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Gianni's niece Allegra front row at Versace show in Milan

2 March 2009
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Although she usually keeps a relatively low profile compared to her jet-setter mum Donatella, Allegra Versace was front row to see the family firm unveil its sensual proposals for autumn/winter at Milan Fashion Week. She was kept company by celebrity photographer Mario Testino.

After spring/summer's toned-down designs, her mother proposed a return to va-va-voom eveningwear for next season.

Maxi dresses were slit to the thigh, shoulders were bare and minis were slashed in a manner which recalled Elizabeth Hurley's famous safety-pin creation.

Evening gowns were also a prominent element in Dsquared twins Dean and Dan Caten's grunge-meets-sophistication' collection. The Canadian design duo intermingled the eveningwear with skimpy, knitted minis and leggings to create a multi-layered uniform for the urban cool.

Fendi's creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, meanwhile, sent out Joan of Arc-styled heroines in a moulded leather bustiers and romantic crimson velvet dresses.

Dolce & Gabbana created a buzz in the Italian fashion capital, too, taking their inspiration from the surrealist artists Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau and Man Ray.

Marilyn Monroe was a special guest star, appearing on puffballs, crinolines and a silk evening gown that made for a stunning finale.

The celebrity-heavy audience, among them Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, and Naomi Watts, loved it all, applauding enthusiastically after sending snappers into overdrive when they made their entrance.

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Photo: Rex
Twenty-two-year-old Allegra, who inherited a 50 per cent share of the company from her uncle Gianni, only occasionally steps into the limelight at Versace events. She attended the label's Milan fashion week show with photographer Mario Testino
Photo: Getty Images
Chief designer Donatella delivered a collection which echoed the sensual approach the label took in the Nineties
Photo: Getty Images
Surrealist art had inspired at D&G, where this stunning Marilyn-print dress closed the show

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