MILAN (AP) — Roberto Cavalli turned up the temperature on Milan Fashion Week with a ring of fire in the center of his tented runway, while fashion newcomers au jour le jour are creating a buzz with their cute puppy obsession.
Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander and Aquilano Rimondi were among the other highlights as Milan Fashion Week continued the fourth day of womenswear previews for next fall and winter.
Bottega Veneta's looks for next winter burst and ripple with kinetic energy.
Creative director Tomas Maier infuses the looks with motion both through the tailoring, including micro folds and loose pleats, as well as with geometric patterns.
Movement is created in tiny pleats in dusty pastels that ripple soothingly along pretty cocktail or party dresses, while geometric patterns in black and white give bold definition to a straight skirt worn with a purple sweater. One dress appears to burst outward from the hip, creating concentric folds that reach out and hug the figure. It comes in a quilted version, as well as tulle and crepe.
The looks are finished in black suede booties that are cut into a spiky silhouette suggestive of flames and which mimic the graphic patterns in some of the apparel. Bottega Veneta's bag for next season has a top handle, with patchworks of color and combinations of materials.
Roberto Cavalli daringly staged his preview around a ring of fire, which provided not only a dramatic backdrop for his hot looks but spread heat through the fashion crowd.
The elegant and often elaborate collection incorporates, according to Cavalli, the femininity of the 1920s and the geometry of the 1930s. Several looks captured best the heat of the venue, including one long gown with the image of flames lapping up the hemline, worn with a red and and black fur stole.
Fire extinguishers placed at intervals around the fire ring, which itself was set in a pool of water, ensured the fiery image was never realized.
The looks included heavily beaded dresses that clung seductively to curves, skinny beaded suits and hemlines ripped into a froth of fringe.
Nothing says "like me" more urgently than a cute puppy.
The 4-year-old au jour le jour label was born in the social media era, and designers Diego Marquez and Mirko Fontana's obsession with forlorn boxer pups and chipper Chihuahuas is rooted in that reality. The brand's DNA is imbued with repetitive motifs.
The designers focused on the tenderness-inducing cuteness of puppies for the fall winter collection fully exploiting the awareness that "on social networks puppy photos have a huge success of people liking them," Fontana said backstage at the Armani theater, where they made their Milan runway debut Saturday.
And there was plenty to "like" on the runway. White cat motifs pop out on a purple fur coat. Large pin buttons adorned with fluffy puppies are attached in rows on a coat, worn over a mini-dress in matching print. And needlepoint Chihauhaus grace a sky blue leather miniskirt.
The collection has a 1960s flair, with short babydoll dresses with big bows, blousy tops with elaborate ruffles and straight jumper dresses with faux suspenders imposed graphically.
Fontana, 33, and Marquez, 38, started out as an economist and an engineer, respectively, before joining forces as a design team. The brand, which won acclaim for its signature ruby red lip motif, already has a following in Italy, Korea, Singapore and Beijing, and is soon to enter the United States.