DECORATION DAY

Ferragamo: The Ferragamos decided to forgo a runway show this season, opting instead for a series of informal presentations. “We liked the idea of showing our clothes in a more relaxed atmosphere, and wanted the opportunity to personally talk with everyone,” said Giovanna Ferragamo. “It’s more us.”
And indeed, it was a civilized way to see this collection, which, as always, concentrated on luxury sportswear, great knits and just the right sprinkling of trends. For spring, that means lots of textured knits, clean-lined sporty pieces, interesting plays of fabric — fluid, gauzy wool pants paired with tweedy silk knits and a silver leather jacket, for instance.
While much of the collection was based on white, black and neutral tones, there was also the color jolt of hot pink and orange. Among the standouts: a bright orange quilted leather jacket; a group of lacy black dresses and long skirts appliqued with big colorful flowers; shrunken cardigans in cabled knits, and the sleekly simple bare dress with thin leather straps that’s already turned out to be the bestseller in the collection.
Anna Molinari: Seventies! Here we go again, at least, according to Rossella Tarabini, who showed her take on the decade for spring. Taking references from Yves Saint Laurent — a major runway trend again — Tarabini’s show was packed full of those familiar ideas: off-the-shoulder peasant blouses in cheeky prints, sexy silk satin shirts tucked nonchalantly into wide-legged trousers, Madame X trenchcoats and a blinding finale of fuchsia sequins. At times, the ideas worked, especially when they had that Molinari flair, as in the floaty chiffon halters and skirts or the sexy bikinis. But there were times when inspiration went awry. Case in point: A ruffled nude chiffon pantsuit with big Pierrot dots that would be perfect for Bozo.
Cividini: While some designers are moving to simpler clothes for spring, others are still pushing the envelope for lots of embellishment. Cividini seems to be straddling those two moods this season with a collection that plays up clean shapes touched with lots of artsy details. Tiny ruffles edge the hems of snug tops or jackets; lean skirts are traced with stitching; sheer dresses are done up with appliqued roses, and there are fanciful bras and tank tops made of feathers. Knits always take center stage here, and they get the decorative treatment as well with ruching and embroidery, while simpler bare tops are painted in the colors of the sea.
Rebecca Moses: Rebecca Moses gets a kick out of conceiving her lively, thematic presentations staged in her Milan showroom. And this season, she tackled the fashion pack’s favorite question: “What’s hot?” “People are always asking who the hottest stylist is or what the hottest club is,” she said. “We live in an age when we all want what’s hot.”
But for her presentation, Moses changed the concept to “feeling hot.” She took her collection and the audience off on an imaginary weekend in St. Tropez and managed to pack her travel bag with lots of goodies: featherlight cashmere skirts in colorful super-wide stripes, paired with silk taffeta shirts; ruffle-neck baby blue jackets with tan pants, both in butter-soft chamois; sexy silver bikinis, and ribbed cashmere tops with built-in chiffon bras that are sure to be one answer to “What’s hot?”
Exte: Power dressing goes sexy at Exte. This in-house collection of the manufacturing powerhouse Ittierre promotes the idea that women don’t have to dress like men to throw their weight around. That’s not to say that they’ve shunned tailored looks. In fact, there were more jackets and coats on this runway than anywhere else in Milan. But there wasn’t a banker’s pinstripe in sight. Instead, sleek pantsuits and sweeping coats were tossed over silk blouses with plunging necklines, strapless tops or simply over bare skin.
And the mood carried over into evening with midcalf strapless dresses, ruffle-hem halters over long, lean skirts, and trumpet-sleeve blouses worn with low-slung pants.

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