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There are many different images of women, from supersexy sirens to romantic heroines, and a variety of them are turning up on the runways for spring.

This story first appeared in the October 3, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Alessandro Dell’Acqua: He’s no stranger to the boudoir as the creative mind guiding La Perla, so it’s hardly a surprise that Alessandro Dell’Acqua served up some hypersexed looks for his signature line, as well. Drawing inspiration from Marilyn Monroe and Anna Magnani, Dell’Acqua showed a series of steamy bustier gowns done in his trademark chiffon-and-lace combos. He layered black lace and mesh over nude silks or coated chiffon with lacquer for a vamp effect. The bustier silhouette, however, grew as wearying as wearing one. Gimmicky detailing, such as a Plexiglas belt buckle shaped like a pair of lips — bogged down an already perplexing collection.

Still, Dell’Acqua proved that he is capable of toning it down, something he should have done more often. He doesn’t need to coat a woman in crystals when a well-cut, lace-overlay skirt and well-tailored shirt would complement a woman’s curves just as well, if not better.

Sportmax: For spring, Sportmax filled its runway with a bevy of fresh-faced Lolitas all dolled up in pretty blush colors and lean graphic shapes. The design team shunned florals in favor of stripes in all forms — horizontal, vertical, awning-wide or pencil-thin — for maillots, pristine skirts, Bermuda shorts and nymphet-esque cocktail frocks. There were also pristine white cotton flared camisoles and wide-legged pants that would be smooth sailing heading to Capri.

Luisa Beccaria: It can be said that every woman, no matter how strong, sophisticated or independent, allows the occasional pastel-colored romantic daydream to infiltrate her otherwise-grounded world. For those moments, Luisa Beccaria’s tender spring collection offered the perfect accompanying wardrobe, with nostalgic sweetheart tulle gowns dusted in glitter, delicate lace skirts set over pale lilac cotton and white eyelet shirts with ivory ribbon details. All decidedly feminine, but not necessarily girly. Beccaria’s Wedgwood floral-print shirtdresses and tiered ribbon-and-tulle circle skirts are just right for her daydreaming fans as they linger over a leisurely Sunday afternoon tea.

Piazza Sempione: Things are softening up at Piazza Sempione. Tiny jackets are paired with crinkled cotton shirts and high-waist pants and a classic trenchcoat is belted high over a fluid dress. Pretty details add dimension to the simple shapes, from basic pleating and ruching, to the use of grosgrain to accent a shift dress. While there was a selection of Rothko-inspired florals and rich colors, the strongest group were the navy pieces, some in pretty polkadots, others, seemingly simple but with a decorative touch of white in the pleating that is sure to keep the Piazza fans shopping this spring.

Trussardi: What always stands out at Trussardi is the leatherwear and handbags. For spring, Beatrice Trussardi squeezed her models into superslim, leather-trimmed cotton coatdresses, and open-backed jackets worn with fluid skirts. Among the best accessories were retro chain-strapped bags, rigid-frame crocodile concoctions and canvas styles bordered with colored leather and splattered with the T logo. The collection lost its focus, however, by drifting into a Prada moment with pleated print skirts and ombréd silk dresses.

Iceberg: Paolo Gerani, Iceberg’s creative director, let loose with heaps of cotton eyelet and tissue-thin silks in his spring collection. But this was no ingenue outing. Rather, think prairie girls vacationing at the beach and hitting the disco clubs. Gerani paired HotPants, clamdiggers and roomy shorts with bikini bras, see-through tops and ruffled prairie blouses, and completed the look with colored croc platforms.

That playful edge lost its simmer, however, with a group of ruffled handkerchief dresses in firework brights, which, though pretty, were certainly not new.

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