On the first day of Milan Fashion Week, minidresse and jacket pairings ruled the runways. Recession-proof investment pieces contrasted against recession-defiant splashes of colour.

 

Blugirl
"I wanted to send a message of happiness," Anna Molinari explained of her fall collection for, Blugirl, the younger sister to her luxury label Blumarine. That meant pretty minidresses embellished with sequins, feathers and crystals paired with tailored coats and blazers, which gave the younger line a more grownup edge. Dyed furs, which should be huge for fall, came in bold pinks, blues and grey. Call it clothing for the eternal optimist who wants to be noticed when she walks into a room. —Kenya Hunt

Emporio Armani
The press notes accurately described the collection as "Supremely Armani." Indeed, loyalists to the brand will love the clean lines that dominated Armani's short skirt and jacket pairings and dresses. Sheer knee socks and brogue-style heels gave it all a sexy secretary edge. Highlights included his cool takes on leather such as a fitted jacket with rosettes. —Kenya Hunt

Missoni
Angela Missoni’s vibrant prints and supple fabrics make smart choices for the woman looking to invest her money in a timeless garment that will survive ever-changing trends and the recession. It was Italian luxury with a capital L, and yet still felt in step with the times (read: not showy). Layering was the key idea here, with knits piled on top of each other in a haphazardly chic way. Her collection offered great wardrobe additions for the consumer who values quality but doesn’t want to necessarily flaunt her wealth. —Kenya Hunt

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