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June 24, 2009 5:30 PM

Fashion

Arrivederci, Milano: Dispatches from Men's Fashion

A look from DSquared2photo by Davide Maestri Z Zegna's homecoming show dropped the curtain on Milan Men's Fashion Week on Tuesday. The U.S. retailers say they're happy because designers delivered solidly commercial collections with enough zing to awaken consumers'...

A look from DSquared2
photo by Davide Maestri
Z Zegna's homecoming show dropped the curtain on Milan Men's Fashion Week on Tuesday. The U.S. retailers say they're happy because designers delivered solidly commercial collections with enough zing to awaken consumers' buying impulses.

They were elated with Ermenegildo Zegna and Giorgio Armani, two of the most vital brands for their businesses. They said Armani's show was his best in years, if not the best they'd ever seen, which was hugely reassuring since the Maestro is recovering from hepatitis.

In terms of pure entertainment value, Moncler Gamme Bleu took first prize with its swim-tastic pageantry. Who but Thom Browne could make us admire Mussolini and his architecture? (He built the indoor pool where Moncler showed.) Dsquared's Boy Scout camp was also quite exciting for quite prurient reasons. And Emporio Armani gave us a high-energy show, which included an adorable child and an impressive bike-handling demo. The employees certainly ate it up.

Celebrities came in short supply, but we did get to chat with Chace Crawford, Jack Huston, Kelly Osbourne, Jesus Luz and John Malkovich, among others. We saw Tom Ford for the first time in a year, since he emerged from the editing room. His film will be out in the fall. (Spoiler: There's no sex in it.) Furthermore, designers who attended each other's shows were treated like celebrities. Riccardo Tisci came to Versace; Raf Simons to Prada.

The ranks of editors were sadly depleted, due to recent magazine foldings and budget cuts, but we were nonetheless grateful to be at our semiannual reunion. Men's wear is super collegial, you see -- not catty like women's. An editor can knock over a table piled with glassware at Calvin Klein's model-rific party overlooking the Duomo, and we'll still like him.

Oh, and there were clothes to see, too. The broadest trends were soft tailoring that doesn't look businesslike; sheer materials like mesh, transparent nylon, open-weave knits and whisper-thin jersey; lots of groovy Seventies prints, painterly fabrics and sharp, graphic patterns; lived-in looks, including wrinkled suits and aged leather and distressed jeans; light neutral shades like cement and tobacco white, combined with pops of color, especially red. The stores are going to look really fresh next spring.

Spring 2010?! How are we already at the end of a decade? Time flies when you're rushing from show to show...to show...


For complete coverage of Men's Ready-to-Wear 2010 Collections click here >>
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