By  on September 9, 2005

MILAN — The pressure apparently worked.

After a strong campaign led by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour for a shorter Milan Fashion Week, Mario Boselli, head of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, threw in the towel and on Thursday issued a five-day show calendar. The downside is that it's one of the most tightly packed seasons in years, with some shows a mere 30 minutes apart.

There will be 69 shows in Milan this season, stretching from Sept. 26-30.

"I'm thrilled," Wintour said Thursday of the shorter season.

But Boselli made it clear he wasn't pleased. For the first time, the chamber also put out a letter together with the calendar, pointing out that some fashion houses chose to show half an hour apart and lamenting their "unconditional will ... to be positioned in those [central] days of the week," and their "limited flexibility."

In a phone interview, Boselli declined to comment on whether Italian designers were heavily influenced by Wintour and Italian Vogue editor in chief Franca Sozzani, who, as reported earlier this year, have been asking for a shorter calendar in an effort to save time and money.

"I don't even want to know whether there was this kind of pressure," said Boselli. "What I resent is the behavior of our associates and their limited sense of responsibility.

"We as an association try to be arbiters, but if top designers unyieldingly pick the day and the time, we can only take note of that," he added, saying these choices will penalize the fashion houses and the Italian fashion system at a delicate moment, given economic pressures.

The week kicks off on Monday, Sept. 26, with the Emporio Armani show, followed by Salvatore Ferragamo, Pollini by Rifat Ozbek, Borbonese and Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti. Pucci, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada will show on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Missoni starts the day, followed by Trend Les Copains, Jil Sander and Bottega Veneta scheduled from 11:30 to 12:30 and distanced half an hour apart, just as are Anna Molinari and Burberry Prorsum that evening. Giorgio Armani and Gucci also will be showing on Wednesday — a first for such powerhouses to be appearing on the same day. On Thursday, Fendi will be at 4 p.m., followed by Menichetti at 4:30 p.m., Daks at 5 p.m., Alessandro Dell'Acqua at 5:30 p.m. and Moschino Cheap & Chic at 6 p.m. Dolce & Gabbana also shows on Thursday and Versace closes the day with two shows, at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., to be held at the city's Bourse building. Roberto Cavalli, Gianfranco Ferré and Miu Miu basically wrap up the week on Friday. Armani, Versace, Prada, Ferré and Miu Miu are the only houses holding two shows."The days will be longer, as fashion houses will surely wait for one another, as they always have," said one fashion insider. "That said, I think the press will eventually have to make choices."

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