The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Aguilera, Versace light up Milan

Milan, March 5 (Reuters): Donatella Versace brought down the curtain on Milan’s fashion week yesterday with clingy miniskirts and block-print leggings inspired by front-row guests and the label’s new star, US pop pin-up Christina Aguilera.

“There are so many things I love about Donatella and her clothing. I think it is strong, it’s sexy, empowering and she’s a powerful woman in the industry and I respect that,” the 22-year-old star said before Versace showed her autumn/winter 2003-04 collection.

Donatella, who took over the design house from her brother Gianni after he was shot dead in 1997, showed both the younger, diffusion label Versus and the top-line Versace collection back to back, with hair back-combed and big in the first and sleek and stylish in the second.

Colour was kept to a minimum at Versace, a surprise at the house known for its head-turning brights, but it did not skimp on the revealing cuts red-carpet regulars love it for.

Joining the fashion fest’s fever for all things mini and clingy, teeny skirts and drainpipe trousers in creams and caramels were matched with crocodile-skin spikes and zips and tassels on anything that could take their weight. Underwear as outwear ruled the last part of the show as it had in the spring/summer collection, with long-cut corsets straight out of Aguilera’s dressing-up box that curved round the bottom fanning out into long, lacey skirts split to the crotch.

Aguilera, her platinum hair ringleted and loose and wearing a dark pink Versace dress, sat quietly as models strutted round the pod-shaped catwalk, turning once in a while to whisper to a friend. “This all about Christina,” Versace said of the pop idol who set men’s hearts racing in her latest video Dirty.

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