fabrics with his own trademark asymmetrical and layered silhouette. It was the Tokyo-based designer's third year showing in Milan.

Trousers got an update with mix-matched tapered legs, one in black, one in a red burgundy, with an asymmetrical button closure. The look is layered with a tunic-style sweater.

The attention to detail and workmanship come through in an off-the-shoulder black dress with a ruffled hem decorated with a field of blue embroidered flowers that continue into lacy 3-D adornments.

Nishizaki has tapped the Milan trend of wrapping, with knitwear that bunches and hugs the frame, and large oversized wraps that fasten over the shoulder with a leather strap. One in British plaid is covered with lurex intarsia.

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ATSUSHI NAKASHIMA'S HOME-SOURCED TEXTILES

Atsushi Nakashima, who debuted his first collection in Milan last year, sees similarities between Milan and Tokyo, in that both cities cherish and pass on traditions.

He stays close to his native Japan, however, when sourcing textiles. They included a double-face patchwork of panels that read inside and out, including washing instructions and instructions for wearing hoods.

The mixed men's and women's collection included a series of trenches, bombers and duffel coats in khaki and olive green, and his-and-hers matching sweatshirts with neon lizards, worn under suspenders.

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