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.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
TV First US networks like HBO shook up drama - now it's comedy's turn
News
i100
Travel
Pool with a view: the mMarina Bay Sands in Singapore
travel From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
Latest stories from i100
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

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect