MILAN, Italy — Gianfranco Ferre's macrame and wide black trim had a 1960s feel while Versace and Moschino brought geometry to the equation Friday at Milan Fashion Week.
Gianfranco Ferre kept the colours simple -- black, white and nude -- but the textures rich with a collection exuding cool elegance for spring/summer 2011.
Stylists Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi used wide bands around the midriff to show off macrame work or set off the poitrine or a flirty fan-pleated skirt for an empire effect, while white dresses bordered with black bands recalled the 1960s.
A femme fatale black leather minidress had a more innocent variation in white crepe de chine.
A sudden burst of colour came in the form of a platinum blonde sporting a shocking pink jacket and miniskirt.
For evening, the pleats fell to the floor while the decollete swooped to the navel, and the palette turned metallic in party ensembles using solid coppers, greens and purples.
The designers also played with tuxedo lapels and restrained Jetsons shoulders trimmed with satin.
Meanwhile Women's Wear Daily reported Friday that New York-based merchant bank Prodos Capital Management was part of a consortium that will acquire Gianfranco Ferre, which has been under bankruptcy protection for the past 19 months.
Back on the catwalks, Moschino stylist Rossella Giardini's show was infused with colour and high energy, managing to be both bubbly and chic.
Reds, electric blues and egg yolk orange were arrayed in geometric motifs and clean graphic features.
Hairdos peeked out under heavy turbans or panama hats held down with scarves.
Adding punch were clicking necklaces and large earrings while tiny handbags came with gold chains.
Applique flowers embellished minidresses and long swirling skirts.
Versace used scissors to create his geometry, favouring cutaways for a white space age number with red trim, or indents designed to show off the shoulder as a "new erogenous zone".
Clear plastic strips gave the impression of cutaways while providing more structural freedom to create graphic patterns, and patent leather belt-like martingales criss-crossed many a bare back.
Antonio Marras said his collection was inspired by the Jane Campion film "Bright Star" about 19th-century English poet John Keats and his three-year romance that ended with his untimely death aged 25.
Seizing on the apron as an organising design element, Marras told AFP: "I wanted to transform this element into something you could wear in the street."
Barely recognisable as aprons, although many were tied in the back, these garments served as ephemeral layers over loose skirts or sheer black or white harem pants with sandals.
Short trenches came with floral appliques or deep lace edges, while men's suitcoats were modified to expose most of the torso, with the pockets thrown behind.
Good girl white bras and waist-high panties featured in many of the numbers.
Reinforcing the impression of innocence, white paper butterflies fluttered down over the mostly blonde models at the end of the show.
Kristina T had an intimate feel, like stumbling into a boudoir, for her youth-oriented collection.
Colours were powdery pastels, materials were sheer and ruffles and ribbons produced a babydoll effect.
Some outfits dispensed with pants or skirts altogether, matching tops with simple silk panties.
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