Stark winter colours dominated Milan's catwalks Thursday, brightened mainly by Fendi's Karl Lagerfeld in a collection laced with "strange blues."
The designer told AFP he was inspired by the American painter Edward Hopper, with a pallette also favouring yellow and grey.
"Yellow, grey and strange blues, not at all navy," he said.
On other catwalks, D&G, the second line of maestros Dolce and Gabbana, inhabited the colour-free zone that prevailed on Thursday.
Shaggy boots from toe to knee, in black, grey or white, were the common denominator, underpinning wispy dresses, cheeky knit short shorts or woolly shifts, many sparkling with strass.
Blugirl's Anna Molinari meanwhile teased the viewer with illusory knits.
Fluffy white jackets that looked like fur from afar turned out to be sculpted knits created with elaborate loops.
Molinari's faux furry theme melted into the evening with grey or dusty pink cardigans over shimmering silver or black shifts.
Frankie Morello answered Blugirl's understated fun with an edgy collection suggesting neo-punk: all black, save a few red soles flashing from the bottoms of vertiginous platforms.
A live heavy metal girl band drove home the sassy message contained in cuffed jean short shorts over sparkling leggings, or a strass-studded black jacket.
Pointy padded shoulders added to the gothic effect.
"It is darkness, night and mystery," the designer says. "It is certainly always the opposite of pure white."
The top designers are squeezing their shows into four days this time after it emerged that Anna Wintour, editor of the American Vogue magazine, would be cutting short her stay.
Wintour, the inspiration for the book and subsequent film starring Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada," is regarded by many as the most influential person in the industry.
The highlight of Friday's shows will be Gianfranco Ferre, Versace and Jil Sander.
Bottega Veneta, Max Mara, Armani and Gucci will follow Saturday, with Marni, Roberto Cavalli and Missoni giving their shows on Sunday.
While there will be other shows on Monday, none of the big names will take part.
Several thousand buyers from around 40 countries are expected overall, as well as 2,000 journalists.