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Amid the runway hubbub, reflections on politics and hopes for the Italian market

Models on parade at the end of the Aquilano and Rimondi women's Fall-Winter 2014-15 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Giuseppe Aresu)

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Models on parade at the end of the Aquilano and Rimondi women's Fall-Winter 2014-15 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Giuseppe Aresu)

MILAN - Tweed over organza, an oversized masculine coat over with a ruffled bustle peeking out, these are the contrasts at the heart of the new collection by Aquilano Rimondi.

The new collection by designers Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi is rich with detail: fur trim, embroidery, contrast piping and steel rose appliques. Yet the overall effect is a wardrobe for real life, even as it encompasses the elegant-casual contrast, rather than the more rarified, highly structured and ornate collections of the past.

"Cocooning," Aquilano said, is the collection's overall effect, achieved through generous layering, with roomy sweaters or colored fur coats over transparent pleated organza skirts. Rich velvety scarves wrap the neck and fill the open V in coats.

"We wanted to do a concept that was extremely urban," Aquilano said. "Last season we did rich sportswear, this season rather is reality, which can be rich and which can be decidedly better — also for us in Italy who are living an unsual moment."

Ah, politics, it can't be escaped, even amid the runway hubbub in the fashion capital — ever aware that Rome's actions will affect its fortunes on a day that Italy got a bold new premier.

Aquilano said he hoped a new government "would give new life to exports, give new life to the Italian market, but above all the export market."

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