In Milan, Dolce & Gabbana stress craftsmanship

MILAN, Gina Doggett - Fashion is hard work, top Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana reminded punters on Sunday, illustrating their show at Milan Fashion Week with video of frenetic scenes behind their creations.
Giant screens above the catwalk showed closeups of atelier scenes, designers sketching, a cloth draped over a mannequin, all to the accompaniment of violin music.

A model displays a creation as part of the Dolce & Gabbana Fall-Winter 2010-2011 ready-to-wear collection during the Women's fashion week in Milan (AFP/Filippo Monteforte)
A model displays a creation as part of the Dolce & Gabbana Fall-Winter 2010-2011 ready-to-wear collection during the Women's fashion week in Milan (AFP/Filippo Monteforte)
The show was heavy on black, with lots of lingerie, on the penultimate day of a truncated fall/winter 2010-11 ready-to-wear season.
Above, the screens showed scenes of paparazzi snapping celebrities and the commotion outside fashion show venues.
The first model set the tone with a black short double-breasted jacket over a satin panty, followed quickly by another jacket paired with a bermuda short.
Another had lace peeking out from the hem.
All was black, until touches of colour arrived in the form of red, green and ruby velvet, as well as red and yellow satin gowns with bustiers covered in black lace.
A capricious end to the show saw all the models return to the catwalk wearing nothing but black jackets of varying lengths over their long, bare legs.
In another mise-en-scene Sunday, Roberto Cavalli's models strode out under chandeliers and an arched gallery with patchily painted walls in the background.
Before the show, paparazzi piled around the chief front-row draw, Elisabetta Canalis -- Cavalli's lingerie model and the girlfriend of Hollywood star George Clooney.
Cavalli, speaking to a couple of reporters ahead of the show looking relaxed and tanned in a jean shirt under a black suit, said the collection was meant to be "sexy and shy at the same time".
Harem pants and belly-dancer skirts put paid to the idea of shy, however, in a collection that exuded confidence.
Salvatore Ferragamo meanwhile sent out classic cuts conceived as "dynamic yet quietly elegant".
Fedora hats leant an air of cool sophistication to the collection of tweed, tans and faux leopard, punctuated here and there by a satin blouse with floppy bowtie or sensual silk coloured dark brown.
For evening, Ferragamo proposed a gold and black halter tunic over swishy black trousers.
Marco de Vincenzo sent a chill down the catwalk with a palette of greys, browns and olive drabs, painting a bleak winter landscape in combinations cinched tight at the waist with broad leather belts.
Lips painted a nearly black red lowered the temperature even further for an asexual collection with hemlines at every possible height.
A few knits softened the effect, notably a dress with a built-in cardigan swelling the back.
Top designers squeezed their shows into four days this season after it emerged that Anna Wintour, editor of the American Vogue magazine, would be cutting short her stay.
Wintour, the inspiration for the book and subsequent film starring Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada", is regarded by many as the most influential person in the industry.
Monday's shows will not include any big names.
The event attracted several thousand buyers from around 40 countries, as well as some 2,000 journalists.

Monday, March 1st 2010
Gina Doggett

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