While Italian designer Giorgio Armani, considered the doyen of Italian fashion, touted classic looks with his "classicism of 2010, fashion's dynamic duo, D&G broke the men's fashion mold with their focus on "extreme beauty".
All of the looks presented in Milan at the 40 different catwalks comprising the menswear show are designs which will be available for Spring of 2010.
Fashion critics and other industry watchers were nervous about the shows since the Italian fashion sector has been heavily hit by the ongoing global financial crisis. After a slow start to 2009 fashion runway showings, Italy's National Chamber of Fashion reported that positive signals appear to be happening. The reason for this opinion? Approximately 15 percent more collections were presented in the June 2009 Italian menswear fashion week compared to the January 2009 winter shows.
Armani who is closely watched by up and coming designers featured over sized patterns on shirts, ties, shimmering silk and linen. Fitted suits were chequered or striped, in greys, light brown or in pale, luminous colors, teamed with loose shirts. Armani also coupled sky blue patterned tops with plain white suits. He brought out some denim designs, giving a lighter touch to casual suits, sometimes with waistcoats.
Models, sometimes teamed with female models, wore two-tone lace up shoes or ankle boots, sunglasses and small cases.
D&G's Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana focused their designs in a completely different direction from Armani which was based around embroidery. D&G showcased sparkling jackets over black trousers rolled up to the ankle and silk shirts tucked into short, tight swimming trunks. The dynamic duo said they paid homage to the "hedonistic beauty of a sartorial suit studied to its finest detail" from the proportions of the lapel to the fabric.
The team also put together sparkling silver, gold and shiny black embroidery on jackets, scarves, trousers and velvet slippers. They added caps, square-shaped sunglasses and small square-shaped bags.
Their blue and black jeans were ripped all the way down, revealing a second layer of material. Brazilian model Jesus Luz -- whose name has been linked to singer Madonna -- led models in black embroidered jackets and smooth trousers for evening wear.
British design house Burberry turned to the "British town and country under British rain and sun" for next spring. Creative Director Christopher Bailey topped slim dark trousers with trenches, macs and jackets -- some heavier than others, with details such as double collars or cape-like shapes. He went for pastel colors for lighter jackets and added trench-like straps to tops. He accessorized with large bags.
"I wanted to start the show with rain and end with sunshine. I think it's a nice analogy of what the whole world is going through as well," Bailey told Reuters backstage.
Ermenegildo Zegna, known for luxury suits, chose a "nomadic nature" theme, with double-breasted jackets and loose trousers in soft colors and casual, short jackets over slimmer trousers.
As accessories, models wore raffia hats, featherweight ties that resembled summer scarves and vintage-look sunglasses.
Some even had a harness-like coat carrier, made up of belts and worn over the shoulder. Chief Executive Gildo Zegna told Reuters the consumption had changed during the crisis. "Men are going for a more deconstructed, soft look and this is why we had a very luxury casual fashion show," he said.
Missoni continued the safari trend introduced last season with sun bleached khaki, which made the models look as if they'd spent a week traversing a desert. Folksy geometric knits were also in abundance in the Missoni collection.
Versace chose themes designed around loose-fitting linens in a colonial look, including tunic tops and trousers in shades of white and cream.
Striped boating blazers were highlighted at Frankie Morello.
Raf Simons for Jil Sander, whose clothes were inspired by the work of the Japanese artist Tsuguharu Foujita. Raf said of the collection, "It is a message of love - very pure, very simple". We were feeling the love for the prints, but when it came to the pudding-basin hairdos we only felt nauseous.
Vivienne Westwood's designs included boating style blazers.
Models seemed to be wearing trousers that could zip up to the mid-chest. Fashion Statement spent a good ten minutes pondering who, of the men we know, could get away with this singular look. Interested?
Gucci showcased monochrome prints and horrible skiwear-of-the-eighties knits.
Appearing on the catwalks as if they were all set for an extended camping trip the fashion house had a Bavarian lumberjack feel.
Many fashion trend watchers defined the key themes as shiny fabric and trims meet the eighties without the power shoulders.
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