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Gucci woman mixes demure with daring

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MILAN (AP) — Milan fashion designers hit a theatrical note in women's winter collections previewed on the opening day of Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday.

Looks incorporated costume touches like high, ruffled necks, long bell sleeves and trailing hemlines. There were also feathery wisps, intricate embroidery and dramatic footwear, particularly thigh-high boots.

The designers emphasized luxury over everyday appeal, with leather and fur as well as fabrics like velvet, satin and chiffon that call for an occasion.

Burnt orange is emerging as a standout color for the season, along with deep reds, blues and greens. Basic black is still the winter favorite with a touch of winter white.

Hair styles tend toward the long and straight, at times pinned up or held down by a hat, while makeup accentuates the eyes.

Such luxury brands as Prada, Versace, Armani, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi are among the 70 Milan designers readying their wears for the six days of preview shows for fall-winter 2013-2014.

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