Diaphanous dresses, angular tailoring close Milan fashion week

Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:11pm EDT
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By Isla Binnie

MILAN (Reuters) - Diaphanous dresses, nautical prints and angular tailoring drew Milan fashion week to a close on Monday after six days of catwalks and campaigning to promote the city's fashion industry as a bright spot in a gloomy local economy.

Veteran Italian designer Giorgio Armani presented sharp blazers, fitted shorts and floaty floral kaftans, topping off the show with flowing translucent dresses and large mortar board-style hats in fuchsia, black and bright blue.

The collection was imagined for a woman who is "a bit less constrained by the everyday... a woman who lives a life of her own", the designer told reporters backstage after the show.

Fashion house Frankie Morello decorated clothes with anchors and shells, and Gianfranco Ferre's tailored coats and dresses in neutral tones took inspiration from American photographer Herb Ritts.

The collections provided the finale to a week which has seen 74 official shows, store openings, and parties attended by celebrities including Cate Blanchett and Blake Lively.

"I think they were feeling a little squeezed by London, New York and Paris," Vogue magazine editor-in-chief Anna Wintour told Reuters, referring to three other cities which organize fashion weeks.

"There's a strong sense of everybody coming together and supporting Milan fashion, and I think it's really come through on the runways."

The fashion industry, comprised of clothing, footwear and leather goods, is a key driver of the Italian economy and trade body Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI) forecasts its turnover for 2013 to be 58.86 billion euros ($79.42 billion).   Continued...

Models present creations from the Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2014 collection during Milan Fashion Week September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo