Va-va-voom Versace versus the refined elegance of Armani

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

With many of the international collections so far focusing on pared-down, even practical clothes, the extroverted woman looking for something with a bit more va-va-voom might be justifiably anxious. Step forward Versace, which showed yesterday that its commitment to sexy, flashbulb-popping clothes doesn't waver.

Short, asymmetric, clingy dresses in black and white featured cutaway panels and low backs, which were offset with turtle necks. Bodycon mini dresses featured patchwork metallic leather in silver, dark blue and dark red. Trousers were cropped and skinny, and made from motorcycle-style ridged patchwork leather in brown and purple. The show closed with signature paparazzi- friendly column dresses slashed to the thigh in block coloured yellow, turquoise, red and white, with metallic inserts at the bust.

A more refined vision prevailed at Emporio Armani, where Giorgio Armani showed his take on polished elegance. The Italian designer is known for soft tailoring, and much of the collection focused on masculine shapes rendered in luxurious fabrics or with feminine flourishes. Skirts were well above the knee – grey tulip and pencil shapes – while sculpted prom dresses came adorned with sequins or clustered fabric flowers.

Tapered trousers in black, white and pale grey silk were teamed with cropped jackets and blazers with shaped waists, or covered in pale blue or black paillette sequins. Pastel shades of blue and lilac and flashes of tangerine played cameo roles in the collection.

Armani is credited with pioneering the concept of the lifestyle brand, and today his empire encompasses a couture line, several ready-to-wear lines, underwear, perfume, cosmetics, cafés and homeware.

But the latest must-have in an Italian designer's portfolio is a hotel or two; Missoni and Versace have their own and Moschino unveiled one here in Milan this week. Not to be outdone, Armani will open his first hotel in April in the Burj Tower in Dubai.

Earlier yesterday, prettiness and restrained romance were – as ever – on offer at Alberta Ferretti's eponymous label, which showed its autumn/winter collection. Ferretti's dresses were once again the high point. Not all designers live up to their billing as understanding what women really want to wear, but Ferretti's collections are consistently elegant and well thought-out. Her cocktail dresses aren't thigh-skimming or plunging creations that necessitate an ingenious use of "nipple tape", and they take in such practical considerations as actually being able to wear underwear. Models appeared in short dresses in tunic and Twenties-inspired shapes, sewn from flesh-coloured, pleated chiffon and gathered silk satin. Some were tiered and had delicate horizontal bands of crystal wrapped around; long sleeves or dress backs of nude silk tulle created the illusion of bare skin.

Long evening gowns came in pearl-grey silk with beaded strips, and diagonally tiered nude silk. Clustered pewter and antique gold beads on shoulders provided a sophisticated glamour. Coats were frock-shaped, in black with metallic flecks, or navy with sleeves made from shaggy silk tapes. The collection stayed within a gentle palette of nudes, greys and black with hints of navy, emerald and sea green.

News
University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
newsFrom a former custard factory to a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
i100
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
media
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Retail Business Analyst

    £300 - £350 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Ecommerce/Retail/E...

    Project Coordinator

    Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

    Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

    £350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

    Embedded Linux Engineer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz