At Emporio Armani, they fit Giorgio Armani's passion for blue — an international colour that the designer says satisfies any appetite for ethnic looks. The Emporio collection, presented Thursday on the second day of Milan Fashion Week, included wide-legged denim with a shiny, cropped cuff, dressed up with short tailored jackets.
Karl Lagerfeld says women are increasingly asking for denim and he obliged with jodhpur-styled jeans for Fendi. And Gucci came out with mariner-front styles cropped at the calf.
Prada, however, stuck to demure-length hemlines and dresses with no pants and no denim.
Some highlights from Thursday's shows:
There were no kilts on the Milan runways, but Europe's pressing political question hung in the air.
"Scotland is Scottish," Giorgio Armani said when asked his view on Scotland's vote for independence from England.
Prada greeted guests with Rob Roys, a Scotch-based cocktail named for the Scottish hero Rob Roy MacGregor, but designer Miuccia Prada preferred to focus on the rich brocades she had commissioned for this season.
PRADA'S PURPLE FANTASY
Miuccia Prada deliberately tries to disguise the art and craftsmanship in her collections with raw seams and frayed hemlines.
For next summer's looks, Prada used brocade — a rich, textured fabric often embossed with gold or silver thread — which she designed from archive samples. Jazzing up the colours with flashes of green, orange and yellow, she commissioned the brocade from textile mills north of Milan.
Models paraded the looks around dunes of purple sand, casting simple silhouettes of well-fitted shift dresses, puffy skirts, tailored trenches and oversized overcoats with three-quarter sleeves. Hemlines finished demurely at the knees and there were no trousers.
"All the effort was not to do something that was decadent, but keep it meaningful," Prada said. "I didn't want it to be too beautiful."
ODE TO THE ORCHID
Georgia May Jagger, Mick's daughter, took a turn on the Fendi runway, sporting a dark blue mini-dress in an orchid print with a built-in asymmetrical cape that wrapped around one shoulder. The dress nicely encapsulated designer Karl Lagerfeld's architectural inspiration for the collection.
Large orchid motifs, evoking lightness and beauty, graced many of the Fendi pieces, appliqued onto leather jackets, embroidered into dresses, decorating handbags or tying back hair.
The looks, catering to the young with short-short skirts or long ankle-length hems, were finished with thick braided bracelets and accompanied by a new baguette bag.
The Emporio Armani colour for next season is blue, more specifically cornflower blue that runs from soothing to electrifying. For Giorgio Armani, blue trumps black in terms of versatility, grabbing the light and flattering the wearer.
"Blue has a different softness, it is less dictating," Armani said. "It's thinning."
Blue played against white and grey in bold striped pantsuits, cocktail dresses and blazers. But it turned positively electric for bodices on cocktail dresses, on shorts and in chunky jewelry made out of PVC materials.
Armani's credo is to make clothes for real women "not just those who fit the extreme trends."
Armani created wide trousers — acknowledging and not negating the female hip like some of his fellow designers — as well as close-fitting pants, cuffed above the ankle.
Dresses either hugged the curves with a neat wrap around the waist or fell loosely around the hips. Skirts had lots of leg room, allowing for easy strides.
WISPY LOOKS FOR WILLOWY WOMEN
Amy Adams sat front and centre for Max Mara's collection featuring light-weight fabrics that offering full summertime cover for fair-skinned redheads like the five-time Oscar-nominated actress.
There was an urban safari quality to the collection. The long Georgette dresses came in simplified floral patterns that appear to be an animal prints and which matched the knee-high boots. Safari jackets featured double elastic waistbands. And the looks were finished with floppy hats, good for sun or rain, and big sunglasses.
The colour palate ranged from neutral taupe and sand to eye-popping pink, sea-foam green and yellow.
FASHION ICON BARBIE
Barbie just got the fashion makeover she always dreamed of, courtesy of Moschino — a label that has no problem poking fun at the fashion world.
Jeremy Scott's collection had an over-the-top feel — which included a literal translation of over-the-top with a bikini sewn on top of a skirt suit. Predictably, there was a Barbie in all her incarnations: travel Barbie in a pink vinyl dress and a Moschino-emblazoned trolley, workout Barbie with a velour workout outfit with mini-dumbbells and a 1950s housewife Barbie in a quilted jump suit.
Fashion Barbie closed the show in a froth of pink and with a wiggle of her hips.
ROCK N ROLL MINIMALISM
Ennio Capasa took his Costume National collection back to its 1970s rock'n'roll roots.
For Capasa, that means looks that are "interesting to wear, not difficult, but in the same time with authenticity."
Rock'n' roll detailing included maxi fringes, one-shoulder tops with eyelet details and lace-up necklines.
While modesty has been the rule on most runways this season, Capasa wasn't shy about baring skin, either in a macrame mini-dress or a halter top with harem pants.
Paola Masera contributed to this report.