MILAN (Reuters) - Milan kicked off its catwalk shows for next spring's womenswear on Wednesday with designers presenting rich, embellished collections amid expectations of growing sales.
After New York and London, Italy's fashion capital picks up the baton with six days of spring/summer 2016 shows and presentations showcasing the latest offerings from global brands such as Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana and Versace.
Among the first to display their creations on Wednesday were Italian fashion brands Genny and Fay.
Genny Creative director Sara Cavazza Facchini mixed art deco shapes with 1980s metallics for her line of dresses, wide-leg trousers and jumpsuits.
Models wore silk dresses and tunics with slit sleeves which revealed shoulders and arms falling into embroidered wrists.
Cavazza Facchini said she was inspired by artist Sonia Delaunay, known for her use of vibrant colors and geometric shapes, for her patterned evening dresses. A floaty emerald green dress provided the only bold color in a palette mainly of white, gold, silver and bronze.
Fay, part of the Tod's luxury goods group, went for a 1970s style with colorful patterned prints and rich embroidery in short skirts and corset-style waistcoats.
Designers Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi presented dresses, from minis to just above the knee, and military-style jackets in black and white, pink, maroon, navy and mustard.
They used paisley patterns on clothes and accessories, which included bags, sandals as well as calf-high boots, a surprise element in a spring line.
"Now fashion has to be very eclectic, heterogeneous," Aquilano said. "We now need clothes that can be used in between autumn/winter and spring/summer."
The shows are set against a upbeat mood among Italy's fashion sector. The national chamber of fashion has forecast a five percent rise in sales this year to 64.5 billion euros ($72.06 billion).
Milan Fashion Week runs until Monday. Among the most-anticipated shows will be celebrity-favorite Roberto Cavalli's, where Norwegian designer Peter Dundas makes his debut as creative director. ($1 = 0.8951 euros)
Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Larry King