Dresses with mock birds in cages or fried egg shape cut-outs. Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz De La Prada showed Milan the kind of imagination she believes is needed in a woman's wardrobe at times of economic crisis.
Milan fashion week may have begun under an economic cloud due to the global financial turmoil but designers showing off their creations have sought to defy the gloomy mood, with some declaring "war" on the crisis.
British upmarket jeweller Theo Fennell Plc said on Thursday it would close its Fine Jewellery and Watch concession in the Brown Thomas Department Store in Dublin after it had unveiled its plans to downsize its business last month.
Jewelry retailer Zale Corp posted quarterly results that missed Wall Street estimates on Wednesday as aggressive price cuts in the face of lower consumer spending ate into profit margins, and its shares fell more than 11 percent.
Upscale retailer Saks Inc posted a much deeper-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday as its customers headed to sales racks or just cut spending outright in the worst holiday season in nearly 40 years.
Everyone in Italy's clothing industry is begging for state aid, but some of the loudest cries for help are coming from the exclusive haute couture segment known more for sequined extravagance than humble pleas.
There may be a crisis that is forcing many companies to cut costs but that's not stopping top fashion designers from opening glossy new stores. With locations in New York, Paris and Milan, the big names seem to be undeterred by the economic turmoil.