Milan fashion starts with tighter schedule

Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:23am EST
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Milan kicked off the Italian leg of the international fashion run on Wednesday with a tighter schedule of catwalk shows aimed at meeting the needs of the foreign press but which has ruffled designers' feathers.

Thousands of journalists and buyers have descended on the Italian fashion capital to see designers such as Giorgio Armani, Prada and Versace's womenswear for next winter.

But the big names have squeezed their presentations into four days out of the February 24 - March 1 run after powerful fashion editor, Vogue's Anna Wintour, reportedly shortened her attendance.

Several designers and businessmen were quick to voice concern that a short show week would reduce the strength of the country's fashion industry. Paris fashion week runs over nine days.

"No one, not even if she is called Anna Wintour, can allow themselves to make or unmake our fashion calendar," Milan Mayor Letizia Moratti was quoted as saying in Italian newspapers.

"For this reason we must all work united."

Italian daily Corriere della Sera headlined a story about the calendar woes by saying Wintour held the Italian fashion sector "in her fist".

Wintour, who has an icy reputation, was believed to have inspired the cutthroat editor played by Meryl Streep in the film "The Devil Wears Prada". Media reports have said she would only be staying three days in Milan because she will then travel to Paris fashion week and then fly to Los Angeles for the Oscars.   Continued...