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Hemlines rise and fall for Summer 2013 Milan Fashion Week

MILAN (AP) ― Women worrying about next summer’s fashionable hemline needn’t fuss. Everything is in.

At Milan Fashion Week, it’s clear designers are leaving it up to personal choice, offering everything from a trailing gown to a mini-skirt.

Jil Sander has returned, and it shows.

No more dabbling into romantic or experimental styles, as happened when the label was in the creative hands of Raf Simons. It’s back to minimalist basics for the 68-year-old German designer.

Black is black white is white, a jacket is a jacket, a blouse is a blouse, and a skirt or trouser is a skirt or trouser. After founding the company in the late 1960s she came and left it several times before taking it back in spring 2012, and showing her first menswear in June.

For her women’s comeback debut Sander concentrated on volume games, creating an interplay between abundance and fittedness, often showing a slim back paired with a bold front. As usual, she only used fabric of the highest quality. 
Models wear creations from the Dolce & Gabbana women’s Spring-Summer 2013 fashion collection, during the fashion week in Milan, Italy, on Sunday. ( AP-Yonhap News)
Models wear creations from the Dolce & Gabbana women’s Spring-Summer 2013 fashion collection, during the fashion week in Milan, Italy, on Sunday. ( AP-Yonhap News)

Along with different forms to choose from, ranging from tapered to conic, from straight up and down to sculpted and curvy, the collection was highly wearable. 

The color palette of course was minimalist, black white and navy with dashes of plum, bright orange and red, just to quiet critics who claim minimalist means bland.

The designing team of Federico Piaggi and Stefano Citron presented their third runway collection for Ferre since taking over last year.

Their new collection had hints of Asia, including a bustier embroidered with snakes and maxi-obis that become mini-dresses. Asymmetric shorts and quilted skirts were paired with tailored white shirts ― a clear reference to the style of the late founder.

Giorgio Armani always has done his own thing, leaving others to follow if they chose.

His collection for spring-summer 2013 is no exception. There are no prints, plenty of pants and more glitter than a nighttime constellation.

The Armani daytime jacket is deconstructed in a pearl gray with matching skirt or wide trousers cropped at the ankle.

The cocktail hour comes in the lightest of pale pastel chiffon, turquoise, blue and power pink, with long skirts over cropped pants and a small jacket. Armani also offered a skirt-on-skirt version of the same look.

But it’s by night that the designer bursts into glitter with a myriad of beautiful gowns and sparkling pants enhanced by a plisse silk bodice. Nighttime shades are midnight blue, slate gray and some black.

At Dolce & Gabbana, the show began with short sun dresses in blue and white stripes that recalled the pattern of a beach umbrella. Then came the more elaborate printed dresses, inspired by the gaily colored decorations of a wooden Sicilian cart. These were accessorized by hoop earrings reminiscent of the wheel of the cart as was the painting on the wedged sandals.

Tassels like the ones on the horse’s bridal showed up everywhere, like on the brightly colored straw belts reminiscent of the horses decorative harness.

Marni’s catch phrase for next summer: “Sparseness as elegance.’’

There was a simplicity to the next summer’s collection that is hard to define as minimalist, given the volume-creating effects of folds in A-line skirts and peplums, or short overskirts, added to tops and jackets. Necklines were mostly simple V’s or crew.

Skirts and dresses were the mainstay of the collection, with some roomy shorts ― lovely in leather with equally roomy V-neck tops with three-quarter sleeves ― and slim-fitting pedal pushers.

Much of the line was monochromatic: white, black and green with touches of orange or aqua.

For the spring-summer 2013, Pucci designer Norwegian Peter Dundas opts for a more subtle approach, weaving animal and floral motifs into mono tone light fabrics.

Tigers, dragons, snakes, and Oriental floral arrangements, embroidered in the same color as the outfit, created a veiled effect, especially when fashioned in the season’s favorite fabric, chiffon.

The collection’s silhouette is also based on Asian models. Almost all white, with some black and navy, the Pucci summer wardrobe includes mini tunic dresses worn over soft, partly transparent trousers, kimono jackets, silk jumpsuits and long, one-shouldered tiny-waisted dresses.