Old-fashioned chic

Tomas Maier has once again proved that true chic is understated and simple and has no need for frills or adornment. For Bottega Veneta’s spring summer 2007 show in Milan today the designer sent his models down the catwalk in a muted palette of beige, sand, chocolate, dusty rose and coral. Accessories were limited to the brand’s famous leather weave handbags and stacked sandals. Starting with a selection of trench dresses that appeared to channel Audrey Hepburn in a Roman Holiday, the designer continued with plissé skirts and dresses, ruched tops and a return of the goddess jersey dress from last year. Detailing like his signature braiding of the straps or a woven stretch of fabric at the waist echoing the leather bags, demonstrated the craftsmanship and refinement the brand is known for. Maier rounded off the collection with a series of light, airy gowns paired with flat sandals, perfect for a sophisticated summer party.

Classic Italian fashion house Ferragamo is all about colour next summer. Whether in the form of a yellow party frock, a red silk camisole paired with a khaki cotton sateen skirt or a black-and-white piqué sundress with yellow flower embroidery, designer Graeme Black is looking forward to a sunny summer. His women hark back to the heyday of Ferragamo, when women wore dresses with cinched in waists, dainty cardigans and crinoline under their skirts. For those with a more casual taste, Black offered pedal pushers and shorts paired with baby doll tops, trapeze jackets with three quarter length sleeves and crisp blouses.

Meanwhile, knitwear specialist Pringle echoed the tonality of Bottega Veneta, keeping the palette in the range of beige, white, grey and black, with a few yellow pieces in the mix. There was hardly a knitwear item in sight, save for a cardigan-style sweater that appeared oddly out of place among the airy, drop-waisted dresses, cigarette pants and cuffed shorts. It was designer Clare Waight Keller’s second collection for the label, yet the former Gucci and Ralph Lauren designer managed to lend the collection a signature all her own.

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