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Armani left holding the proverbial bag

Monday - 2/24/2014, 12:59pm  ET

Models wear creations for DSquared2 women's Fall-Winter 2014-15 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

COLLEEN BARRY
AP Fashion Writer

MILAN (AP) -- Giorgio Armani was left holding the proverbial bag on the last day of Milan Fashion Week on Monday.

American Vogue's influential editor-in-chief Anna Wintour skipped the preview of Armani's signature line to rush off to Paris for the next round of preview shows -- not for the first time.

"She has weight and power, but maybe even I have weight,' ' Armani lamented.

Armani has anchored the Milan calendar for two decades, and in recent years there have been no other designers of his stature on the last day. He told reporters backstage after his preview show that the calendar needs to be altered to maintain high-profile designers until the end.

Armani said he has been assured that other Vogue editors attend the shows on her behalf, but he said that wasn't the same. "It's not professional," he said.

WHAT WINTOUR MISSED

Armani illuminated grays with lime, and treated the flannel until it resembles tulle, ready for the evening.

Armani focuses on small innovations in styling and tailoring, not on making a runway splash. Backstage after his preview show, he criticized the excess on some Milan runways as a distraction from fashion that ultimately disappoints shoppers next season.

When they show up in an Armani shop, they will find ankle-length trousers softened with pleats, and rounded jackets.

Gray suits pair the new trouser with single-button jackets that are brightened with one lime flash on the lapel. Green stripes down the side of pants signaled a sportier look. The powdery gray of the day looks gave way to a luminous gray for evening wear, strapless sheaths with lime stones or stripes of green and black for a modernist edge.

Armani is one of the few designers to elicit applause during his show, and one piece that drew it here was a wispy gray fur that appeared lit by lime. It was worn over a slip-like sage dress and paired with a squared green clutch.

CRAZY AGAIN

DSquared2 revisit the insane asylum, setting their show against the backdrop of a psychiatric ward with caged holding areas.

The show opened with a pair of mod psych nurses in white mini dresses and 1960s airline stewardess-style caps escorting a starlet in a fur down the runway.

"The story is about a woman who is a Hollywood diva, and then she had a breakdown and she is going to go into this recovery home," co-designer Dean Caten said backstage. "She still has her jewels, and she is living her fancy life, her glamorous life, her disturbed wonderful life."

Dean and Dan Caten, the Canadian twins behind the brand, put locks and keys on bags, collars and ankle straps. Heels were tied on with rubber syringe bands for mood more than function. The collection is elaborate and rich, with lots of beading, fur, silk and wool; the main silhouette was a mini dress.

Toward the end, a few inmates escape in silken nighties, stricken looks on their faces as they make their way past the riser full of flashing photographers.


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