Blumarine, Ermanno Scervino unveil furs, craftsmanship in Milan

By Marie-Louise Gumuchian MILAN (Reuters) - Fur took center stage at Milan Fashion Week on Saturday with Italian brands Blumarine and Ermanno Scervino presenting plenty of it in their luxurious womenswear creations for next winter. Amid softening demand for luxury goods, especially from major market China, fashion labels are looking to stand out and woo customers with their intricately-made clothes and accessories. Designer Scervino also sought to showcase Italian craftsmanship in his collection called "The Mosaic Woman" with pleated as well as thick lace dresses, tweed coats decorated with sparkling sequined flowers and embroidered evening wear. Small colored squares formed mosaic-like patterns on coats, trouser suits and dresses in metallic gold, bronze and silver. Scervino put fur cuffs and collars on white, burgundy and black coats. He also added colored fur collars on some jackets and coats and said the "must have" item was a fox helmet. "We see ... slim waistlines, we see a lot of femininity," he told Reuters. Scervino also presented all-black Victorian Gothic-inspired dresses and coats. Flashes of yellow and shades of gray were also seen on some of his creations, which were accessorised with kitten-heeled boots as well as platform shoes. Earlier at Blumarine, designer Anna Molinari offered all-fur belted coats and jacket and skirt suits, fur-lined sheer dresses as well as fur-heeled shoes and flip flop sandals with fur interiors in her "Moonlit Nocturne" collection. Models wore long earrings with furry pom-poms at the end as well as furry helmets. Fur even came on handbags. "The collection portrays a woman who has an eclectic personality and she is proud of herself," Molinari told Reuters ahead of the show. The designer, who used a color palette of mainly sage, pink and brown, also offered leopard print and floral -- the latter embroidered on jeans as well as printed on tops and chiffon dresses. For the evening, there were long color paillette striped dresses that elongated silhouettes. Italian designer Versace also used fur in its winter collection, with intarsia furs and black sheepskin among the coats. Accessories included bags with fox tails. Milan Fashion Week, in which designers present their autumn/winter 2016/2017 womenswear collections, runs until Monday. (Editing by Clelia Oziel)