by Alexander Fury .

Milan Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2012: The Fashion Carnival

There was a carnival on the streets of Milan today: confetti, costumes, streamers. Someone told me it was the Milan equivalent of Halloween. When I asked why it was happening now, he shrugged his shoulders.

There was something of a carnival feel after Jil Sander too, the press leaping to their feet and rushing onto the catwalk to congratulate Raf Simons on his final show for the label. You don't see that everyday. This was an exceptional show - the circumstances guaranteed that. The clothes were a considered conclusion to Simons' work at the house, quiet in their predominantly delicate pastel colours, and stately in their couture-inspired shape. In short, they were no carnival.

The final show of our fourth day at Milan fashion week was Peter Dundas' Autumn/Winter 2012 offering for Emilio Pucci. If any designer was likely to overshadow a carnival, it's him but this was a remarkably restrained offering from Dundas' hands, opening with a trio of slashed black dresses and with a few less embellish-to-the-hilt slit-to-the-crotch numbers than usual. All the more impressive for it, too.