Kaftan-like gowns -- billowing and beaded -- were featured by Italian fashion designers showing their spring and summer collections in Rome on Tuesday (21 January).
GV EXT Grand Hotel
GV ZOOM IN TO SV Franco collection
SV Buyer taking notes
SV Franco collection
SV Audience applauds
SV Complete Franco collection
SV ZOOM IN TO GV EXT Excelsior Hotel
SV Audience ZOOM OUT TO GV Riva collection
SV Audience applauding
SV Model takes off skirt to reveal black mini skirt followed by green frilly dress
SV PAN Audience applauding full Riva collection.
Initials BL/1915 NC/AH/BB/1945
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Background: Kaftan-like gowns -- billowing and beaded -- were featured by Italian fashion designers showing their spring and summer collections in Rome on Tuesday (21 January).
The designers -- like many western industrialists -- are turning to the Middle East for both inspiration and customers. This year buyers from that part of the world were more in evidence, with fewer from the United States and Germany than in the past.
Two of the most interesting collections were those of Franco -- a young Milanese designer presenting only his second collection since leaving the house of Mila Schon -- and Swiss-born Heinz Riva.
Franco featured Kaftans -- flowing and beaded -- but made them look more trendy by cutting them vaguely like the elongated smocks that have swept Europe this winter.
Riva concentrated on 1950's looking tent and sack dresses, usually with hems well below the knee. But he also brought out a series of two-piece silk print dresses with skirts two inches above the knee -- a length rarely seen on Rome's high-fashion catwalks since the 1960's.
The increased use of silk is another feature of this year's collections -- mainly because of new commercial accords between Italy and China.
Prints will be important, with tiny motifs in florals, stripes and paisleys to the fore.