Sep 28, 2009
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In Milan, John Richmond's urban chic meets languid Etro

Sep 28, 2009

MILAN, Italy, Sept 27, 2009 (AFP) - British designer John Richmond on Sunday 27 September pushed chic with attitude while languid femininity floated down Etro's catwalk at Milan Fashion Week.

Models display creations of Salvatore Ferragamo's Spring/Summer 2010 ready-to-wear collection during the Women's fashion week in Milan - Photo: AFP/Christophe Simon

An urban beat pulsed through Richmond's spring/summer 2010 collection, with loose jackets attached only at the waist over bare torsos, a minishift pulled tight with a corset back, or a misbuttoned shirt.

The corset feature returns, undone, on the sides of a sleeveless white jacket and in the bustier of a green camouflage evening gown.

Deep armholes help aerate a sleeveless white jacket, and kimono-type sleeves lend a touch of the exotic.

Large-gauge black fishnet stockings (a "must have" accessory, according to Richmond) stop short of a microminiskirt or satin briefs.

Prints combine black with dark red and gold, paired in an evening dress with a sparkling halter top.

Richmond gives short shrift to basic black for evening, covering only the necessary, studding a leather number with rhinestones.

Green and black camouflage is the other edgy evening standard, in one case bordered with broad bands of strass.

Meanwhile chez Etro the mood was loose, comfortable and self-assured.

Family stylist Veronica used a soft brush to paint a languid summer scene populated by nymph-like creatures in roomy frocks or slacks printed with subdued colours like dusty lilac or faded salmon.

Quilted short jackets and criss-crossed leather lacing on the arms or back provided contrast, seen also in fine black and white prints paired with bouncy purple skirts with black and white polka dots.

Dolce & Gabbana meanwhile went Mediterranean, evoking Domenico Dolce's native Sicily.

Black mini-dresses with ruffled skirts show shoulders and arms through dramatic black lace, while the island's Spanish period is recalled with an abbreviated red and black flamenco dress, layered ruffles and all.

Designing for Salvatore Ferragamo, Cristina Ortiz on Sunday 27 September alternated sombre greys, browns and blacks with solid canary yellow or raspberry outfits to create a mood of sudden spring showers, shrugging off the downpours in textured nappa coats with three-quarter-length sleeves.

Classy layered capes shared the catwalk with asymmetrical numbers such as a yellow and black silk print caftan that left one arm bare.

Arm sheaths and front pieces reaching up to the chin, elongating the neck, added exoticism.

There was no middle ground with Fendi, where legs were all or nothing.

For a dreamy summer evening, designer Karl Lagerfeld proposes a long muslin dress in cloudy aquamarine that seemed to drift over the catwalk.

Long legs step out under tiny red suede skirts or black short shorts with matching bra under a black see-through blouse.

In the evening it's a floor-length dress or a minidress, both flesh coloured, the latter coming with a train evoking royalty.

Gentle fabrics -- linen, tulle, lace, knit, or jersey -- are mixed up with suede, crocodile or fur, while colours are soft -- chalk, sand, flesh, ochre, aquamarine, coral -- just right for the beach.

Missoni has a similar palette of natural colours like straw, sand, green and blue while playing with contrasts: a light ankle-length coat opens over minimalist shorts and bustier; an evening dress with Roman-type drapery sparkles blue and gold.

On Monday 28 September, Dsquared, Frankie Morello and Laura Biagiotti will unveil their collections.by Gina Doggett

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