The fur is flying on the catwalks of Milan ahead of this month's 2010 spring/summer shows, after Dolce & Gabbana announced they were changing the date of a key show to avoid clashing with the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur.
Instead, the style duo will send their latest designs down the runway on the same day – and in some cases at the same hour – as some of their biggest rivals. And the rivals, including leading names such as Krizia, Prada and Roberto Cavalli, are furious, with the latter asking them "to reflect on their decision and rethink".
Yom Kippur falls on 28 September this year – the same date earmarked for the D&G diffusion line show. In order to accommodate leading Jewish figures in the fashion industry, including the International Herald Tribune's fashion correspondent Suzy Menkes, Dolce & Gabbana have changed their schedule.
Menkes's customary absence from shows that clash with Yom Kippur is well known, and designers have often kept their shows away from the date. But to make such a late change of plan is practically unheard of.
Saverio Moschillo, the president of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, said last-ditch attempts to reach an agreement between the duelling fashion divas were under way. "Religion always has to be respected, but we have to find a solution that doesn't damage fashion."