MILAN (AP) -- The Ferragamo winter collection starts with a parade of gold-buttoned double-breasted military coats and ends in a waltz of romantic evening gowns.
Like so many of the shows seen during the current Milan Fashion Week of womenswear, the Ferragamo collection previewed Sunday by Massimiliano Giornetti, who also design's the label's menswear, combined masculine strength with feminine softness.
Always hovering in the background during this round of Milan collections is a romance between an officer and a damsel, as in so many 19th century love stories -- only the woman is playing both roles. This is particularly evident at Ferragamo.
By day, the Ferragamo woman favors a crisp gray flannel double-breasted suit complete with epaulettes, or a lightweight Astrakhan fur skirt under a double-breasted jacket.
She will wear horsey boots, but prefers a high-heeled version in embroidered suede.
Her gold-buttoned military coat hides a fetching black wool lace dress or printed ruffled skirt underneath.
Nighttime tells another story. Here our heroine shows her true feminine soul, in a bejeweled chiffon evening dress with spaghetti strapped V-neckline and ballerina skirt, or a transparent embroidered peasant blouse with matching shimmery silver silk skirt.
Footwear for the ballroom is an open-toed Victorian lace-up or a high-heeled Mary Jane. A pretty embroidered clutch bag reminiscent of a Faberge decorated egg complete the story.