New look, old skills at Ferre men, Emporio on slopes

Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:35pm EST
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By Jo Winterbottom

MILAN (Reuters) - Lars Nilsson, hired to head designer Gianfranco Ferre after the founder's death last year, broke with tradition and used a presentation instead of a catwalk show on Sunday for his first collection.

"I thought this was the right way to present ... my new vision for Gianfranco Ferre," Nilsson told Reuters at the winter 2009 menswear show.

Ferre, known for his skilful tailoring and trademark white shirts for men and women, died after a brain hemorrhage in June 2007. Nilsson promised a catwalk show for his first womenswear collection which will show in February.

The Swedish designer kept the tailored tradition for slimline suit jackets and overcoats at this presentation, where live models mixed with dummies in a set laid out as four rooms.

Tailoring "is something I like a lot personally and I feel very comfortable with. I'm very happy to be able to do that type of work," Nilsson said.

He made a nod to Ferre's white shirts only in formal evening wear, otherwise using steely blues, beiges and greys.

Trouser legs were oversized, ruched up in straight leather or billowing in country woollens over oxblood brogues, while he took necks high and buttoned up on warm wool coats and jackets.

"Maybe it's in the silhouette that I'm breaking away, with more of a fitted jacket and the wider pants," Nilsson said. "It's a lot about warmth ... a softness but in a very masculine way."   Continued...

<p>Swedish designer Lars Nilsson poses between two creations of Gianfranco Ferre's Fall/Winter 2008/09 men's collection during Milan Fashion Week January 13, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo</p>