Colorful styles at Milan Fashion Week promise good vibes for next summer

By Daniela Petroff, AP
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Color conquers the Milan Fashion runway

MILAN — Italian designers are bursting out into color for the spring-summer 2011, relegating black to the bleachers where the fashion crowd sits in dreary unison.

After many seasons of basic black even for warm weather styles, the current fashion week of preview showings is alive with bright shades and bold prints. Many of the collections have a cheery floral inspiration.

“It’s time to leave space for more personal things,” Stefano Gabbana said ahead of the Dolce&Gabbana duos D&G show, dedicated to the multicolored world of the garden.

The colorful inspiration of the collections also speaks of a vacation mood, an escape from the humdrum city life and the gloom of an economic crisis, which hit the fashion world hard.

“Color cheers everybody up,” said fashion expert and columnist Mary Lou Luther.

Gucci hinted at the new trend at the week’s opening show Wednesday with a wide use of such bold colors as orange, purple and green. But when on Thursday, minimalist trend setter Miuccia Prada painted her collection in orange, violet, green and royal blue and decorated her styles with bold stripes, and whimsical patterns such as bananas, monkeys and cherubs, it was clear the designers meant business.

The collection became decidedly frivolous when a thick frill was added to the bottom of the season’s to-the-knee tight skirt, providing a swirl of soft motion. The motion didn’t stop there: horizontal stripped dresses were paired with vertigo-inducing striped sombreros slung over the neck.

On the whole the message was out of town, perhaps as far as the Caribbean, with carefree, loose styles fashioned in uncomplicated cotton.

Other items on the vacation list: a wedged summer sneaker high enough to give a basketball advantage and bold furry wraps in black and white stripes on a colorful background.

Earlier Thursday Fendi opted for color in a sophisticated collection that combined casual and couture and centered around that fashion favorite, the shirtwaist.

Colorful floral and geometric prints show up throughout the collection, and color is freely used for detailing on footwear and handbags. The favorite new print is the “cappuccino,” which resembles coffee stains on a tablecloth.

Color at the D&G garden was everywhere, from the floral printed invitations to the flower lined runway to the cheerful prints of the summer frocks. Even rubber boots with wedged heels and gardening smocks were bursting with floral delight.

The D&G show was accompanied by the twittering of birds and “Wonderful Life,” the latest hit by the British band “Hurts.”

At this round of Italian fashion, at least the designers are in a good mood. Fashion crowd, take the hint.

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