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.

general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

    £40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

    Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

    £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before