Milan Fashion Week starts on somber note

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

MILAN (AP) — Milan Fashion Week started off on a somber note Saturday, as the design world maintained a vigil for the missing CEO of the family-run Missoni fashion house.

The Italian National Fashion Chamber urged the fashion community to post messages on social networks to keep pressure on authorities not to abandon the search for Vittorio Missoni and five others who disappeared aboard a twin-engine plane near Venezuelan islands on Jan. 5.

Designers expressed their solidarity with the family on the first day of menswear previews Saturday.

"No one better than me can understand the pain and anguish that they are experiencing, the suffering of the sister Angela," Donatella Versace told Italian reporters before her menswear preview. Versace's brother, Gianni, the founder of the company, was killed by a gunman in Miami in July 1997.

Despite the uncertainty, the Missoni fashion house confirmed its menswear preview show for Sunday. In a message posted on Facebook, designer Angela Missoni, Vittorio's sister, expressed gratitude for messages of support. Their brother, Luca, a trained pilot, was in Venezuela helping with the search.

"They did very well to confirm the appointment with the new collection. Vittorio would have done the same," said Mario Boselli, head of the fashion chamber.

Thirty-seven brands were holding fashion shows to present their menswear collections for next winter over four days.



Dolce and Gabbana's menswear collection for next winter is pure masculinity, infused with southern romanticism.

With motifs of winter roses, illuminated Madonnas and baroque embossing, the 2014 winter menswear collection evokes the design house's Sicilian roots. And to drive home the point, the designing duo chose ordinary Sicilians as their models, as they have done in the past, filling the runway with men who were more muscular, with more pronounced features and often shorter than those usually seen in fashion.

Cinched high-waist pleated pants strongly suggested a bygone era. Trouser lengths varied from calf to ankle, straight or cuffed, while jacket, coats and vests ranged from short waist cuts to long overcoats.

In its most basic iteration, the collection featured black pants paired with white blousons or dark ribbed sweaters — the clothes of a craftsman, a fisherman, a laborer. Detailing like an overlay of white lace on the blousons elevated the look far above mere utility.

And there were also garments fitting of the merchant class — rich brocade jackets and thick furry overcoats and velvet suits. These more formal clothes, including a dark suit jacket overlayed with white lace and finished with velvet trim, could be worn for business, a personal celebration or to Sunday Mass.



Tradition meets innovation in Burberry Prorsum's new winter looks for men.

The "I Love Classics" collection — or made more technology-friendly, I (heart) Classics — focuses heavily on outerwear, from the classic trench and duffel, to topcoats, Chesterfields and bombers.

While diving deep into Burberry's archives, designer Christopher Bailey managed also to have fun, adding a touch of whimsy with repeating heart motifs and oversizing military-inspired accents.

"I liked the idea of celebrating things that are familiar, classic, the kind of classic Burberry, classic menswear," Bailey said backstage. "But I wanted to be playful as well."

Bailey married innovation and levity in traditional coats made of light-weight transparent rubber with a repeating heart lining. Bailey said Burberry developed the rubber to be silky to the touch. Cashmere also gets special treatment, with new finishes and bonding to alter the texture.

Colors followed the classic line — camel, bone, olive, navy and black — with deep reds and dark royal purple.

Maintaining a light mood, animal prints also accented classic bags, complementing the Burberry check pattern, and also adorned shoes and boots. Animal print sunglasses complete the look.



Tall, almost Puritan collars gave gravitas to Jil Sander's first winter menswear collection since returning to the label she founded.

The ample lapels made prominent in the collection for next fall/winter often contrasted in tone or texture with the jacket or sweater they accented, and were sometimes layered over more traditional notched lapels. Short-cropped hair kept the focus on neckline.

Suit jackets were kept mostly shorter and allowed to billow slightly in the back. This permitted whimsical layering with longer sweaters underneath — and most of the suits were finished with sweaters, crew necks or mock turtlenecks, rather than shirts. Pants were straight, and ankle-length, giving way to well-polished boots.

While the looks adhered to the line's minimalist credo — simplicity and clean lines — there was nothing austere about it.

The colors and fabrics were both lush and luxurious. Crimson, cobalt and pine contrasted soothingly with more sober grays and black. Even strong shades were easy on the eyes. Materials included chunky corduroy, cashmere knit and leather.

For fun, Sander offered sleeveless pull-over vests, leaving arms and shoulders bare, and sometimes bi-colored in Harlequin fashion. For more serious moments, there were double-breasted pinstripes, distinguished with monochrome panels.



Cyber-kinetic patterns give energy to classic looks by Ermenegildo Zegna.

Zegna signals a push for innovation in the title of the collection: "Style for Change."

Zegna zips up the double-breasted suit with graphic lines, while repeating patterns of dots fused into lines give motion to overcoats.

Gray dominates the collection, giving it an urban flair.

The basic look forms around suits, paired with slim, elegant ties or scoop-neck sweaters. Trousers are straight cut without being tight, and might include a cummerbund that elongate the look.

Much attention is flourished on collars, which when small might be decorated with a clip, or when oversized adorned with a clasp.

Textures operate in contrast. Soft alpaca coats are worn over tailored suits.

Shoes taper to a point, while bags span a range from travel backs to computer totes.