Fashion designers at Milan fashion week delivered a dark palette and masculine styles for autumn-winter wardrobes in a reflection of Italy's bleak economic and political landscape.
Giorgio Armani, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli were among the fashion houses whose darkly colored catwalk collections for the 2013-14 autumn/winter season catwalk shows evoked the anxiety over grim expectations for Italian fashion sales, worries over European economic health and uncertainty over domestic politics.
Designer Miuccia Prada, whose sleek collections are eagerly awaited at the Milan week, chose a post-industrial setting to present her look for a modern woman hemmed in by the grim realities of life since an economic downturn began in 2008.
"It seems to me that in the contemporary world you cannot let yourself go completely," Prada said after her show.
Armani re-worked a masculine style for a collection that included suspenders and jumpsuits in black velvet accessorized with black berets.
Luxury retailers have fared better than other industries in southern Europe thanks to demand from wealthy travelers from other regions.
But global sales of Italian fashion – including those of smaller brands hit hard by the crisis – are expected to fall by 3.5 percent this year after dropping 5.4 percent in 2012, textile and fashion body Sistema Moda Italia said.
Designers expressed concerns about stability in Italy, where the uncertain outcome of parliamentary elections held during the fashion week rekindled fears of a new euro zone debt crisis.