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Girly Girls, Tailored Gals and Hippie Chicks

There were fun, feminine looks at Moschino, tailored leathers at Bally and haute bohemian styles at Trussardi, while Borbonese was all about gold.<br><br><br><br>Moschino and Cheap & Chic: If laughter is the best medicine, then the house of Moschino...

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There were fun, feminine looks at Moschino, tailored leathers at Bally and haute bohemian styles at Trussardi, while Borbonese was all about gold.

This story first appeared in the October 2, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Moschino and Cheap & Chic: If laughter is the best medicine, then the house of Moschino has to be the best clinic in town. Never short of a joke, this company has always been a purveyor of fun fashion, infused with just the right amount of kitsch. In the past, the house has sent out everything from Spanish senoritas in newspaper flamenco dresses to the Wizard of Oz and pirate gear. But for spring, the joke was in the unexpected. There were no giant hats, no elf shoes, no camp. Instead, the presentation demonstrated the house’s unique — strange and twisted — sense of humor. The show opened with the models walking backward and closed with a finale of girls falling on top of each other, domino-style. Weird, yes — but that’s showbiz chez Moschino.

The real gems were sandwiched in between: a terrific lineup of soft, sexy looks, perfect for girly-girl dressing. Cute, swirly candy-colored prints showed up in breezy chiffon dresses, silk slips and Fifties camp shirts. When these were topped with adorable jackets and skirts in a “baby” print, the cuteness quotient went up a notch. But if sweet doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s always the rebel. And Moschino’s rebellious girl wore black, black and more black, often adorned with junkyard jewels, which were good finds. There was the requisite party dress — short, snappy and tiered with zippers — as well as loose blousons, pointelle knits and pleated skirts.

The cute factor also took over at Cheap & Chic. The models hit the floral-printed runway, decked out in flirty pieces with their hair done up in ringlets and colored ribbons. A patchwork of printed silks was crafted into little dresses with smocked waistbands, while poufy tiers put the bounce into short cotton skirts, and tissue-thin silk blouses with trumpet sleeves were paired with striped bootleg pants. Served up in a tempting palette of delicate sherbet tones, the collection was a delightful relief from the brash sex message that’s sweeping Milan.

Bally: Leather has taken a back seat on the Milanese runways this season, but Scott Fellows knew better than to go along with that idea. He does, after all, design for a high-end leather goods firm. So he worked with an array of skins, from napa and suede to crocodile and python, which he fashioned into dapper, structured jackets, mini-bombers and belted coats. To balance the razor-sharp tailoring, Fellows paired his leather pieces with silk chiffon peasant blouses or Grecian-style tops over flared skirts and skinny pants, all in rich jewel tones.

Trussardi: Pick a theme and run with it — that’s the motto for Francesco and Beatrice Trussardi, the brother-and-sister design team behind this label. And this season it isn’t the sexy divas or fairy-tale pixies that are romping all over town, but chic hippies. Right down to the last embroidered platform slide, the Trussardis didn’t budge from their vision of flower power chicks venturing into Native American territory. Suede, always embroidered or beaded in cheerful sunny shades, took center stage as it shaped up in the form of knee-length tunic dresses, low slung bell bottoms, tank tops, shorts and a plethora of slouchy shoulder bags or structured styles. Beyond suede, there were loosely crocheted sweaters, cotton drill bottoms, often paired with abstract floral tops. Woodstock lives.

Borbonese: All that glitters is gold — even if it’s leather or silk. Alessandro Dell’Acqua, the creative director at this accessories house, brought the Midas touch to his runway with enough gold reptile skins — in zip-front vests, trench coats and tapered pants — to satisfy the gold-diggers of the world. But Dell’Acqua didn’t stop there. He mined some slinky satins with a metallic sheen for camisoles knotted at the back, itty-bitty minis and draped dresses. And why not go for the gold accessories too with fringed leather shoulders bags and high-heeled strappy sandals.

It was all tempered by suede, printed with the company’s signature bird’s-eye print, which cropped up in everything from skimpy bikinis to roomy trench coats, and by a group of black leather biker jackets and zipped minis. But Dell’Acqua’s real message was: Go with the glow.

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