Everything coming up flowers on Milan runway

Associated Press Modified: September 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm •  Published: September 20, 2012
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MILAN (AP) — Everything is coming up flowers on the Milan runway.

Floral references during the second day of Milan Fashion Week womenswear previews on Thursday ranged from the graphic motif to romantic bouquets or jungle foliage.

It's not a sexy season. Collections for next summer are more romantic than racy and sheer fabrics suggest more than they show.

The silhouette is loose and flowing — with skirt lengths both baby-doll short and granny-dress long. Trousers, too, are wide with the 1960s palazzo pajama making a comeback. Sporty shorts and pedal pushers are often paired with feminine blousy tops. A pastel palate kept the looks demure, while gold, silver and bronze add flash.

Bows and ribbons lend romance to the season, cinching waistlines, gracing floppy hats or wrapping an ankle. But the flower grabs the headlines in most of the shows — setting a wide range of moods.

PRADA

Miuccia Prada — one of the fashion world's most out-of-the-box thinkers — for next summer takes apart the kimono to discover its most basic silhouette. Then, she puts it all back together again to come up with a full collection of imperial outfits.

The central motif of the new collection is a graphic flower, often with a bright red center, which appeared on bags, tops, dresses, wraps and eyewear.

Prada has reinterpreted the Japanese Geisha sandal complete with split-toe tabi sock, which she crafted from leather with a zipper up the back, suggesting they could be footwear in their own right.

The impact of the entire collection was otherworldly, a reflection of Prada's reach for conceptual fashion where idea trumps fit. The kimono showed up as a wrap, a top tied neatly in the back, a skirt formed out of panels or just a simple tunic dress. Fabrics were shiny silk and satin.

Shoes were over the top, wedge and platform sandals, always worn with the tabi sock at times in contrasting gold and silver. The latest Prada palate includes soft pink and sage but the basic color scheme stuck to black, white and gray — all the better to show off the flower emblem and highlight red accents.

The collection was decidedly warm weather, but Prada also devised wraps and three-quarter sleeved coats, often of fur, for chillier climes. Here too, the flower motif made the difference. The basic bag was a small summer shopper — more for the boutique than market

EMPORIO ARMANI

Emporio Armani is Giorgio Armani's second line aimed at a younger client, and that is just where the "maestro" was headed in his latest spring-summer collection.

Teenage models strolled down the runway in sweet pastel silk shorts, their curly hair brushing the shoulder of the matching tapered jacket. Ballerina flats tied in a demure silk ankle bow, dainty leather driving gloves, and a sporty pastel bucket bag completed the ingenue look.

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