All that glitters: Milan fashion designers put faith in gold

MILAN fashion designers are investing heavily in gold, no matter what the stock market is doing.

Gold lame, gold sequins, gold embroidery and gold baubles figured prominently in styles for next spring and summer that were presented in Milan over the last week.

Perhaps it is not coincidental that the era most frequently evoked during Milan fashion week was the Roaring ‘20s, seen through its sequined and beaded drop-waisted flapper dresses. The carefree, fun decade ended with the devastating 1929 stock market crash.

Styles on the Milan runways were decidedly mature, not girlish. There were proper leather handbags with handles or smart clutches.

The sandal has returned in heels or platforms. Often gilded, the sandals proved challenging to some models who stumbled on the runway, as well as to fashionistas attending the shows, who quickly adapt to even the mere whiff of a trend.

Next summer marks the return of the pleated skirt, often with demure, knee-length hemlines. Soft cuts were set off nicely by lace, satin and chiffon fabrics — sometimes paired with heavier textures like leather and wool.

Designers didn’t forego sexy looks. While keeping the skirt lengths long, they allowed women to show off their legs with deep slits or sheer fabrics. Necklines plunged, shoulders were bared and backs dipped low.

“A pearl of a lady” is how designer Giorgio Armani defined his 2012 summer woman. The ultra-feminine collection is created out of fabrics that have the iridescence of a pearl and the lightness of a feather.

Departing from the dress and skirt look of most designers in Milan, Armani favours wafer-thin trousers delicately slit in the front. He pairs them with a jacket, cut on the bias and devoid of collar and buttons, or allows them to peep out from under a skirt or dress.

Dress hemlines range from knee to ankle, and are cut from ultra light-fabrics that caress rather than hug the body.

Donatella Versace showed her second line Versus collection in the courtyard of the Versace palazzo in downtown Milan late on Sunday.

The summer Versus girl, as viewed by Scottish designer Christopher Kane is athletic and sexy.

Just about anything goes in yesterday’s easy-to-wear line.

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