- Associated Press - Sunday, September 23, 2012

MILAN (AP) - At least the fashion world can agree on one antidote to the financial crisis: Color.

Black, a wardrobe staple that might be a safe haven in a crisis, is not a mainstay of the previews for spring and summer 2013 womenswear collections as Milan Fashion Week continued into its fifth day Sunday.

Color, instead, is king _ either in monochromatic looks or deployed in geometric and floral patterns and prints. Summer white and seasonal pastels round out the palette.

Warm weather styles, too, are upbeat and often playful. Designers are employing ruffles, folds and peplums and for a little frivolity on the standard silhouette. Sheer fabrics, flowing cuts and accents like pleats and plisses give the season a quiet elegance and grace. Designers also are using a lot of detailing on outfits, from sequins, beads, colored discs and tassels.

With rare exception, dresses take center stage, while pants are merely in a supporting role.

Along with very high heels, there are lots of wedges and also flat sandals and even some ballerina slippers so popular this past summer.

Hats are the forgotten accessory. In their place, there are headscarves, headbands and even a visor.



Giorgio Armani always has done his own thing, leaving others to follow if they chose.

His collection for spring-summer 2013 is no exception. There are no prints, plenty of pants and more glitter than a nighttime constellation.

The Armani daytime jacket is deconstructed in a pearl gray with matching skirt or wide trousers cropped at the ankle.

The cocktail hour comes in the lightest of pale pastel chiffon, turquoise, blue and power pink, with long skirts over cropped pants and a small jacket. Armani also offered a skirt-on-skirt version of the same look.

But it’s by night that the designer bursts into glitter with a myriad of beautiful gowns and sparkling pants enhanced by a plisse silk bodice. Nighttime shades are midnight blue, slate gray and some black.

`’This is a woman who doesn’t put on airs, rather is young in age or mentality,” Armani told reporters before the show.

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