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Dolce&Gabbana, a Sicilian fairytale

MILAN (AP) — Never has little Red Riding Hood been so fashionable.

In Dolce&Gabbana's Sicilian fairy tale collection, she enters in a green cape with a pair of applique red wolves sitting in wait in a forest. Further along, closer to grandma's house, there's a costume change into a tweed top with even bigger fox appliques, the better to see you with, worn with a luxurious red fur hood and, a real novelty, fur-accented panties. Then there's a luxurious red fur with matching hood, all the better to eat you with, my dear. And the happy ending: a romantically flowing sheer red organza dress in a floral print, worn with a pointed red hood with black undertones.

Dolce&Gabbana mined a rich vein of romance for their "Once Upon a Time in Sicily" womenswear collection for next fall and winter, which previewed Sunday, the fifth day of Milan Fashion Week. The looks took some queues from a Norman-inspired collection for men shown in January, including the knight knit "chainmail" hoods covered in sequins or round mirrors and repeating Medieval motif, here it was keys.

The designing duo of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana invented even more characters for this womenswear story than they had for the menswear parade of knights and knaves, princes and jesters. Who better than Dolce&Gabbana to design the perfect wench dress, a sheer number that wraps fetchingly around the curves with snug lace-up bodice, in burgundy, green and crimson. There's also a female knight, if you will, in a jewel-encrusted mini-robe and matching boots, or a woodswoman, austere in smart green tunic and cropped trousers, or a Botticelli goddess in diaphanous florals.

The duo also sent some relatively unadorned outfits down the runway, emphasizing the tailoring of the underlying collection without the distraction of appliques and accents. Anyone who wants to cross over to a more fantastical world can always throw on a fur hood or bejeweled gloves.

Eva Herzigova and Monica Bellucci were on hand for the fairy tale collection, set in a magical forest of knotty olive trees.

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