Mar 2, 2009
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Fashion advice from Milan: keep shouldering on

Mar 2, 2009

MILAN, March 2, 2009 (AFP) - Shoulders set the silhouette on Milan's catwalks Monday, whether bared for Versace, writ large by Dolce & Gabbana or a fetish for Fendi.

Versace fall-winter 2009/2010 fashionshow

A quintessential Donatella Versace creation sneaks a shoulder out of a flowing grey-blue gown. Elsewhere, shoulder blades are set off by delicate suspenders or a sequined bustier flatters the nape and shoulders.

Necklines plunge to the waist both front and back in Versace's exquisitely draped evening gowns, a triumph of chic eroticism.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana unveiled ready-to-wear creations worthy of the highest of haute couture, marrying extravagance with a bit of surrealist theatre.

It was all in the shoulders, whether puffed up in generous fur stoles, frilled out in shocking pink satin or poking up for a more restrained triangular look.

The shoes, too, took off on flights of fancy, with tiers of gold ruffles or flamboyant seashells decorating black platforms.

Tights were finished with satin ruffles up the backs, while gloves forsook hands, serving as eccentric headgear instead.

Marilyn Monroe was a special guest star, appearing on white satin frocks and a silk Mikado evening gown that was the show's finale.

Nature's goddesses -- silver fox, mink, sable -- padded serenely through the urban jungle imagined by Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi, leaving just a suggestion of their presence.

Here, too, strong shoulders determined the silhouette, while fur or feathers softened the edges, whether in the trim or in the lining of a coat, jacket or dress.

The Dsquared twins Dean and Dan Caten of Canada meanwhile combined grunge with cool and lots of airy sophistication in multi-layered outfits.

Ankles were in, poking out of baggy jeans or khakis or this season's de rigueur skintight black leathers and leggings.

Skimpy knit tube minis competed for attention with feathered skirts and trims, while a casual pea coat topped a fancy black gown.

Men's white silk boxers and an unbuttoned shirt baring the midriff, topped by a short black leather jacket, helped create a tousled just-out-of-bed aura.

Max Mara proposed classic lines with a bit of give, as with a loosely defined trench with sleeves cuffed large at the elbows.

Skirts were mainly midis in sober greys, blacks and camel, cut from luxurious fabrics with feminine features -- a satin skirt cinched with a bow summed it up.

John Richmond seduced with shimmering gold off-the-shoulder tops and long black leather fingerless gloves.

A grey Napoleon jacket over midnight blue harem pants and black ankle boots exuded confidence, as did a slate grey jacket over a bare breast and pleated trousers.by Gina Doggett

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