Versace 'power woman' designs, Etro funky nomads in Milan

CaptionCloseMILAN (AP) — Gigi Hadid drew a crowd to Milan's Rinascente Department store where she was showing off Tommy Hilfiger's latest fall-winter collection.Hundreds of fans showed up, and she obliged some with the chance at a selfie. Hadid leads...

Versace 'power woman' designs, Etro funky nomads in Milan



MILAN (AP) — Gigi Hadid drew a crowd to Milan's Rinascente Department store where she was showing off Tommy Hilfiger's latest fall-winter collection.

Hundreds of fans showed up, and she obliged some with the chance at a selfie. Hadid leads the pack of "It" models headlining Milan Fashion Week, which was in its third day on Friday.

So far this week, Hadid has walked the runways for Max Mara and Moschino, where she was joined by her sister Bella and Kendall Jenner. Hadid had a little stumble on the Moschino runway when her shoe caught the hemline of a dress fashioned to look like it was recycled from a Persian carpet. With a few high steps, she recovered with aplomb.

Here are some highlights from Friday's shows, including Emporio Armani, Etro and Versace.



Donatella Versace has long promoted the power women through her uncompromising fashion. On Friday in Milan, she did it again.

Emblazoned on her creations for next fall were key words: Solidarity; Equality; Courage; Unity. The words were embroidered on sheer layers peeking out from under black wool skirts. On the sleeves of blouses. And most symbolically, on patches placed on knit hats that recall the caps worn at recent demonstrations by women across the United States. Versace's hats weren't pink and didn't have cat ears, but the sentiment was unmistakable.

The Versace woman for next season is unapologetically streetwise. She wears a hoodie under her down-to-business suit, refusing to compromise her knowledge, the very definition of equality.

"This is a collection about the power of women, and women who know how to use their power," Versace said in her notes.

Versace tapped into all aspects of a woman's life, from work to play to evening. There were suits for the work day, but always with a streetwear edge, such as a cropped sweater with an open blazer and cropped pants. There were sexy body-hugging dresses that can transition from day to night. And there were pretty floral dresses that had a vaguely battle-fatigue camouflage effect. Sheepskin jackets are fitted, to show the curves.

Versace said the collection "is a call for unity, and the strength that comes from positivity and hope."

Model Naomi Campbell and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton took in the show from the front row.



Marco de Vincenzo's latest collection was down-to-earth in a back-to-the-future way. That goes for both the color palate, which included a series of looks in a well-rubbed coppery sheen and leopard prints, and the back-to-basics nature of the collection, focusing on twists of the classic wardrobe.

De Vincenzo says he based the collection on "a woman who from the past who imagines the future."

"I didn't do this for nostalgia. I did it because I needed to take a step back and look at the past, to something familiar," he said.

The looks employed familiar forms, including blouses with pleated skirts, fur coats, pencil skirts with knitwear and strands of pearls. But everything was slightly off-kilter.

Ruffles and pleats gave geometry to the looks. De Vincenzo artfully combined horizontal pleats with more classic plisses for a modernist twist on familiar forms. Plaids and checks clashed both in pattern and color schemes, pinks and burgundy appearing alongside light blue and ochre.

Synthetic furs were printed with futuristic landscapes, covered with plastic fringe.

Footwear included crystal-covered booties, worn unzipped, and sneakers inside ballet flats.

Even since launching his own line, De Vincenzo has kept his day job as accessories designer for Fendi, and Silvia Venturini Fendi showed up backstage to wish him well.



Veronica Etro has created a collection for free-spirited women nostalgic for the Grateful Dead.

The designer said the eclectic looks of colliding patterns and exploding colors were inspired by long-ago trips to Mexico and India. She imagined creating them for her paisley tribe to wear at a high-altitude festival.

"It's a way of gathering, of coming together, all in a joyful way," Etro said backstage before the show. "I felt this thing of really showing colors, of being positive, energetic and full of optimism."

Honoring her free spirit, the Etro women takes on her trek both clothes to catch the wind — like light print dresses with long pleated skirts — and clothes to protect against it, namely patchwork puff jackets.

The overcoat defines the silhouette, long and regal. Beneath it, the festival-goer can wear short shorts, corduroy and shearling-mix pants that gather right at the top of a walking boot. For evening, there are ethnic beaded and mirrored mini-dresses to be worn with high patchwork boots.

The looks are personalized with patches of lotus flowers, dragons and even a yin-yang paisley.



The Emporio Armani show opened and closed on black and white, but the real statement of the season for designer Giorgio Armani's youthful line was color, including an unexpected appearance of wintertime pink.

There were bright pink crepe dresses with black blazers, pink tunics over slim pants, a furry pink vest over a matching wrap tunic and trouser and a pink evening dress with beaded fringe.

There were other bursts of color too. Some were seemingly spontaneous, like confetti at Carnival on navy blue prints, while others were more studious, architectural red accents on an otherwise simple black cocktail dress.

Armani has taken his cue from the models, who showed up to work in leggings, and incorporated the streetwear mainstay into his collection alongside his more typical slim trouser and cropped pleated pant. This is, after all, the line for young dresses. And for them, Armani played with transparent PVC tuxedo jackets or skirts over elegant trousers or tights.

While some designers are combining their womenswear and menswear lines, Armani deployed a few men to underline the continuity between the collections, including geometric print button-down shirts, pleated trousers and blazers that work for any gender.

Footwear was mostly flat, while cross-body bags incorporated a new O clasp, putting the accent on Emporio's final syllable.



Giorgio Armani has announced the end of two of his lines: the more casual Armani Jeans and Collezioni Armani, concentrating those concepts into his Emporio Armani line.

The 82-year-old designer expressed some regrets for the move but said it was a sign of the changing times. "This is not something done with a light heart after 35 years," Emporio told reporters backstage after the show.

The shift also includes a rethinking of his retail stores, the designer was quoted by the Italian news agency ANSA as saying.

"People want to enter a story and be entertained by what they see. They want a mix of things, to understand how much they can pursue leisure, also (be) reassured by an important name," ANSA quoted him as saying.


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