Sep 25, 2007
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Mediterranean chic for Armani, exotic Africa for Cavalli

Sep 25, 2007

MILAN, Sept 25, 2007 (AFP) - Laid-backed Mediterranean chic was the look for next summer at Giorgio Armani, while Roberto Cavalli's vision took him to sun-baked Africa as the Milan shows got into full swing here.

Giorgio Armani at this end of his fashion show spring-summer 2008
Photo : Guiseppe Cacace/AFP

Armani's girls wafted languidly down the catwalk in full-length voile dresses, some loosely knotted at the ankle, their hair flowing loose or just kept in check with a net scarf spangled with gemstones.

Outsize silk shirts came in pearl grey, gunmetal and blue, topped with little waistcoats or boleros.

Billowy, satin shorts were a key item, pleated elegantly at the knee and tied to one side.

Flat shoes were a must, either Greek sandals or jewelled flip flops.

For evening, necklines plunged to the navel while delicate fringed scarves were tossed nonchalantly over the shoulders of corset-topped dresses, floating gently behind the models as they sauntered lazily down the runway.

For his diffusion line "Just Cavalli" aimed at a younger clientele, the Tuscan designer Cavalli was inspired by his travels in Africa.

Roomy djellabahs, kaftans and traditional West African boubous in hot prints abounded. The decollette of a dress in vibrant primary colours was covered in tiny pearls resembling the distinctive jewellery of the nomadic Kenyan Maasai tribe.

The collection also included striking swimwear in fuschia and black, worn to the beach with a butch leather biker's jacket with patches of colour.

The house of Gianfranco Ferre sent out its first women's wear collection without the late designer, who died suddenly in June at the age of 62.

It was the customary luxurious mix of fine fabrics, featuring wide pants in silk or satin flapping round the legs in a whirl of grey and cream, worn with jackets in basketweave camel leather or blousons.

For the more flamboyant customer, there was an aubergine catsuit which could be unzipped down the front as far as wanted for a daring decollete.

Evening gowns were long, floaty and glamorous, subtly contrasting matt and shiny fabrics.

The British label Burberry, a regular in Milan, promoted pleats for next summer, showing a collection which cleverly played with layering for a refined silhouette, while managing to keep everything light and airy.

Dresses and skirts clung to the figure, but a trenchcoat was deliberately oversized at the waist and the surplus material pleated elegantly into the belt.

Military regalia also had a look in, with fringed epaulettes and braiding, for example completely covering a jacket so that it ended up resembling exotic plumage.

At Trussardi, the mood was colonial, with models in jodphurs and trench coats in safari shades like khaki, each with a real live greyhound (the house's emblem) straining at the leash.

The grande dame of eccentric British fashion Vivien Westwood stole the show for a couple of hours by presenting a retrospective of her 35 years in the business in the heart of Milan to a huge throng of press.

On Tuesday Septembert 25th, the fourth day of the shows, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Missoni, Moschino and Etro are the biggest names on the calendar.

By Katia Dolmadjian

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