Designer Marras brings party, pooch to Milan runway

Milan (AFP) - Antonio Marras sent Milan fashion week into a spin Saturday in a show climaxing with both the Italian designer and models dancing down the catwalk, a peppy dog at their heels.

The Sardinian designer unveiled an autumn-winter 2017 collection strong on floral patterns -- a theme taken to the zenith by models carrying potted plants down the runway with them.

The star face on the runway was Italian model Benedetta Barzini, 73, who was a radical feminist in her youth.

Marras's message was clear: now is the time for free expression and rule-breaking.

Dresses were long-sleeved with a discreet side-bow, cashmere jumpers in soft pink featured roses, while oversized jackets in embroidered gold were cinched in at the waist with wide leather belts.

A cape in black silk was matched with a transparent skirt with horizontal black stripes, but for the most part the collection sported autumn colours, from earthy browns to cold blues.

The applause at the end of the show turned into murmurs of amusement as the models came out for the final strut -- when all the outfits are shown off together -- but threw etiquette to the winds, waving their hands in time to the music.

Peels of laughter then rang out as Marras emerged to take his bow, but instead of playing it straight, set off at a run around the catwalk circuit, followed by his faithful models who leaped in the air, one losing her shoes in the process.

A small white dog joined in the fun, racing after the models to the tune of the 1973 Italian cult hit "I'm searching for Titina" by popular Roman singer and feminist Gabriella Ferri.

It was not clear whether the happy pooch, which bolted out from backstage, was a Marras mascot.