Worshipping new simplicity at the altar of Versace

Welcome to the Versace Experience. Here was the artist formerly known as Prince giving Gianni a namecheck on the sound system over and over again as what looked like the same five outfits, except in different colours, came out again and again.

It started with black hipster pants and short jacket, cropped over the buttocks, and a midriff-baring tiny T-shirt. Next, also in black, a simple little party dress, surprisingly free from the trademark Versace baubles.

Then came a short jacket - cropped up to the midriff this time - and a library length skirt. A few more outfits, a change of beat and the same outfit returned, though this time in white. Five minutes later, the same outfit again - this time in tangerine, then apple, then citrus.

Next up was Versace's version of crazy colour prints on summer dresses that will go down like a tropical storm in his adopted home, Miami.

It would be fair to say the prints are an acquired taste, but even those who thought they would never worship at the altar of Versace might be tempted by the pieces that emphasise his new simplicity. Jackets, hipsters, and cropped tops that look great if you like that kind of thing. But then if you like that kind of thing you've probably already bought it from Gucci and Prada.

Giorgio Armani brings the Milan Spring-Summer '96 women's wear collections to an end tonight and there is a breather for one day before the next leg begins in Paris.

Armani's second line, Emporio, was shown at the weekend in the huge warehouse space where the designer has built his own permanent theatre with a runway almost long enough for a small plane.

The Armani woman should take a look at what German designer Jil Sander is doing. Her collection was delightful. Stiff white suits, with trousers either cropped at the ankle or cut short and narrow to the knee. Kate Moss, Shalom, Kirstie Hume and friends were fresh-faced with hair piled messily on their heads.Their shoes were flat and they looked ready to face the rigours of modern life.

Fashion, Section Two

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