MILAN FASHION PHOTOS: Gucci sparkles as De Sarno hits stride

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MILAN — The fashion crowd traversed Milan countless times on the third day of fashion week Friday, defying rain, traffic tie-ups and a local transport strike all in the name of the next big trend. By late afternoon, shows were running a full hour late as the fleet of black sedans, shuttles and taxis couldn’t keep up the runway pace.

Donatella Versace put the world back to rights, starting her evening show right on time.

Here are some highlights from Friday’s shows of mostly womenswear previews for Fall-Winter 2024-25.

Sabato De Sarno added just a little sparkle to his second Gucci womenswear collection as he continued to build fashion house’s new codes.

Apparently simple silhouettes like a belted coat, an apron romper and plunging neck-line tunic project sexiness and power, showing off a bit of leg and the season’s new equestrian boot that rises just above the knee.

Long outerwear, worn over short-shorts and simple corsets, are decorated with sequins and crystal beading that give an ombre effect, and transition confidently into sequined shifts and halter cocktail dresses, diaphanous slip dresses and cozy knitwear.

No-pants looks highlighted the simplicity of mini peacoats, bombers and knitwear, as well as the season’s footwear, including platform versions of the signature loafers. The new Gucci oxblood red anchored the bold color palette of navy, mustard, olive green and aubergine. It was most striking in a wavy oxblood-and-black intarsia leather jacket.

The collection did not shout Gucci with logos and familiar motifs; it whispered it in what the show notes described as “a staging of small subversive acts.”

De Sarno promised details that can be experienced when worn — like hidden buttoning in the back of coats “that transforms them into an embrace — or seen only from up close, like a geometric heron hidden in a jacquard.”

In the final look, a deep slit in a long wool sheath allowed a model to hit her stride — just like De Sarno.

Kirsten Dunst, Julia Garner and Solange Knowles took front row seats, along with De Sarno’s parents, the first to give a standing ovation.

VERSACE PUNK ROCKS

Punk energy permeated the Versace runway, from the pulsating music to the nostalgic black-and-red check to spiky hairstyles.

Donatella Versace kept the pulse high with deep, revealing slits on long clingy dresses, mod high-neck mini dresses and animal print bodysuits worn with matching tights. The collection gave a window onto synchronicity with menswear, with complementary leather, tweed and leather looks for him and for her.

Gigi Hadid, a Versace favorite, walked the show in a fitted navy midi dress featuring a sheer blouse on a sweetheart neckline.

SUNNEI’S RUMINATIONS

Sunnei had no soundtrack for its runway show: Just the interior monologues of models playing over the sound system as they traversed custom carpets in the designers’ trademark stripes.

Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina’s last collection featured enveloping puffer coats in a golden sheen, a soft knit, octopus-shaped hood and oversized denim combos, culminating in looks cut from carpets manufactured at the site of the show by the cc-tapis design company. Models ruminated about their next plate of pasta, distracted themselves from inopportune itches, and wondered over the sense of fashion amid wars.

In an ultimate sign of support, Gucci creative director Sabato De Sarno made a crosstown dash after taking backstage bows on his collection to take a front-row seat at the Sunnei show.

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