Etro © Catwalking
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Milan is sticking with the global themes (see Armani).At Etro, designer Veronica Etro had taken a nomadic tribe of “freewheeling, soulful women” as her muses to inform a SS17 collection in which to rock the kasbah. Its eclectic spirit was extremely pretty, flattering kaftan dresses decorated in gorgeous house-print silks, brocade coats and chic Berber capes fixed with silver clasps.

Functional utility wear — like mototrousers, rucksacks and artists’ satchels — were remade in luxuriously feminine fabrics. A silk, printed flightsuit was flyaway light and summery, while the backpack was made in paisley printed canvas. The colour palette was vibrant. And the footwear strong: a tan gaucho boot with white overstitching and a block-heeled shoe with wraparound rope ties gave ballast to the slip-away silhouettes.

Versace © Catwalking

There were ropes at Sportmax and Versace also, where the drawstring fastening pulled together parkas and featured as a decorative detail. At Sportmax, it was looped through eyelet details on dresses and separates that were often belted with a circular disc in a contrast colour.

The show was inspired by pictures of pearl-fishers shot by Kusukazu Uraguchi, and the palette was a maritime mix of inky blues, whites and navy — with dashes of red. No pearls, alas, but models did wear gold fish earrings. Rather the photographs had been chosen because the women depicted in them looked so happy and “carefree about their bodies”.

Sportmax © Catwalking

No one understands freedom about the body better than Donatella Versace, who used technical jersey knits and harness belts to sculpt the figure in her primary bright SS17 show.

The looks were billowing and dynamic, using ultralight nylon, bonded waterproofs and plastic. Sporty influences were felt in the sweatshirts and tank tops, leggings and stretchy separates. Versace understands that “sportswear is the future of fashion”, and had done much to incorporate its themes. Which all sounds a bit boringly girl-guide-practical for a house famed for hi-voltage glamour. Fear not: the sweatshirts came with a lace trim, there were strappy platforms, and there was a crystal mesh chainmail to give the sport of Versace that all-important sparkle.

Photographs: Catwalking

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