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THE FALL COLLECTIONS / MILAN : Of Youth, Sparkle, Faux Fur

March 02, 1994|FRANK DeCARO | NEWSDAY

MILAN, Italy — Dressing the modern schoolgirl in cropped jackets, skinny pants, short full skirts and jumper dresses, Giorgio Armani's Emporio Armani collection gave a much needed jolt Monday to the Italian fall ready-to-wear shows, which have sputtered along here since Sunday.

Emporio is the Italian master's young line--his signature collection will be shown tonight--and it was very young, but pleasingly so. Jumper dresses and baby-dolls came in demure florals, woolen knits and, for evening, in velvet with sequin tanks underneath, or in splotchy tweeds pieced together with smooth silks.

Short, strong-shouldered jackets, in velveteen with frog closures, were worn over slim pants. Often these jackets were worn with longer vests for an eccentric, layered effect. Short jackets alternated with longer, slope-shouldered designs, worn with tight vests and fluid trousers. Tiers of ruffles were a recurring "girlie" theme. Iridescent leathers added the season's all-important shine.

Dolce & Gabbana's collection, shown Sunday, had the hot design duo doing what they do best--masculine pantsuits offset by saucy starlet attire. With Isabella Rossellini on the runway, the collection had a maximum of verve and a minimum of gimmicks. Boucle miniskirt suits with tight little jackets trimmed in what looked like faux fur were as sexy as could be. At Dolce & Gabbana, Lurex turtlenecks and sequined tops sparkled under sedate menswear-ish suits. A cropped tank in fuzzy mohair topped a floor-sweeping sheer slip. A longhaired shearling coat was deliciously mangy. The designing boys (Domenico and Stefano) managed interesting mixes of materials--mohair and chiffon, faux leopard and tweed--and such accessible novelties as sweater sleeves sewn onto tweed jackets.

Those forward-thinking fashion victims out there who have been wondering what they'll wear to the opening of "The Flintstones" movie need look no further than Gianni Versace's Versus secondary line. Overseen by the designer's spitfire sister Donatella, Versus took a twisted take on couture styles, dishing up lunch-lady clothes in mixed animal prints to the strains of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking."

It was jaw-droppingly over-the-top, what with spotted jackets worn with leather jumpers, striped velveteen jackets over zebra pants, men in leopard pants, faux-fur change purses dangling off belts, doughnut-shaped pillbox hats.

Versace's other secondary line, Istante, made the season's biggest case for shine--whether the shimmer of metal or the gloss of patent. But it wasn't anything we haven't already seen from American designer Anna Sui. There were pastel metallics, a couple of beautiful long lame and Lurex pleated dresses, and a red crinkled patent mini-dress. Glen plaid suits were studded in rhinestones and worn over Lurex turtlenecks.

The Missoni show was truly no biggie. Everything looked like ikat cloth, a Gustav Klimt painting or some ancient tapestry or other. Only the company's signature ombre leggings will turn heads (for the right reasons) on the street next fall.

The Byblos show began with hooded Lurex knits and sporty iridescent jackets. What looked best were a satin three-piece pants suit, a cut velvet suit, a cropped glen plaid swing jacket over tan velveteen pants, and gunmetal lame quilted jackets worn with Lurex knits.

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