Milan menswear plays urban chic, blurs looks

Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:05pm EST
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By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN (Reuters) - Designers at the Milan menswear fashion week blended timeless cashmere coats with edgy leather jackets for next winter, reinventing styles to gain space in men's conventional wardrobes.

Italian menswear fashion has been hit harder than womenswear by the global crisis, particularly suits and ties.

Sistema Moda Italia, an industry body, estimates that turnover in the sector will remain flat in 2011 for a second year in a row. Sales were around 8.3 billion euros ($11.12 billion) in 2010.

At Ferragamo, designer Massimiliano Giornetti mixed tradition and modernity, showing knits with leather details, cashmere sweaters and white casual-chic suits.

"The elements that comprise a man's wardrobe don't vary that much over time. So to evolve you have to reinvent what you already have," Tomas Maier, creative director at Bottega Veneta, said in a statement. His collection featured knits and washed, aged leathers.

Double-breasted jackets and equestrian details were seen at Gucci, where designer Frida Giannini used costly materials such as crocodile.

Form-fitting suits recurred in many collections for the autumn/winter 2011/12 season. At Costume National, jackets were worn with soft sweaters rather than shirts and ties -- a trend of the season.

Buckling the trend, Giorgio Armani opted for more gentle forms for his total-grey collection, which included longer jackets and roomy trousers.   Continued...