MILAN — Dolce & Gabbana were all innocence and lace on Sunday as Byblos explored the jungle and Missoni went multi-colour ethnic for next spring/summer at Milan Fashion Week.
Sensuality was implicit in Dolce & Gabbana's Mediterranean-themed collection, nearly entirely in white worn by porcelain-faced models looking frightfully in need of escorts.
Staged on a white stucco catwalk after a black and white slideshow of scenes from a romanticised southern Europe, the show was a sirocco of virginal white satin, cotton and lace.
Ensembles that were easy to imagine at an art opening, such as a sophisticated short jacket over a long pencil skirt, rubbed shoulders with babydoll creations, all pinafores and bloomers, crying out to be read a bedtime story.
Footage of design duo Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce fussing backstage over the performance was shown on video screens above the catwalk during the show.
Byblos was savagely opposite, coming out to a jungle beat, with colours to match -- greens, browns and the occasional flash of orange.
Byblos's Jane ties or wraps on her outfits, set off with ropes -- vines? -- in steel, silver or gold trim around the neckline, waist or armholes or encircling the neck, while prints are emblazoned with reptiles or demons.
Mini-sarongs came in two lengths, one of many asymmetries to mark the collection, while trousers were long and straight except those with jodhpur thighs.
Thousands of fine slits turned into shimmering scallops in a couple of beige, copper or chocolate brown ensembles.
For Missoni, unsurprisingly, things were even more colourful.
The collection purportedly "celebrates the world's different cultures" but the main inspiration appears to be pre-Columbian and the American Southwest, with a palette rich in turquoise, green and orange unified by black trim.
Beadwork, square necklines, poncho-like caftans, front and black flaps for skirts or trousers evoking a squaw's attire or a cowboy's chaps reinforced the impression.
Charging down one side of an ancient cloisters at Milan's old university wearing floppy square-brimmed hats, the models sported busy colour combinations that saw the hats competing with the frocks, while shoes joined in the enthusiasm, tied on around the ankles and propped up by rounded heels in fluorescent hues.
Elsewhere on Sunday, the hush of luxury whispered down Brioni's catwalk, even if new stylist Alessandro Dell?Acqua injected a fresher, lighter air to the women's line of a label best known for its bespoke men's apparel.
Transparent silk poplin shirts leant a new sensuality to the Brioni woman, for whom jackets were noticeably more contemporary in cut, worn either with short shorts or loose trousers, while other novelties include bright red ensembles and Moroccan tunics.
In the same vein, Salvatore Ferragamo drew a portrait of relaxed elegance relying on luxury standbys silk and suede.
Head scarves and knits softened the look as well as peasant blouses gathered at the neckline.
Marni's Consuelo Castiglioni meanwhile stayed true to her sporty look, this time having her models don a two-tone leather motoring cap over mussed hair.
Leather smocks featured egg-sized cutaway ovals, while cycling shorts made the gamine, appearing under skirts and dresses teamed with oversized T-shirts, stripes competing with large-gauge prints.
When the colours weren't outdoorsy greens and mauves they were psychedelic pinks and oranges with large floral patterns.
The six-day week wraps up Monday with shows by Dsquared2, Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli, who is celebrating 40 years in the business as well as his 70th birthday this year.
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