Italy's fashionistas furious over Berlusconi link

Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:38pm EDT
 
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Italian fashionistas on Wednesday hit back at foreign media reports that their latest creations were for "bimbos" inspired by the sex scandals surrounding Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's private life.

In reviews of Milan's spring/summer 2010 womenswear fashion shows on Monday, the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune had linked the abundance of short and sexy dresses this past week to the 73-year-old prime minister.

Berlusconi has been hit by a spate of scandals surrounding his private life in recent months, including allegations that a businessman paid women to sleep with him. His wife announced in May that she wanted a divorce because of his womanizing.

"I was very surprised .. I did not expect this judgment. I find it without motive, unjustified," Mario Boselli, chairman of Italy's national chamber of fashion, told Reuters.

"I saw at least 50 shows ... certainly I did not see that what was written and I believe that this fashion week was dominated by balance and great elegance, certainly nothing vulgar and uselessly provocative."

Italy's fashion capital is known for top names such as Giorgio Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, who all held their womenswear shows in the last few days.

As the warm season brings out more of the skin, many designers made sure to show off the flesh with bare backs, one-shouldered outfits and high hemlines -- from small dresses and skirts to 1950s-style high-waisted culottes.

The Financial Times wrote that the scandals surrounding Berlusconi's private life had "filtered down into designers' imaginations and from there on to the catwalk."   Continued...

 
<p>A model presents a creation as part of Prada Spring/Summer 2010 women's collection in Milan September 24, 2009. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini</p>