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Sophisticated casual the name of the game at Fendi for summer 2011, shirtwaists are the canvas

MILAN (AP) — The Fendi 2011 collection is all about the shirtwaist.

Fendi opened the second day of Milan Fashion Week for the spring/summer 2011 with a sophisticated combination of casual and couture centering on that perennial fashion staple.

Today's version of the shirtwaist, presented Thursday, has soft lantern sleeves and is cinched at the waist with a colorful leather belt. Floral and geometric prints show up everywhere but the favorite new print is "cappuccino," which resembles coffee stains on a table cloth.

Overall, the summer collection is fresh and feminine, with loose trousers cropped at the ankle, soft tops over knee-length skirts, and a myriad of tunic dresses with a marked waistline and a demure below-the-knee hemline.

The collection's airy feel is due to the techno workmanship of the fabrics, from rubber-stamped organza to nylon seersucker and woven leather.

While Karl Lagerfeld's designing genius has boosted the Fendi success story for decades, the accessory department was given new life by a second-generation Fendi, Silvia Fendi Venturini, daughter of founding sister Anna.

With her "baguette" bag, she gave a new twist to the signature double F of the leather wear. For this round, she introduces chic medium-sized shoulder bags, handbags and clutch bags in contrasting red, blue and green on a brown leather background.

The latest Fendi footwear has a moderate heel in either wood, leather or cork.