Fashionable Milan opens with texture and colour

Glossy lips, a colourful palette and new streamlined handbags: the fashion circus has moved on to Milan where Gucci opened the autumn/winter collections.

The house, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, turned out a slick 1940s-meets-1970s collection inspired by Faye Dunaway in The Eyes of Laura Mars. The designer, Frida Giannini, moved away from her 1970s rock-chick muse of recent seasons, instead creating a collection full of cinematic allure.

She gave her models an air of mystery, hiding their faces behind sunglasses and fedoras. Gucci is not a brand one would normally associate with below-the-knee culottes and pussycat-bow blouses, but Giannini managed to make the look, which owes something to Yves Saint Laurent, very glamorous. The palette of teal, cranberry, emerald and mauve, used on leathers, shearlings and silks, was saturated with drama.

Jackets hit the hipbone, slim and cinched, trousers were wide-legged and the stylish new handbags were smaller, neater and more structured - although there were larger "Jackie" shoulderbags (an ode to Jackie Onassis who wore the original in the mid 1970s) for those who can't fit their world into a clutch.

The temperature heated up for evening with provocative, sheer evening gowns in jewel colours festooned with cascades of silk flowers - millions of them, hand-painted and hand-sewn.

There is a definite ladylike mood appearing in the Milan shows this season with Karl Lagerfeld, who has designed for Fendi for more than 45 years, presenting flaring tweed coats and elegant, minimalist dresses with large tweed jabots pinned at the neck, which would look perfectly at home in an English country manor house. The Italians have a penchant for le style anglais and Lagerfeld's idea is that clothes can be feminine without being fussy.

You can't talk about Fendi without talking about fur, which is where its origins lie, making it a controversial brand. Yet beyond those skins was a subtle collection in a muted palette that combined manipulated wools, cashmeres and tweed with leather, while shagreen (stingray) leather clutches designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi were studded with semi-precious stones.

The idea of combining different textures (such as leather and wool) together in one outfit is a big story around the fashion capitals this season.

MaxMara (similarly tapping into the classic British country look) produced lean, belted coats with deep funnel collars, mixing fuzzy mohair, tartans, buttery leathers and glossy wools in pale, pure colours that are gorgeous enough to draw us out of the current winter's camel coats.

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Avatar (2009)

Director: James Cameron

Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

Rating: 3/5

Anxiety and work stress major factors

Anxiety, work stress and social isolation are all factors in the recogised rise in mental health problems.

A study UAE Ministry of Health researchers published in the summer also cited struggles with weight and illnesses as major contributors.

Its authors analysed a dozen separate UAE studies between 2007 and 2017. Prevalence was often higher in university students, women and in people on low incomes.

One showed 28 per cent of female students at a Dubai university reported symptoms linked to depression. Another in Al Ain found 22.2 per cent of students had depressive symptoms - five times the global average.

It said the country has made strides to address mental health problems but said: “Our review highlights the overall prevalence of depressive symptoms and depression, which may long have been overlooked."

Prof Samir Al Adawi, of the department of behavioural medicine at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, who was not involved in the study but is a recognised expert in the Gulf, said how mental health is discussed varies significantly between cultures and nationalities.

“The problem we have in the Gulf is the cross-cultural differences and how people articulate emotional distress," said Prof Al Adawi. 

“Someone will say that I have physical complaints rather than emotional complaints. This is the major problem with any discussion around depression."

Daniel Bardsley

Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

UAE results
Ireland beat UAE by six wickets
Zimbabwe beat UAE by eight wickets
UAE beat Netherlands by 10 wickets

UAE v Vanuatu, Thursday, 3pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium
Ireland v Netherlands, 7.30pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium

Group B table
1) Ireland 3 3 0 6 +2.407
2. Netherlands 3 2 1 4 +1.117
3) UAE 3 1 2 2 0.000
4) Zimbabwe 4 1 3 2 -0.844
5) Vanuatu 3 1 2 2 -2.180

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Zimbabwe v UAE, ODI series

All matches at the Harare Sports Club:

1st ODI, Wednesday, April 10

2nd ODI, Friday, April 12

3rd ODI, Sunday, April 14

4th ODI, Tuesday, April 16

UAE squad: Mohammed Naveed (captain), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammed Usman, CP Rizwan, Chirag Suri, Mohammed Boota, Ghulam Shabber, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Key products and UAE prices

iPhone XS
With a 5.8-inch screen, it will be an advance version of the iPhone X. It will be dual sim and comes with better battery life, a faster processor and better camera. A new gold colour will be available.
Price: Dh4,229

iPhone XS Max
It is expected to be a grander version of the iPhone X with a 6.5-inch screen; an inch bigger than the screen of the iPhone 8 Plus.
Price: Dh4,649

iPhone XR
A low-cost version of the iPhone X with a 6.1-inch screen, it is expected to attract mass attention. According to industry experts, it is likely to have aluminium edges instead of stainless steel.
Price: Dh3,179

Apple Watch Series 4
More comprehensive health device with edge-to-edge displays that are more than 30 per cent bigger than displays on current models.

The biog

Fast facts on Neil Armstrong’s personal life:

  • Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio
  • He earned his private pilot’s license when he was 16 – he could fly before he could drive
  • There was tragedy in his married life: Neil and Janet Armstrong’s daughter Karen died at the age of two in 1962 after suffering a brain tumour. She was the couple’s only daughter. Their two sons, Rick and Mark, consulted on the film
  • After Armstrong departed Nasa, he bought a farm in the town of Lebanon, Ohio, in 1971 – its airstrip allowed him to tap back into his love of flying
  • In 1994, Janet divorced Neil after 38 years of marriage. Two years earlier, Neil met Carol Knight, who became his second wife in 1994