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Milan designers feature ‘empowering women’ theme

Models present creations for fashion house Missoni during the women’s fall-winter 2017 fashion week in Milan, Saturday. (AFP-Yonhap)
Models present creations for fashion house Missoni during the women’s fall-winter 2017 fashion week in Milan, Saturday. (AFP-Yonhap)
Milan Fashion Week took a formal turn on the fourth day of previews for next fall and winter.

Mindful of the price point, designers were not churning out looks that could be tossed into a suitcase for a fanciful journey, but rather pieces that could hang in the closet for years to come, even left alone for a period only to re-emerge as relevant as the day they were purchased.

The debate continued about whether to get items to the stores quickly to satisfy the consumer accustomed to instant gratification. But while some designers were quick to get out capsule collections, from Moschino to Ermanno Scervino, the overriding Milan mindset retained its commitment to luxury craftsmanship and materials, which cannot be rushed.

Missoni’s manifesto

Angela Missoni made the pinkish Monte Rosa visible from her office and home in northern Italy the backdrop of her fall-winter collection in Milan.

“For me, it represents the force of this group of all the women of the world who are strong as a rock,” the creative director of the family fashion label said backstage Saturday.

The collection played with vibrant colors and clashing patterns, as well as layers and volumes. Missoni’s strength is multifaceted: Fine knits sheath dresses belied a delicate femininity while suits preserved individuality with bright checkered patterns broken up by knit tops peeking from below the jacket hem.

Translucent knitting gave a twist to the company’s familiar zig-zag on long skirts.

Missoni also included big fur vests and a plethora of scarves of every weight and description, from soft fur resembling a lemur’s tail to shaggy neck cozies and twisting knits with metallic thread contrasts. Buckle kitten-heels with ankle socks in matching colors completed the looks.

The final looks had a homemade feel, resonating with the spontaneous nationwide knitting bee that saw thousands of US women make pink pussy hats for women’s demonstrations across the United States. The roughness of the knits seemed to be an assertion of women’s creative powers.

Hollywood golden era at Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta’s looks for next season exuded a 1940s Hollywood glamour, with a strictly formal collection for men and women.

The female silhouette befitted any Hollywood diva: broad shoulders, rounded hips and tailored at the waist with long continuous lines. Creative director Tomas Maier said the shape conveys “the pencil mark on a sketch.”

Sweeping metallic-thread evening dresses created a liquid effect and had distinctive detailing, with one tying demurely on the derriere. Riding trousers were the staple for daywear, worn with tucked-sweaters and knee-high boots. Contemporary touches included multi-directional pleats on the daytime dresses and a disciplined deployment of sequins and elegant studs. The big furry coats were from goats, a purposefully sustainable choice.

Glamorous accessories finished the looks: sheer black hose with polka dots, suede and nappa wedge footwear and crystal combs sweeping the hair into place. Colors included bright ochre and tangerine for the day and ice blue and desert rose for the evening.

Bottega Veneta’s menswear also started with formal wear, with smoking jackets that nipped in the waist and bombers paired with bow ties. Maier said the two clothing lines were conceived together, sharing materials and ideas.

Jil Sanders minimalism redefined

Creative director Rodolfo Paglialunga redefined Jil Sander’s minimalism with softer fabrics, brighter colors and a rare print.

“Everything is very voluminous, fluid, relaxed, feminine,” the designer said backstage.

The redefined shoulders gave new volumes to dresses and coats, while quilted skirts had a sportier vibe. New materials included chenille and metallic lurex that permitted draping for a softer version of the brand’s trademark minimalism. He also defined the looks with season-crossing colors: light blue, powder pink, lime yellow and pink contrasting with black.

“I felt I needed to use color to make this femininity more contemporary,” Paglialunga said. (AP)