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China's Annakiki goes out of this world at Milan Fashion Week



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Aliens landed in Milan's fashion week on Wednesday with Annakiki by Chinese designer Anna Yang, who debuted in the Italian city with an out-of-this-world collection.

Chinese designers are making serious headway in Milan, which is hosting for the fall-winter 2017 season newcomers including Xuzhi Chen, who will show in Giorgio Armani's theatre later in the week, and the baby-faced Angel Chen.

Yang, born into a tailor's family, was gripped by the fashion virus aged eight and studied in South Korea and France before establishing her own label in 2012 and exhibiting at the London and Paris fashion weeks in 2014 and 2015. Her latest creations, Yang said, were "an ode to aliens" and inspired by a documentary on the discovery of extraterrestrials in Mexico in 1947, in which pieces of aluminium foil were found.

"Maybe those aluminium pieces were aliens' cloth or part of their skin?" she wondered in the notes for the show. And so she recreated the martians: models sashayed down the runway wearing metallic-coated outfits, with black patent leather boots, blood-red shiny skirts or grey metallic leggings.

The 1980s shoulder pads are back but wider and higher than ever and ending in sleeves so long they trail like tentacles. Hands not lost in the long dangling tubes are kept snug in purple fur gloves.

Oversized coats -- worn straight or shrugged off the shoulders -- are in, following a trend seen widely at fashion week in New York earlier this month. Eco-fur, cashmere, wool and velvet play counterpart to the heavily structured jackets, dungarees and rucksacks.

A beige hooded jacket with one arm in pink fur is worn with one green glove, while a pink plastic raincoat with a ruffled hem competes with a silver space bra trimmed with pink fur. A futuristic Red Riding Hood sauntered nonchalantly around the catwalk, despite her coat featuring several extra arms.

Yang said she had been trying to find herself with this collection, after a 2016 which was "chaotic and puzzling" for the fashion industry, with customers increasingly confused and wondering: "Styles? See now, buy later? Lower Prices?" "It's time to slow down," she said, revealing backstage that she planned to open the brand's first store outside China this year -- likely in Milan. (AFP)

anna yang
Milan Fashion Week