Milan fashion has jungle beat

Top designers appealed to animal instincts at Milan Fashion Week on Saturday, using motifs from the wild wrapped in leather and fur for their autumn-winter collections.
Gucci's skintight black leather pants drew the eye to giraffe-like legs extended further by spike heels.
A zebra effect alternated suede and patent leather patches on the thigh, while other leggings were of lycra, creating a sensual look bordering on fetishism.

Milan fashion has jungle beat
Gucci designer Frida Giannini tamed the eroticism of a short black patent-leather raincoat with more demure tops, such as spotted crepe de chine tunics with kimono sleeves in fuchsia, violet and metallic blue.
She also has fun with furs, using blue fox for a jogging outfit and black astrakhan speckled with silver for a jacket.
Moschino meanwhile had a thing for houndstooth, writ large or small, in coats swelling wide at the hips, baggy high-waisted trousers and even tights.
There was also lots of black, punctuated with a scarlet raincoat, vermillion rose motifs and a flamboyant red bow at the neck.
Nail polish matched, or forearms sported two-tone gloves in tan and black up to the elbow.
Bottega Veneta's Tomas Maier rolled out his dresses-only collection over bare legs, accentuating the sensuality of his styles and materials all the more.
He cut a bustier dress from chocolate brown leather, another in chestnut is split in the back, a third is done in silk cloque.
The lines are uncluttered in his minimalist couture, the edges sharp, while the colours are soft and powdery, here and there contrasting with stronger shades of grape or lilac.
Evening gowns are more sophisticated, sweeping to the floor in elegant soft pleats, slinky in empire or Greek goddess styles.
Anna Molinari of Blumarine outdid herself with the colours -- shocking pink, yellow, lime green and light blue -- setting the scene by using them in a Warhol image of herself as the show's backdrop.
They came in solid tones, one over the other -- a pink coat over a yellow or blue shift -- all adorned with look-at-me crystal bangles and necklaces.
Or the psychedelic colours were thrown together in leopardskin prints on sassy leggings and frocks.
Those and the Sharon Stone-style shifts under thigh-length coats aroused basic instincts that extended to evening wear with Wilma Flintstone rag skirts fashioned out of midnight blue chiffon silk.
Krizia offered up a stark pallette of black, white, red and grey that nevertheless had lots of room for manoeuvre, with thin white stripes going both ways on ample black wraps, a ruby red velvet shirt dress, and shimmering high-waisted black trousers.
Furry wrist-to-elbow muffs, sometimes with gloves, caught the eye, while the hair done in faux mohawks added a hint of punk to an otherwise elegant silhouette.

Tuesday, March 3rd 2009
Gina Doggett

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