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March 5, 2009updated Jul 29, 2015

EXCLUSIVE! Milan Show Updates

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

By Tanya Dukes

Donatella Versace knows how to keep her jet-setting, yacht-hopping customers happy. The collection was heavy on neat cocktail dresses, slinky minis and full-on glamorous gowns. Opening looks worked in restrained tones of black and silver. But it wouldn’t be Versace without a shot of color: For those who find sunny weather no matter the season, a cavalcade of sherbet-colored frocks came next. Every editor wants one of the mini dresses covered entirely in blush colored paillettes. Place your order now for what will be one of the party dresses of the season.

Roberto Cavalli
Ever effervescent Roberto Cavalli’s fall collection took a dark turn. While black has been the predominant shade of the season, it was still a bit of a shock to see to much of it from a designer known for fizzy color and more than a little leopard print. Of course, dark doesn’t have to mean somber and Cavalli’s collection shone with sparkle provided by studs and grommets aplenty. The look is urban, super sexy and tough with loads of lean pants, cropped jackets and transparent evening dresses that will be at home in lots of wardrobes that don’t yet have Cavalli pieces. The brand has gone to the dark side and is all the better for it.

Brioni pushed the envelope of the standard suiting silhouette and infused it with movement and soft draping. Virtually every garment that came down the runway featured elements that arced away from or around the body. Kimono jackets, cowl necks and palazzo pants made for a soft but corporate-ready look. Sleeves and trouser legs were mostly cropped, full and swingy. Chief standouts were entrance-making coats with dramatic double lapels or funnel necks that framed the face and always-necessary pencil skirts in brilliant jewel tones.

Consuelo Castiglioni did it again at Marni. She captured an offhanded mix of quirky touches with a luxurious, grown-up feel that recalled bohemian grand dames like Peggy Guggenheim. The key components were jumbo herringbone, florals and geometric patterns done in iridescent silks and nubby wool. There were plenty of modesty preserving, knee-length skirts and dresses to go around, but Castiglioni also embraced pants of the cropped, drop-crotched variety. Flowered and bib necklaces that appeared to be a collage of shiny found objects, super high sandals and patterned tights provided the finishing touches.

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