- Associated Press - Saturday, September 25, 2010

MILAN (AP) - Aside from bold color, the biggest news off the spring-summer 2011 is the skirt, or better yet. The hemline.

With two days to go until the end of the Milan Fashion Week, the mini skirt has all but disappeared from the runway, replaced by hemlines that fall around or below the knee. Long skirts are also very popular.

In keeping with this new look, which already made its first appearance on the runway for the upcoming winter, the designers do away with short shorts and most trousers.

On Saturday both Giorgio Armani and Raf Simons for Jil Sander based their collections on the new hemline.

Leitmotif of the latest Emporio Armani collection is the stretch tulle skirt, which hangs down like a slip, providing a covering layer for above the knee skirts and mini dresses, both by day and by night.

Armani was one of the few designers who featured shorts in his second line collection, aimed at the younger set. Many of his ultra-light jackets were paired with a pair of just-above-the-knee Bermuda shorts.

Later Saturday Raf Simons based an entire collection around the long skirt paired with a T-shirt.

The T-shirt was white cotton and the down to the ankle skirt came in crisp silk with slits up the sides. The skirt evolved to become a striped or printed gown, but in both cases the hemline brushed the floor.

Simons, too, slipped a pair of pants into his collection, but it was long, loose and femininely gathered at the waist.

Saturday morning Tomas Maier for Bottega Veneta treated the fashion crowd to a show where everything was as light as a feather, and almost every skirt began somewhere from the knee down. His ultra-wide evening gowns had hemlines so long they could double for a train.

Earlier in the week, Donatella Versace, great fan of the mini skirt, yanked her hemline several inches below the knee, to create a prim ladylike look for next summer.

Underlining the new trend, the designer traded in her trademark tight black pants with matching glittery top, for a simple below the knee black cocktail dress, for her runway bow.

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