Aquilano and Rimondi's regal wears fit for court

COLLEEN BARRY Associated Press Published:

MILAN (AP) -- The baroque hall replete with gilded accents, tapestries and a frescoed ceiling hinted at the richness to come.

Bejeweled and regal, the womenswear collection presented Sunday by Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi recalled the royal courts of centuries past with an emphasis on gold-laced brocade and iridescent velvet.

The pair stayed close to their architectural style, building their dresses and tops out of panels in a sort of triptych -- back, front and sides -- that allowed them to mix textiles and colors.

The tops often resembled bustiers, and finished in short bubble skirts.

Here, as elsewhere on the Milan runways, the slim cropped pant was a mainstay, paired with swing coats with large shoulders, or double-breasted knee-length jackets, for a contrasting silhouette.

Fittingly, their color palette bears the name of jewels: ruby, emerald, sapphire, along with citrine, topaz and turquoise.

The pair let their imaginations run wild when it came to decorating the collection.

Tiny wisps of feathers covered a cocktail dress with sequined flowers -- everything in black. Stiff golden bows graced the back of a coat, the sides of a dress. Beaded Byzantine crosses ran down the sides of a short dress.

The shoes also reflected the level of detail the designers put in. Velvet pumps and knee boots had large bows on the back, while brocade booties had velvet tips and silk ribbons.