by Daniela Petroff

MILAN (AP)—When times get tough, designers know better than to dictate. This is why the spring/summer 2010 is a season of options.

Although the overall look is shorter than in recent seasons, there is still a lot of room for choice. Trousers can be tight or loose, skirts can be skinny or bubbled, jackets can be long or cropped, colors can be bland or bright, styles can be sweet, sporty or sexy.

ItalyFashion LEFT: GUCCI COLLECTION—A model wears a creation that was part of Gucci women’s Spring/Summer 2010 fashion collection, presented in Milan, Italy, Sept. 26. RIGHT: MAX MARA COLLECTION—A model wears a creation, part of Max Mara women’s Spring/Summer 2010 fashion collection, presented in Milan, Italy, Sept. 26.

On Sept. 26, Roberto Cavalli epitomized these options by wrapping his signature sexy style in demurely printed aprons, which covered all his “sins” from super tight trousers to plunging necklines. The result was a new found romanticism underlined by the models who sported demure single-braided hairstyles and by the oriental tea house set up on the runway.

Giorgio Armani, for his second line Emporio collection, opted to combat the current economic gloom with a playful collection featuring bikinis and swimsuits, a summer must which many designers showing their wares during the current fashion week seem to have forgotten about.

Armani’s beach wear is decorated with brightly colored plastic discs which give the suits a dressed up look.

Other fun summer options in the collection include round sunglasses and multiple fabric threaded necklaces.

Straying from his traditional somber palette of beige and urban gray, Armani offers a range of colors as bright as a box of crayons, for extra summer cheer.

September 26 got off to a classy start with Bottega Veneta’s “top drawer” dresses in straw-colored cotton, and closed with Gucci’s 2010 sexy version of the little black dress.


The Bottega Veneta collection is pure chic.

Each outfit looks effortless and just perfect for the occasion, from garden party to beach club to gala event.

“The clothes are ‘blank’ until a woman puts them on and personalizes them,” designer Tomas Maier said of his latest collection presented Saturday in the new Bottega Veneta headquarters on the outskirts of Milan.

Based on a simple boxy silhouette, the mainly straw-colored outfits come in a combination of cotton and light chiffon. Often the dresses are made without seams to give a wrapped-around-the-body effect.

The tunic dress is the favorite look and tucked at the waist with cotton belts. Pants are cut square and comfortable in a variety of lengths. Maier makes the sport short, the star of this round of Milan fashion look like couture fare.


Remember the little black dress? Gucci’s Frida Giannini has brought it back with a contemporary edge for next summer, replacing pearls and pumps with metallic beading and ankle-buckled platforms.

Giannini describes her latest collection as “resolutely sexy,” and she clearly means what she says.

A tight body-conscious silhouette combined with bold cutouts, bondage-like strapping, big buckles and heavy metal sequins combine to create an aggressive look that is never vulgar.

Aside from the many black dresses, Gucci’s creative director puts the same contemporary edge on ultra slim trousers, zippered pencil skirts, sporty shorts and fitted barebacked jackets. Gleaning from the horsey tradition of the Gucci label, Giannini comes up with harness vests and horse-bit embroidery, which further accentuate the caged-in effect of the outfits. When the styles are not black they are candid white, but either way the “catch me if you can” message is clear.

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