Tim Robbins takes in Emporio Armani as Fashion Week opens

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

MILAN (AP) — Italy's fashion capital is getting a little more traffic than usual as Milan Fashion Week kicks off, thanks to the Expo 2015 world's fair at the city's gates, now in its second month.

Four days of menswear previews for next spring and summer began Saturday with Emporio Armani, Dolce&Gabbana, Jil Sander, Versace and Philipp Plein. And Marni is showing menswear on the runway for the first time.

Perhaps the fashionistas will find time for Expo before moving on to Paris next week.

Here are some highlights:


It wasn't Gregory Peck's Vespa but the girl on the runway could be an updated Audrey Hepburn.

Emporio Armani has teamed up with Vespa to create a sleek new 946 scooter with matte black paint, suggesting a time somewhere between nostalgia and now. A series of the scooters greeted guests at the menswear spring summer preview in Giorgio Armani's more intimately renovated theater.

The collection was light and layered, featuring classic Armani shapes in neutral tones. The looks were loose with textured and sometimes crinkled fabric, easy to imagine zipping along urban streets. There was a focus on pants, with roomy pleated trousers that seemed to drape the leg. More athletic knit trousers were cinched at the ankle. Whether the look was formal or causal ultimately was defined by the jacket, ranging from double-breasted to more Asian-inspired looks with pagoda shoulders. And there were wonderful papery anoraks for that unexpected shower.

Shoes included surprising sling-back Oxfords as well as sneakers, while ample back-packs fastened snugly to the body. The looks were topped with berets and dark aviator glasses.

Though it was menswear, Armani sent a dozen women's looks down the runway, displaying the adaptability of men's tailoring for women — something in which Hepburn pioneered. A series of men's cut shirts over baggy trousers would have suited her well.



Actor Tim Robbins, hair slicked back and mixing blue-and-black in Armani fashion, was in the front row for the Emporio Armani show.

"I don't know fashion," said Robbins, who is in town to perform a "Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Triennale. "But I liked the clothes."

Robbins says he's been exploring Milan by bicycle, which is not for the faint of heart given the traffic and tram tracks.

"The Duomo is beautiful," he said referring to Milan's cathedral. "But I've been going with my bicycle everywhere, so I've ... seen so many things, not going inside, but just trying to figure out how to get around in the city."

He'll be performing Monday through Wednesday evening with the Actor's Gang.

"I'm just happy to be in Italy. I just love Italy," he said.



Dolce&Gabbana remain rooted in their beloved Sicily but continue to find foreign influence in its rich cultural heritage.

This season, the Chinese Palace of Palermo offered inspiration for the menswear collection, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana explained in nine languages in a colorful booklet with the show invitation.

There was a flow to the collection: Silk suits segued into Oriental-style tops with matching trousers and then into silken pajama style shirts underneath double-breasted suits — East and West mixing seamlessly. The looks were printed with ornate patterns inspired by the palace, including teeming scenes of flora and birds and rich reproductions of dragons and peacocks.

On the more casual-luxury side, tops with Oriental prints or embroidered details were paired with ripped jeans or Bermuda shorts.

Espadrille-style shoes were worn with even the most formal looks, often out of luxurious leathers and animal prints.

Dolce&Gabbana complemented their iconic ornate looks with bold black and white graphic patterns this season — giving the collection an edgier touch.

The traditional finale featured a runway full of polo shirts in florals, oriental patterns, graphic prints and introducing the brand's new crown symbol.


Paola Masera contributed to this report.