Fashion crowd applauds US open winner Pennetta

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

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

As with any trend, it wasn't unanimous and 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 and summer:



U.S. Open winner Flavia Pennetta got 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 and fellow Puglia-native Roberta Vinci captivated the nation, and Pennetta, who has announced her retirement, is being feted as a national star.

Pennetta, wearing a red Ferragamo lace dress and knit shawl, fielded half a dozen TV interviews before the show, delaying slightly the start. Backstage, designer Massimiliano Giornetti gave her a big hug and laughed that he had heard the applause from backstage. Giornetti said he is a long-time friend and fan of Pennetta's, and 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.



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 and 1960s heyday, when Audrey Heburn scooted around Rome in a scarf and Dean Martin crooned "That's amore." Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana dubbed the collection "Italy is Love," a turn on the Martin phraseology, and while there were many nostalgic skirted sundresses and crocheted suits, they also created more contemporary looks.

The theater was set up to look like a market, and 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 up-to-the-minute nature of the collection. In the ultimate social media-fashion hookup, the pictures were immediately posted to Instagram and flashed on screens hanging in the theater.

Amid the romantic pageantry, there were sheer ruched silk dresses with built-in bra tops and 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, and pretty 1950 sundresses.

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



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

With its oversized structural silhouette, big polka dots and graphic prints, the collection would make a great coloring book — except then you'd miss all the textures: fur, satin, velvet and 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 had a layered tunic feel, in unorthodox color combinations and with bold cutouts: a royal blue dress 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 element.

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