Brooke Shields' look in 'Pretty Baby' helped inspire a sweet collection from Giorgio Armani shown today at Milan Fashion Week. Gone (well, mostly) were the pantsuits and strong shoulders, and even the once-signature beige. In place of that, the designer sent out tiny party dresses - sometimes paired with shorts - plenty of cleavage and shimmer galore.
Visible bras signaled a return to '90s-era states of undress, but overall, the line felt...younger than normal. Still dignified, but it seemed that many of the satin and chiffon looks could have been adopted by a cute party girl with places to be.
But despite a bit of bling, and all those displays of, shall we say, the feminine mystique, Mr Armani said the whole thing was about "innocence". We definitely didn't see any naughty fashion crimes on the runway, now that he mentions it.
Or so said a dress at the Spring '10 Just Cavalli fashion show today in Milan. Roberto Cavalli hasn't helped to give Milan Fashion Week a subtle start. With a rebellious rock-chick collection complete with slashed jeans, hula-fringed shoes and more than a few visible bras, it seems the designer doesn't seem to care that just a season ago, he was worried about keeping the line afloat.
Balmain's skinny-skinny aesthetic was plenty visible on the runway, with dresses tiny enough to make even Victoria Beckham (maybe?) have to squeeze in. OK, who are we kidding? But also of note were tiered pink dresses, with mesh revealing the knickers underneath, and roomy, fringed tank dresses layered over bright tees.
Some of our favourite looks had to be a dissheveled black spaghetti-strap dress over a black bra and pants, or the mesh tank above with badass jeans. Does it resonate with you? We're not saying some of it hasn't been done before, but hey...maybe it touched us.
Holy Laura Ingalls Wilder. Ralph Lauren has looked to America's heartland for a note of optimism in hard financial times. And ladies and gents, his Midwestern perseverance led him to denim on denim. On denim.
Lauren, who turns 70 next month and has a four-decade-strong business to his name, received a standing ovation for his farmland-oasis collection. His idyllic picture of prairie living translated to 'Blossom'-style pink floral dresses, shredded and cuffed boyfriend jeans, and a cowgirl belt or two.
"I believe in the resilient spirit of America," Lauren's programme notes read. "Hard times seem to sharpen our capacity for idealism and our optimism that tomorrow will be a better day.
"I am inspired by the character of the worker, the farmer, the cowboy, the pioneer women of the prairies living authentically through challenging times."
Doo-Ri Chung continues to be the fashion-loving woman's fashionista. Around The Fash Pack, we group her with designers like Rachel Roy and the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte because of her knack to create fashion-forward pieces that still consider the silhouette.
Case in point: a draped, strapless, dusky-blue dress sent down the runway for the Spring '10 Doo.Ri show. It's a rare talent to use a large amount of fabric over a little area and have an attractive result. Also, the sheer black cocktail dress Chung created didn't leave us sick of seeing exposed knickers through evening wear, but rather admiring how much a cute little frock could resemble a Spanish fan.
Chung included tougher touches, like grey lipstick and chain-embellished footwear, and it's those rough touches she throws in that make us love her even more. We say this designer stays in the inner circle. What about you?
Anna Sui's like the ringleader: She calls the shots. And she says that come spring, we'll all be wearing metallic, cut-out, studded gladiator boots. In electric blue, naturally.
Sui's usual hippie vibe was infiltrated with notes of marching band (hello, epaulet jackets), teenage preppy (fits with the 'Gossip Girl' collection she recently made for Target), and '80s (dresses paired with shorts). One of our favourite looks would have to be the fitted jumpers worn with tartan mini skirts: oh-so-Jenny-Humphrey.
But we think people will talk about those boots more than anything. Would you wear them?