Designers keep crisis in mind at Milan's menswear

Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:35pm EST
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

MILAN (Reuters) - Designers at Milan's menswear fashion week said the global financial crisis remained firmly on their minds as they sought to woo credit-crunched buyers with their designs.

Bottega Veneta kicked off the second day of Milan's Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 fashion week on Sunday, with Creative Director Tomas Maier saying the fashion house had thought very carefully about what its customers wanted at this time.

"I think whenever you're designing, you're always influenced by what is going on in the world, you're automatically influenced by what is going on around us," Maier told Reuters.

"The last collections, for us, were very paired down, restrained and not opulent ... I'm not about opulence at all, I'm not showy. I don't think it's what anybody wants right now."

Maier took inspiration from the cardigan, putting in softer cardigan-like sleeves on jackets. He added knit in different places -- as a bowtie or the collar of a coat. Colors were soft -- ash, graphite, grey-brown and truffle brown.

"(We are) going through rough times right now, and when I get home at night, I put on my cardigan -- it's like 25 years old, it's my favorite piece of clothing. It gives you that (element) of comfort and feel good," he said.

"I felt it was interesting to translate that into the attitude of the season's clothes because I think it was important to bring some kind of ... softfulness ... something that makes you feel good."

Seeking to go back to his origins, Roberto Cavalli told reporters at his show it was "important to win the financial war, to overcome this moment."   Continued...

<p>A model displays a creation as part of the Roberto Cavalli Fall/Winter 2009/10 men's collections during Milan Fashion Week January 18, 2009. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo</p>