Dressing for Success?

With the lira down and the nation rocked by the Mani Pulite, or Clean Hands, kickback investigations, Italians need some good economic news. They looked for it, naturally, in the Milan fall ready-to-wear shows, just ended, hoping in part that a recovering U.S. economy will send a windfall of clothing orders their way. One enticement: with the weaker lira, price tags will be at least 15% lower than last year's. But the critics' reviews were mixed. Clown motifs, gold frogging, Tyrolean touches or military flourishes cluttered many of the outfits and seemed inappropriate for local customers who are trying to hide...

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