Color, fur and sexiness fire up Milan womenswear

Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:51am EST
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Next winter will be more colorful and retro for womenswear, designers at Milan fashion week showed, with brands making bolder statements in their creations as customers regain optimism and seek newness for their wardrobes.

The omnipresence of fur played up a luxury feel at the autumn-winter 2010/2011 shows while an emphasis on sexiness was clear from Prada's dresses with fitted bodices and ruffles delineated busts to Versace's asymmetrical creations.

Designers injected doses of color from red and orange at Giorgio Armani to pink at Bottega Veneta.

A pickup in turnover for Italy's fashion industry is forecast this year after it fell 15 percent last year to 56.5 billion euros ($76.77 billion) in 2009 as the crisis hit demand.

"Even though the economy is showing some signs of recovery ... it's important the designer thinks of ... the woman who can afford to buy the clothes going up and down the runway," Ken Downing, fashion director at Neiman Marcus, said.

"We're very pleased, it's all about newness and newness is paramount. Women are not buying something they already own."

Designers mixed leather, fur and wool on clothes and at times took inspiration from male wardrobes.

Known for his polished elegance, Armani presented square-shouldered jackets over short shirts that were reminiscent of the 1980s while sleeveless dresses were covered in tiger print or embroidery. He also put capes over dresses and toques with strips that lay like a fringe on models' heads.   Continued...

<p>A model displays a creation as part of Dolce&amp;Gabbana Fall/Winter 2010/11 women's collection during Milan Fashion Week February 28, 2010. REUTERS/Max Rossi</p>