MILAN (AP) — The pastel palette on the Milan runway this season complements the soft, diaphanous looks.

Metals usually signal an aggressive look, but not the way they have been used during Milan Fashion Week, in its third day Friday.

Silver threads are woven into fabric to create a shimmer effect — like sunlight reflecting on water — which gives the pastels an unfamiliar energy.

The colors transmit tranquility from soothing sky blue to rose petal pink to lavender, sage green and pale yellow.

Designers haven't forsaken stronger colors, starting with limoncello, the color of the season. There were also urban, industrial shades: bronze, rust and gray.

Many of the collections are focusing on monochromatic looks and when there are patterns the patterns are discreet to go with gentle mood of this round of Milan fashion.

Giorgio Armani is again this season lending his show space to a young designer on Saturday, leading by example to encourage the fashion community to support up-and-coming talent and guarantee the future of Italian fashion.

"Without exaggerating, we are making progress to be active and alive," Armani said. Ciiting fashion week's opening concert at La Scala, he said "it helped to boost the image" of Milan fashion.

ARMANI

Everything was light at Emporio Armani, from the fabric, to the color, to the mood.

In a chat with reporters after the show, Armani said his latest collection for summer 2014 was aimed at a woman with "tamed energy."

There was little wild in the collection. Instead the positive vibes were sent out through the youthful styles fashioned in pretty pastel shades and diaphanous materials.

The theme of the collection was the water lily, which in Italian is also the word for a nymph. The color palette drew inspiration from a romantic pond, like the one favored by the French artist Monet, from the pale water blues, to the petal pinks and yellows, to the subtle leaf greens.

The light and loose styles are mainly variations of Armani's staple jacket and pants combination. Next summer, the jacket can be either demurely cropped or long and flowing. The new Armani trouser is extra wide and cropped mid-calf.

VERSACE

Donatella Versace mixes street wear with sophisticated styles for her new summer collection, dubbing the flashy result "urban luxury."

Tough harness tops are paired with demure flared skirts, denim jackets are worn over a delicate floral sheath, and a chiffon dress is held together by fetching metal hooks.

On hand to take-in the new look was teenage idol Selena Gomez, a U.S. pop singer and actress best known for her role in the TV series "Wizards of Waverly Place."

Donatella also puts a lot of effort in the materials. She continues the techno research started by her late brother Gianni who was the first Italian designer to use chain metal, now one of the label's trademarks. This round Donatella came up with a ballerina skirt made of raffia, but enriched by delicate strands of silk. The skirt which appeared throughout the show either monochromatic or in a pastel print, was paired with matching blouses or bra tops.

Biker T-shirts and leather belts with a buckle in the shape of the Versace Medusa logo, heavy metal necklaces, and chain metal pouches and bandanas talk tough, especially when matched with the latest Versace footwear: a high-heeled platform sandal held together by elastic bands.

TOD'S

Tod's inaugural runway show during Milan Fashion Week was clean and classic.

Alessandra Facchinetti's first collection for Tod's, after stints at MiuMiu, Gucci and Valentino, drew heavily on the fashion house's built-in mastery of leatherwork, but the collection stood on its own and was not merely an extension of the footwear and must-have bags that have made the label an Italian fashion leader.

The looks, which previewed Friday on the third day of Milan Fashion Week, included staples for any woman's closet: voluminous A-line and straight pencil skirts, crisp cotton shirts with oversized collars and long tails, and the classic women's double-breasted suit, with trousers or loose cropped pants.

Facchinetti accessed a retro vibe as evidenced by the mod leather capes and jackets in bold blocks of color — rust, ochre and white — that the show notes said were inspired by 1950s ceramics.

And she put her signature on the collection with laser cut patterns on voluminous A-line leather skirts, paired with fresh button-down cotton shirt and pulled together by wrap around fringed-belt that projected the confidence of someone who can face frontiers alone. The designer also inverted emphasis, pairing a feminine white eyelet cotton blouse with a bold color block pencil skirt.

ETRO

Etro shimmers for next summer, with metal accents embroidered into fabric and trimming fringe collars.

Veronica Etro's latest collection an ethnic flair with a cosmopolitan twist — achieved by embroidering metal squares into tulle or knitting metal with suede cotton and satin ribbon.

Halter dresses are long and diaphanous, wrapping easily around the body and featuring scarf necks finished with metal fringe. Skirts have a sarong effect, but the show notes say they are in fact constructed. Pants, in suede or silk, are wide and cropped, and worn with square knit sweaters.

The color palette is mostly soft, allowing the traditional Etro paisley, even when set against contrasting patterns, to seem to melt into neutral monochromes like sage and peach. Stronger colors like coral and lemon contrast with black for a stronger statement.

 

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