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Sep 27, 2009
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In Milan, a playfully elegant Armani, fluid Max Mara

Sep 27, 2009

MILAN, Italy, Sept 26, 2009 (AFP) - The Emporio Armani collection made a case for playful elegance Saturday 26 September while Max Mara set a fluid dynamic and Bottega Veneta got nostalgic for the 1950s at Milan Fashion Week.

Models display creations of Emporio Armani Spring/Summer 2010 ready-to-wear collection during the Women's fashion week in Milan. The Emporio Armani collection made a case for playful elegance - Photo: AFP/Giuseppe Cacace

Bold corals, reds and turquoises dominated Giorgio Armani's second line, an elegant expression of joie de vivre found in a sparkling blue blazer over a red minidress or a cutaway black swimsuit with a light blue floral brief.

The classic black and white in his spring/summer 2010 lineup is true to form with a white two-clasp jacket made up of overlaid scallops over a black skirt, or in combination with checks or a cowl-type scarf round the neck.

Fluid momentum was the dynamic at Max Mara, with shirts opened to the waist and falling backward, seeming to propel the models forward.

A satin floor-length trench with belt sailing behind it, a short shirtdress that ballooned in the back and an evening gown channelling knife pleats from halter top to toe all imparted a sense of feminine purpose.

Colours were neutrals such as beige, peach and sage, or navy, with bronze, copper and gold highlights as well as boyish features such as epaulettes.

Gucci took the iconic little black dress beyond the point of no return, fronting it with ikat weaving in cobalt blue, orange and magenta.

Designer Frida Giannini followed this sacrilege up with motorcycle jackets made not of leather but of fabric.

Tops, as on many other catwalks this week, are often transparent, while metallic embroidery adds shimmer, as in a black shift that seems to radiate colour from little metal tubes encircling the chest.

Moschino was all flirty elegance, with jaunty headgear, high hemlines and gags such as a pair of red floral bloomers peeking out under a light blue trenchcoat-style dress or a heart-shaped handbag.

Black and white numbers came with bold trims or geometric forms, or interplay with colour, notably in the shoulder-baring sundresses.

Love Sex Money's eclectic collection proposed sari-inspired drapery from the shoulder and transparent gauze breast-revealing tops over loose, low-crotched shorts.

Soft pleats or knit cloaks hung languidly in some creations, while sculptured pieces featured oversized ruffles at one shoulder.

Roberto Cavalli sent forth a sort of hybrid woman, resembling Humphrey Bogart in a raincoat from behind, turning to reveal a Lauren Bacall lookalike in a transparent dress.

Loose blouses play peekaboo with a grey satin bra or a shoulder, overlain by a jacket straight out of Savile Row.

Bottega Veneta's collection meanwhile evoked the 1950s, with a blood-red silk evening gown befitting of Ava Gardner, with an open-backed bodice giving way to a sumptuous skirt and train.

The daytime palette was more subdued with lots of white, ivory, flesh and straw in the silk or linen tunics, dresses and pants, with the material draped or asymmetrically cut, encouraging freedom of movement.

Intense bands of colour -- egg yolk, orchid, deep red, Delft blue -- imitate Mondrian, while long gauzy scarves evoke Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.

"Our clothes are like a blank canvas that does not come alive until it is worn," said house designer Tomas Maier.

On Sunday 27 September, Milan Fashion Week will showcase Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Missoni and Salvatore Ferragamo.by Gina Doggett

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