MILAN (AP) — What happened to sex in the city — Milan, that is?
Far from the body-clinging styles that gave Italian designers their sexy reputation, the preview collections for the fall winter 2010-2011 are all about dressing like a lady.
Even Dolce&Gabbana, the now grown-up enfants-terribles of sizzling fashion, have cooled down the look for next winter, presenting a young woman whose primary concern is to be well-dressed. Miuccia Prada called her latest winter collection “sexy,” but while a few hints of flesh between ruffles on a woolen dress might be tempting for the once minimalist designer, it can hardly be called risque.
There’s a retro feel to the current round of Milan fashion with fewer trousers, looser skirts, cinched waists, silk tops, raised shoulders and couture cut jackets and coats.
The accent is often on the bosom, as it was before braless became popular, with corset shaped bodices or special stitching on a dress to create a pointed effect.
Intarsia, the patchwork use of different materials, is all the rage this season giving designers an excuse to bring back furs, declared extinct over the past decade by the animal rights activists. A number of designers including Giorgio Armani strictly use eco fur for their creations.
Another way designers get around the fur issue is the use of animal-printed fabric, a recurring theme in this round of collections.
The days of the crazy towering heel that toppled more than one runway model, seem to be over, replaced by winter wedges or 1950s stilettos. The favorite shoe is an ankle bootie.
A tip to vintage shop owners: the rigid leather bag with sturdy handle is back as is the clutch in various shapes and sizes.
On Sunday, the last day of the top-billed designers — minus Laura Biagiotti who shows Monday — Marni, Dolce&Gabbana, Cavalli, Missoni and Versus all showed their winter wears.
Marni: a very artsy collection with prints and color scheme inspired by the contemporary artist Gary Hume. Sculpted outfits, jewelry made out of natural materials, heavy use of intarsia, high-heeled boots and a bag with chromed metal frame and rounded handle define the collection.
Dolce&Gabbana: a collection dedicated to the Sicilian
“signora” where workmanship make the difference. Using a little black jacket as a starting point, the designing duo unraveled a passionate collection of perfectly tailored suits and coats, elegant silk negligee dresses and demure velvet evening gowns, which brought tears to many in the usually cool fashion crowd.
Missoni: beautiful intarsia between the classical Missoni knits and fur for cozy winter vests
Cavalli: in keeping with the modest look of the season, usually raunchy Roberto Cavalli opted for a hippie style with long lace and chiffon skirts worn with flat snake skin sandals. Cavalli, however, does not abandon his penchant for animal prints, this round in faded black and white
Versus: the Versace second line designed by Christopher Kane combines a 1990s rock’n roll feeling in stone-wash effect bags and T-shirts, with a couture look epitomized by the short-pleated miniskirts with stiff organza petticoats.