Milan abuzz as Fashion Week kicks off

Glitterati, hawkish buyers and fashion-savvy writers flocked to the Italian capital on Wednesday for the start of Milan's glamorous Fashion Week.

After London and New York, fashionistas flew in to see over 66 designers on show on 76 runways, including an exclusive few who will show off their collections on catwalks in front of the city's towering Gothic cathedral.

Fashion giants Gucci, Alberta Ferretti and Roccobarocco will open the show on Wednesday, while Thursday's catwalks will star Fendi, D&G and Prada.

Versace and Etro follow on Friday, with Bottega Veneta, Emporio Armani and Roberto Cavalli on Saturday.

Sunday and Monday see Dolce&Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani and Just Cavalli on the catwalks.

Newcomers Carta e Costura, Erhan Coruh and N-U-D-E will be showing on Monday March 1, before buyers, journalists and the fashion set jet off to Paris Fashion Week, which will run until March 9.

The tiny cobbled streets around Milan's main cathedral square buzzed in the lead up to the first showings, with last-minute attempts to bag an invitation to exclusive after-show parties hosted by Gucci, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.

Milan's Camera Moda, which organises the week, has also arranged a host of cultural events, including visits to some of the city's museums, exhibition openings and a Duran Duran concert.

Those unlucky enough not to have been invited to the shows can watch the models shimmy down the catwalks for many of the top designers on large screens set up near the cathedral.

Roccobarocco, Ermanno Scervino, Frankie Morello, C'N'C Costume National and Emilio Pucci are among those who will be live streaming their shows.