MILAN: IT’S A WRAP
DOMENICO DOLCE AND STEFANO GABBANA DID FRESH YOUNG CLUB LOOKS FOR D&G; ALBERTA FERRETTI HAD AN ARTSY DIMENSION, AND CONSUELO CASTIGLIONI VISITED TIBET FOR MARNI, AS THE ITALIAN COLLECTIONS DREW TO A CLOSE.

ALBERTA FERRETTI: Art and commerce? Many designers in Milan are pushing the union of the two this season by lacing their collections with artsy effects. Most often, these are rooted in Japanese or homespun motifs. In the collection she showed on Monday, Alberta Ferretti did both, without straying from the urban romanticism that is at the core of her work.
The result was a graceful update of the sheer, diaphanous attitude Ferretti loves, although it would have looked fresher still without all the bare breasts. There were oddly graceful seamings, raw edges, off-kilter necklines and hems. Ferretti put delicate little tie-back pants over pants and skirts, frayed the edges of jackets and skirts, and pressed silver branches onto silk dresses. And for those ladies not quite ready to indulge their artsy sides, Ferretti also showed more structured coats and suits in timely stiff silks.
D&G: It’s hit number two for the boys, who showed their popular secondary line in informal presentations on Thursday. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana put a fresh young spin on themes from their main collection, giving club kids and nightcrawlers plenty of new goodies. Here, religious Madonna images were printed on graffiti-patterned stretch dresses, and crocheted housedresses looked just like a Sicilian mama’s housecoat, over sexy slips in acid colors. The designers also collaborated with neo-pop artist Andrea Martini for wonderful embroidered sequined T-shirts and dresses that had a one-of-a-kind look but will probably sell millions. And since this is a head-to-toe operation, the D&G gal will have some cool marabou flip-flops and rose-covered stilettos to keep her dancing ’til dawn.
MOSCHINO: There’s a lot to be said for going your own way — as long as you don’t get lost. No single designer is ultimately responsible for the look of this house; instead, a large team reports to creative director Rossella Jardini. This season, design by committee just didn’t work. There was a little of this and a little of that: flowing silk shirtdresses and tough chic leathers, flamenco gowns and an all-over sequined jogging suit. It was all delivered with an unrelenting flashiness that grew both tiresome and vulgar. In the midst of everything, one could extract some attractive suits, and there were the traditional touches of humor such as a tuxedo jacket and skirt emblazoned in back with a “No smoking jacket” insignia. But humor is just not an antidote to a weak collection.
MARNI: This Italian furrier has made the leap to creating a full collection of fabulous sportswear mixed with perfectly cut leathers and suedes. For spring, designer Consuelo Castiglioni headed for Tibet via Morocco. She teamed gauzy peasant shirts and ruffled skirts with paper-thin suede jackets and unlined leather coats. While there was plenty of color, it wasn’t quite the eye-blinding neon showing up elsewhere in Milan. Instead, she opted for washed brights, using them to punch up everything from drawstring pajama pants to blanket coats and hopsack jackets frayed at the edges.
MARINA SPADAFORA: This designer has moved far beyond the knits that had always been the backbone of her collections. And Spadafora is also exploring new territory for distributing her line. Saks Fifth Avenue picked it up last season, and for spring, it was bought by Koty, a Moscow boutique that carries such collections as Versace and Ferre. What’s attracting these retailers are the uniquely patterned and textured knitwear she turns out in her state-of-the-art factory in northern Italy. This season, Spadafora favors airy, open knits, shaping them into hot little minidresses, tank tops over pants and cardigans tossed over clam-diggers. She’s also added lots of sporty pieces in crisp cottons and linen. The best are the easy jackets worn with drawstring pants that are all over Milan.

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