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MILAN — Pre-season collections just keep gaining momentum. That much was clear as the first previews of the fall women’s fashion season sashayed down the runways during the fall men’s wear shows at Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Emporio Armani, D&G, Roberto Cavalli and Neil Barrett. While the handful of styles are far from the most dramatic the houses will offer, they set the pace for the upcoming season.

This story first appeared in the January 15, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

There were a range of looks: boardroom stripes in the form of Eighties-inspired power styles, nubby tweed cardigan jackets, sweaters with animal motifs, furs and frothy silk chiffons. Donatella Versace, for example, sexed up her Versace career girl in a pinstripe pantsuit cut very close to the body and worn with a steamy bustier. For evening, she showed slinky, neon-bright satin dresses peeking out from under lush furs.

At Dolce & Gabbana, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce played with T-shirts and knits with wolf- or tiger-head patterns, which they teamed with tweed pencil skirts and roomy cardigans. At D&G, long cardigans were tossed over wispy prairie-floral dresses.

Meanwhile, Giorgio Armani took the feminine route for Emporio Armani with mermaid skirts, impeccably tailored jackets, skinny pants and tiered silk skirts in steel gray and river blue.

Roberto Cavalli, for his part, showed a 10-piece capsule collection that will be sold in his stores in July. The designer’s signature razzle-dazzle elements were epitomized by the embroidered, fur-lined silk jacket worn with a bias-cut silk microdress. If head-to-toe froufrou isn’t your cup of tea, however, then the answer is Neil Barrett’s precision-cut leather jackets shown over baby-doll tops or crisp white blouses, worn with desert boots.