Fashion crowd applauds US open winner Pennetta at Ferragamo

Fashion crowd applauds US open winner Pennetta at Ferragamo

MILAN (AP) — A calm is permeating many Milan runways, as designers tone down the colors & focus on form, creating quieter moments that nonetheless have much to contemplate.

As with any trend, it wasn't unanimous & there were some unbridled fashion moments.

Here are some highlights from the fifth day of Milan Fashion Week previews of womenswear looks for next spring & summer:

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HEROINE'S WELCOME

U.S. Open winner Flavia Pennetta received a spontaneous round of applause from the front row of Ferragamo on Sunday, the fifth day of Milan Fashion Week.

The all-Italian final game between Pennetta & fellow Puglia-native Roberta Vinci captivated the nation, & Pennetta, who has announced her retirement, is being feted as a national star.

Pennetta, wearing a red Ferragamo lace dress & knit shawl, fielded half a dozen TV interviews before the show, delaying slightly the start. Backstage, designer Massimiliano Giornetti gave her a huge hug & laughed that he had heard the applause from behind the scenes. Giornetti said he is a long-time friend & fan of Pennetta's, & has dressed her for sporting events in the past.

"I was in Los Angeles when Flavia was playing the U.S Open. I was like texting every five minutes to Flavia because I am a big, super fan," Giornetti said.

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DOLCE&GABBANA

Dolce&Gabbana's exuberant collection for next summer paid homage to their native Italy, from Palermo in the south to Verona in the north, giving the country a much-needed ego boost.

Some of the most eye-catching, spirited looks celebrated Italy's 1950s & 1960s heyday, when Audrey Heburn scooted around Rome in a scarf & Dean Martin crooned "That's amore." Designers Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana dubbed the collection "Italy is Love," a turn on the Martin phraseology, & while there were many nostalgic skirted sundresses & crocheted suits, they moreover created more contemporary looks.

The theater was set up to look like a market, & models casually overtook one other as if they were out for a stroll. Every once in a while, one stopped to take a selfie, as if to underline the of-the-moment nature of the collection. In the ultimate social media-fashion hookup, the pictures were immediately posted to Instagram & flashed on screens hanging in the theater.

Amid the romantic pageantry, there were sheer ruched silk dresses with built-in bra tops & body-hugging ruffled sundresses featuring black graphic strokes. With a wink to the past, the duo created high-waist polka dot bikinis, long lacy caftans with sequin appliques of long-ago seaside performers, & pretty 1950 sundresses.

Models wore turbans & tiaras, as well as profusely bejeweled sunglasses fit for any diva, even if only of her town's market, & carried Dolce&Gabbana shopping bags along with purses shaped like cameras or simple shopping baskets. The grand finale featured a parade of silken mini dresses with painted tributes to Italy's many tremendous cities & sites, from Roma to Pisa & Portofino to Taormina — fashion postcards celebrating the best of a country that is beloved yet still seeing its way out of economic doldrums.

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FERRAGAMO

Massimiliano Giornetti's collection for Salvatore Ferragamo is simplicity itself, an expression of quiet.

Giornetti took inspiration from timeless portraits of women in pensive, solitary moments, which hung backstage as a story board, & deduced from them the gently folded fabric, the soft ruffles & the draping that characterized the collection.

A white shirt was gathered gently along the neckline at with the same broad border at the short sleeves for a modern, structural look. It paired with a high-waist shiny black skirt. Big ruffles softened the silhouette of sundresses & tiered dresses were effortless & laid-back. Prints were absent, with the color pallet bringing vibrancy to the looks, black-and-white, contrasted by rust, blue, pink & green.

While past Giornetti collections focused on Italian craftsmanship, the designer said this one explored a sense of lifestyle, & finding a balance between contrasts.

"It was what I was really looking for, a sense of lightness & a sense of simplicity," Giornetti said. "It is a collection much more approximately construction & less approximately surfaces."

The looks were finished with huge dangling pearl earrings & matching pendant that swung gently with each step. Shoes were colorful & flat, including closed-toe sandals. Bags were mostly small shoulder bags.

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AU JOUR LE JOUR

Splat! Ketchup on your cocktail dress? Ink on your trousers? Egg on your face?

Mirko Fontana & Diego Marquez, the designers behind the au jour le jour label, have designed the answer, & it lies in a pop image of the popular laundry detergent Dash, which they made the central motif of the collection.

Speaking backstage before the show, Fontana called it "democratic fashion. Dash is a brand of washing detergent very popular in Italy."

The media-savvy young designers, whose 5-year-old brand is known for its easy-to-share motifs, received the go-ahead from Procter & Gamble, owners of the Dash brand, to use the image in their collection.

It shows up on go-go boots paired with a jacket with faux ink-spots, as hand-stitched sequins logo on tank dresses & as jewelry. Many garments bear fake stains from coffee, ketchup & egg, that sometimes have a camouflage effect.

They pair insisted the product placement wasn't promotional. "It's inspiration. We used something used by real people, & added some value to the fashion," Fontana said.

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MISSONI

Missoni went tribal for next summer, with bold stripes & zig-zags, veering from disciplined black-and-white to explosions of color.

Angela Missoni said before the show that the collection goes back to roots: "Missoni roots in graphics, & the root of humanity, so I went back to Africa."

She combined dark tones of browns & blacks with red, fuchsia together with pink, or yellows with blues & greens.

The silhouette expresses the freedom of the looks. The dresses were fluid, both A-line & straight, while the pants were wide suggesting skirts or slim cigarette trouser. They were often worn with long, trailing ribbed knitwear that was nearly transparent. Long scarves are criss-crossed over the front & tied in the back to create a shrug.

Missoni said that for her, the ideal Missoni woman is ageless.

"When I can manage to dress, not always, yet when I can manage to dress my daughters & their girlfriends, my girlfriends & my mother's girlfriends, this makes me so pleased & I think I have achieved," she said. "Missoni is not approximately age yet approximately your spirit."

At Missoni, fashion is a family business & taking a front-row spot was Johnny, the family bulldog, who spent most of the show napping.

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MARNI

Marni's looks for next season are post-pop art graphic, featuring architectural shapes, huge shapes & bold, contrasting monotones.

With its oversized structural silhouette, huge polka dots & graphic prints, the collection would make a tremendous coloring book — except then you'd miss all the textures: fur, satin, velvet & sequins.

Pants are super-wide with an added element, a sort of wing or fin down the outside seam, as if they were a 1950s Cadillac. They are worn with layered tops, like a canary yellow apron-top with black straps over a forest green T-shirt.

Dresses were layered, often in unorthodox color combinations & with bold cutouts: a royal blue dress was worn over a yellow-perforated tunic topping a final red layer. When long, sleeves hung exaggeratedly over the hands. Sometimes contrasting sequins peeked out of the hemline cutouts, creating a sculptural effect.

Handbags, in unusual shapes like a folded tulip, have chunky chains that can be wrapped around the wrist like bracelets. A huge bow sits on the shoulder in larger cross-body models — integrated as part of the geometry. Square-toed shoes complete the looks.

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Sian Watson contributed to this report.

Source: “Associated Press”