Milan opts for easy outfits for next summer
Updated: 2011-06-27 16:33
Models march to the Gucci tune for its 2012 Spring/Summer collection on the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week. Wang Qingqin/Xinhua
Alexander McQueen's new men's collection employs bold colors and the season's ubiquitous raffia hat.
The Milan fashion week ended Tuesday with Giorgio Armani and the DSquared2 designing duo offering their spin on next year's spring and summer styles.
Armani kept it cool, presenting a relaxed wardrobe laden with light deconstructed jackets, darted trousers and airy geometric patterned pullovers.
The fun-loving Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten opted for multiple-choice attire ranging from longshoremen in distressed jeans and sailor caps to the romantic suitor in coral pink pants and a double-breasted white jacket, to creatures of the night sporting bright red tuxedo jackets with black silk lapels.
Although coming from two different directions, both brands reflected the mood created on the Milan runway for four days where the top-billed brands - including Prada, Gucci, Dolce&Gabbana, Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander, Britain's Burberry and Versace - were previewing their 2012 warm-weather collections.
Whether elegant or sporty, the collections were easy to understand and easy to wear. Eccentricity does not fare well in an economic crisis.
On the elegant side, the clothes harkened back to the fashionable 1950s with double-breasted jackets, white shirts, often high-waisted pants with pleats, and classic loafers.
The sporty side instead looks ahead to the 2012 summer Olympics in London, with allusions to fencing, riding, and track and field. Rain jackets and lightweight bombers offer protection against the inevitable summer shower.
Golf, not back on the Olympic calendar until the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, also is a major influence for the upcoming season.
Overall the trend is more about dressing up at a beach resort than taking a swim. Except for a few bathing trunks, shorts were strictly Bermuda length, worn, alas, with black socks and city shoes.
Fabrics are ultra light and cut in loose billowy shapes. There is little room for hot and sexy in these cooled-down collections.
Prints from large and floral, to geometric or even comic figures permeated the runway. At times the same print was used for both jacket and trouser for a jumpsuit effect, or clashing prints could combine in a single outfit.
The summer color palette is made up of pastels and relaxing shades of beige, gray and sky blue with flashes of coral, emerald green and canary yellow to perk things up. Black and white continue to be staple shades.
Studs and jeweled embroidery are the favorite eyecatchers appearing on everything from leather jackets to cowboy shirts and golf bags.
Bags, whether for sport, office or travel, are large and roomy. Shoes, especially the popular walking sandal, come in bright colors.
The item that binds all the looks together is the raffia hat, which can be worn anywhere from the bleachers of the main court at Wimbledon to the posh cafes on the Isle of Capri.
Milan's holiday-themed collections brought a whiff of fresh air into the fashion industry, which is undergoing an intense round of consolidation and stock-exchange listings.
Luxury groups Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo are aiming to raise as much as $2.67 billion in their initial public share offerings, or IPOs, this month.
"It's fantastic to see all these projects that are warming up the market. Investors' interest shows that the fashion industry is growing," Gianluca Brozzetti, chief executive of Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli, told Reuters.
Trendsetter designer Miuccia Prada, back from a fashion show in Hong Kong for IPO investors, delivered in Milan a carefree collection inspired by golf courses, with ironic shirts in cartoon and floral prints playing with tailored suits.
The fashion industry, a key contributor to Italy's economy, is expected to generate 65 billion euros ($93 billion) this year, according to Italy's Chamber of Fashion, up 7 percent from 2010.
Reuters contributed to this story.
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