This week, Wallpaper’s Nick Vinson will be reporting from the men’s
shows in Milan, exclusively on Wallpaper.com, not only highlighting key styles from the catwalks but also giving us the inside track on the fashion pack's comings and goings. Today, Jil Sander, Dolce e Gabbana, Burberry Prorsum and Versace come under the spotlight.
Raf Simons for Jil Sander
Opening fashion week and (hopefully) setting the standard for the days ahead
was Raf Simons with his third season at the creative helm of Jil Sander.
Continuing with themes he developed over the last year, he proves yet again
that he was the right hire for the job. Best was the tailoring that opened
the show – nothing unconsidered or superfluous – and his exercise in
pinstripes: starting with extra wide stripes (4 cm apart) he went on
reducing the element down to the absolute minimum possible, to just one
precise stripe placed right of the centre on jackets and coats. The stripe
was also woven into poplin for that Sander staple, the white shirt, and was
flashed through some great high roll-necked knitwear.
Dolce e Gabbana
A revolving white set inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
and a soundtrack that included Strauss’s Blue Danube was the setting for a
show dominated by tailoring. A new shorter, slimmer silhouette, worn with
either skinny pants or jeans had just a hint of Thierry Mugler (more from
him later). This is the autumn/winter season, yet Dolce e Gabbana also
showed lightweight summer tailoring, shorts and even swimwear in colours
like chalk, white and pale grey. Nothing to do global warming but instead a
preview of pre-spring 2008 (commonly known as Cruise in womenswear) with
deliveries set for mid-November (winter gets delivered in June). It may seem
crazy, but the market must want it, Dolce e Gabbana’s success comes from
giving their clients what they need at the right time. But with the balmy 21
degrees this week in Florence during Pitti Uomo, some of it seemed almost
perfect to wear right now.
A combination of shades that included anthracite, nickel, peat, sepia and
airforce blue exhibited Christopher Bailey’s masterful colour use.
Practically every look had outerwear of one sort or another based on the
tailored military uniform or expedition clothing (for a bit of Burberry
heritage). Bailey’s uniform for the modern Burberry boy is a shirt, a very
oversized sweater and an ultra-slim coat over short skinny boot cut pants
and flat boots. Giant (think really really big) fur mittens completed some
of the looks. The great coats that dominated the show came in flannel,
boiled wool, pressed wool, shearling, quilted plongé leather and somewhat
surprisingly, sheared mink and silk shantung for an evening trench – good to
see some attempts at offering men more than a just a smoking jacket for the
Showing her menswear for the first time in the new Teatro Versace, Donatella
Versace went for an austere look and a sombre palate of black, brown and
camel with tailoring inspired by the military academies of the European
Aristocracy (and perhaps a little Nineties Mugler too), an influence also
visible in the highly polished shoes and gloves with patent leather stripes.
Best were the graphic inserts on slim-fitting dress shirts and cashmere
knits, with bright coloured suede, patent and satin geometric panels
crossing the torso like a ceremonial sash, which also came through as a V
(as in Versace of course!). They had a constructivist feel and were a
natural evolution from Versace’s prints this summer inspired by Dan Flavin.
The show also included a sneak preview of next month’s womenswear, with a
series of short shift dresses with the same graphic inserts, this time in
patent, satin and beads.