Ancient and modern architecture inspires at Milan fashion week

By Isla Binnie

MILAN (Reuters) - Top designers took inspiration from architecture at Milan fashion week on Sunday, with ancient Sicilian temples printed on dresses at Dolce & Gabbana and structured tailoring at Salvatore Ferragamo.

The spring-summer 2014 collections were shown on the penultimate day of Milan's biannual women's fashion extravaganza, which organisers estimate brings 15,000 people to Italy's style capital.

"It's a very architectural season," Ferragamo designer Massimiliano Giornetti told Reuters before his show, saying he was inspired by Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragones.

Beige was the predominant colour in Giornetti's collection, which featured tailored blazers and blousons cut high at the waist or low at the neckline, exposing midriffs and snakeskin bras.

"I really played with the duality of this woman, from one side very tailored, very refined, very modern, very sleek, and from the other side more gentle, more feminine," said Giornetti.

Giornetti also drew on the archives of the fashion house founded by shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo, who made footwear for Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn, to create square-toed shoes with broad snakeskin straps at the ankle.

"(Ferragamo) was developing the collection from the idea of shapes and the idea of sculpture," Giornetti said.

Flamboyant Italian duo Dolce & Gabbana drew their own inspiration from an "imaginary journey to discover ancient Sicily", presenting dresses printed with ancient ruins and shoes with heels shaped like the columns of a temple.

"It's always really joyous," Jo Elvin, editor of British magazine Glamour, told Reuters before the show. "You always have that spirit of Sicily twisted in one way or another."

Three-dimensional almond-tree flowers were embroidered on dresses, while headbands, Roman-style flat sandals and thick wedge-heeled shoes covered with glinting coins and stones continued the classical theme.

Milan fashion week finishes on Monday, with shows from brands including lively design house Frankie Morello and veteran Italian designer Giorgio Armani.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Eric Beech)

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