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Day 3: Milan designers suggest more reveal

September 19, 2014

MILAN (AP) — Milan designers are working with the negative space in their looks for next season, suggesting more than revealing. Lace in all of its forms is making a comeback, creating feminine peek-a-boo looks. And light, airy, diaphanous fabrics are swathing frames in alluring ways, replacing bare skin on some runways.

Some highlights from womenswear previews Friday, the third day of Milan Fashion Week.


Donatella Versace understated it just a bit for next summer’s look.

Dresses were straight-fitting, instead of body-hugging. Pants were just a tad looser fit. Jewelry punctuated looks with a period, not an exclamation point.

“I think it is very wearable as a line, not to tight, very easy,” Donatella Versace said backstage after the show.

That does not mean the Versace woman won’t be showing skin.

There were midriffs left bare or revealed under sheer panels. And why stop at a slit on long skirts, when you can square cut? For bling, colorful cocktail dresses were sprinkled with shimmering Swarovski crystals. Plexi-glass high heels were of requisite Versace height.


Missoni’s looks for next summer were a study in lightness. The knitwear was as light as air and as delicate as lace, taking shape with each step before falling lightly to reveal the form below — an alluring mix of modesty and revelation.

The emphasis was on comfort and relaxation. Missoni alternated light knitwear with printed silk, creating long body-hugging T-shirt dresses dressed up with silk jackets and oversized men’s shirts and palazzo pants for an unfussy look.

Trench coats were nearly transparent, incapable of bulk. Given the delicacy of the materials, it’s not unthinkable that an entire weekend’s worth of clothes could fit into a purse.


Ermanno Scervino appreciates the attention that style icons like Kim Kardashian bring to his work — like hourglass tan suede dress she was photographed in out and about in New York this spring.

“They are important because they are ambassadors of what you do,” Scervino said backstage after the preview of his collection for next summer. “Models are like actresses for a film director. The better the actress is, the better your work.”

For Scervino, materials are the foundation of his collection. And for summer he has transformed raffia into an elegant pencil skirt trimmed in black with a matching bra top and lace into a pretty summer parka with fur collar — no contradictions there! Faded denim was made feminine and pretty with floral appliques.


Form and geometry merged to create an optical feast for Marco De Vincenzo’s looks for next fall.

The designer called it mise en abyme, literally placed into an abyss, a French term for an optical effect of that suggests endlessness.

De Vincenzo gave the flapper dress a new swing, introducing the rigor of geometry to silk fringe’s flouncy fancy, placing them in nearly military formation. Woven leather coats had a crisscross effect, which paired nicely with a sheer skirt with pin-on buttons. Form and color faded into each other in a series of tight-ribbed dresses that had blue progressing into brown.

The 35-year-old designer made Italian artisanal textiles and materials the centerpiece of the collection -- something he can afford to do since winning the financial backing of the French conglomerate LVMH, which took a minority stake last February.


A Bohemian, San Francisco vibe permeated Etro’s collection.

Designer Veronica Etro paired leather coats decorated with elaborate fringe and beading over diaphanous print dresses for foggy evenings on the bay. There were jean jackets, poncho dresses and laser-cut leather vests. The traditional Etro paisley print had a Native American feel. Short looks were accompanied by fringe-covered boots, longer ones with sandals.

Etro finished the looks with talisman pouches on necklaces and belts, to hold personalized good luck charms.


German designer Philipp Plein is Milan’s runway showman, drawing the fashion crowd into fantasy worlds.

This season, the setting was an underwater reef, with models sporting brightly colored dresses in sexy 1950s silhouettes.

The connection between the sea and phosphorescent fashion wasn’t clear. But it is probably not the place to search for too meaning, but just go with the flow of flouncy skirts, sleeveless, studded leather coats and clingy evening gowns.

Just when it seemed the show was over, out came models dressed in seemingly plain white dresses. When the lights went out, the dresses illuminated with images of fantastic sea creatures of the deep.

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