By  on August 30, 2007

MILAN — Milan's compact fashion week calendar is shaping up to be more grueling than ever.

Although the schedule has not yet been finalized or confirmed, the city's shows, scheduled to run Sept. 22 to 29, will be squeezed into the four central days, from Monday to Thursday. Versace's decision to move its show from Friday to Thursday, Sept. 27, prompted a number of fashion houses to try and slot their presentations before Versace's, leaving only a small number of brands to close the week.

Byblos, Ermanno Scervino, Blugirl, Dsquared and Luisa Beccaria are now set to present their spring collections on Friday, Sept. 28.

"Italian designers are not aware of their strength," said Mario Boselli, head of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, in a phone interview. "They don't have the courage to stand up for their right to have a longer fashion week, conversely to their French neighbors."

Once again, Boselli lamented the fact that Italian fashion houses fear the international press will desert their shows if they are not strategically positioned. A spokeswoman for Versace said the company had no comment.

Giorgio Armani is set to kick off the week on Monday, Sept. 24. C'N'C Costume National, Krizia, D&G, Just Cavalli, Trussardi, Burberry Prorsum, Moschino Cheap & Chic, Gianfranco Ferré and Alessandro Dell'Acqua also are slated for that day.

For the first time, Ferré will hold a single show in an evening slot in a new location, the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, a museum and exhibition space in the new Via Tortona/Via Bergognone fashion district. While Giorgio and Emporio Armani, Prada, Marni, Gucci, Fendi, Jil Sander and Versace will continue to hold two shows, a Ferré spokesman attributed the decision to schedule a single show to a logistical need.

"We wanted to help streamline the calendar with a practical solution, but one show was not possible in our own headquarters," said the spokesman.

Rather than marking a break with the past, following the death of the founding designer last June, the Ferré spokesman underscored the continuity offered by the location. The spokesman said the Fondazione was "the best solution, in line with the prestige of the brand and its DNA, an extraordinary location in terms of its architecture, functional and elegant in a contemporary way."

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