Milan Fashion Week



antonio calanni/associated press


A look for fall 2007 by Gucci creative director Frida Giannini.


Women once wore pantsuits to affirm power; now, they feel confident enough to don a coat without sleeves.

antonio calanni/associated press

Looks from Prada women’s fall 2007 collection.

Miuccia Prada’s fall 2007 collection mirrors the new macho mood, throwing out the rigours of a dress code to introduce a free, deconstructed fashion.

A man-tailored double-breasted coat has a bold martingale, but no sleeves. Skirts come in elegant just below-the-knee hemlines, but are made out of a combination of crinkly silk and wool to create a look like Styrofoam.

Once the epitome of minimalist design, Miuccia is now into bold fashion from fringing in vinyl or feathers on skirts and jackets to the fluffy teddy bear coat in bright green alpaca wool.

Some ideas for this collection, such as furry sleeveless sweaters, were launched during Miuccia’s menswear collection in January, leading the designer to entertain the idea of presenting the two collections together in the future. “It would send a very clear message,” Miuccia said backstage after the show Tuesday evening.

Futuristic swimming cap look-a-likes, high-heeled platform sandals with toes peeking out of toeless knee socks, and bags without handles completed the non-conformist look.

Wednesday’s show stopper, and Milan traffic jammer, was the arrival in Milan of actress Sharon Stone, front-row guest at Roberto Cavalli. But the highlight of the third day of the Milan fashion week was the much awaited show by Gucci’s new creative director, Frida Giannini.

The 34-year-old designer who took over last year seems determined to move the label ahead without sacrificing its traditional elegance. Giannini said she was inspired for her winter collection by Lee Miller, a 1940s model and photographer, who is to be celebrated in an exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum later this year.

“She was a pioneer — talented, passionate and fashionable — just like strong women of today,” the designer wrote in the fashion notes for the collection.

The winter silhouette is sharp and sexy, with short hemlines, powerfully constructed shoulders, and high-heeled platform boots with metal bottoms, intended for fast-paced walkers.