Chain mail and silky skirts contrast at Milan fashion week

MILAN, Sept 20 Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:38pm EDT

MILAN, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Tight-fitting dresses hung with chains at Versace and rippling skirts worn over loose trousers at Emporio Armani turned heads at Milan fashion week on Friday, as designers offered up a host of contrasting styles.

Chain mail worked its way into black T-shirts with biker logos and evening dresses in the spring-summer 2014 collection by Italian fashion house Versace, alongside flippy skirts over high platform sandals.

Emporio Armani's silky party dresses and voluminous trousers cut just above the ankle used fabrics that were "soft, with a certain light transparency", Italian designer Giorgio Armani told Reuters after the show, which was themed on water lilies.

Franca Sozzani, editor of the Italian edition of fashion magazine Vogue, said there was no such thing as trends any more.

"What is good in fashion is the freedom," Sozzani told Reuters, otherwise, "we'd be slaves of the trends."

Contrasting visions of flora and fauna have been a recurring theme of the collections shown so far in Milan this week, where Italian fashion house Blugirl offered demure shift dresses emblazoned with large flowers and Italian brand JustCavalli dressed models in a mixture of floral and animal prints.

"For me, every girl is a butterfly that should fly," designer Roberto Cavalli told Reuters TV before the JustCavalli show, which included patterned bras exposed under plunging necklines.

Asked about the collection, Cavalli said: "I think that I put all my fantasy, all my love of the natural, because for me nature is colours."

Blugirl designer Anna Molinari said the best-selling accessory in her range was a canvas bag embroidered with three-dimensional flowers, adding that the brand's strongest markets are in Asia, Russia and France.

Flower prints at Versace created a grungy effect, appearing on black T-shirts worn with skintight shorts.

Designer Donatella Versace sported one of the black biker T-shirts for her customary appearance at the end of the show, after models strutted down the runway to the track "Versace" by U.S. rappers Migos featuring Drake.

Versace Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris told Reuters before the show that the company plans to have chosen a short list of potential buyers for a minority stake by mid-October.

Milan-based trade body Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana estimates that around 15,000 people come to the city for fashion week, which finishes on Sept. 23 after hosting 74 official shows.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Eric Beech)

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