Notes From Milan Fashion Week

Giorgio Armani Spring Summer '08Valentino and Giorgio Armani are accustomed to seeing the world’s highest profile men step out in their beautifully tailored suits. But the pair were showcasing a rather different approach to the wardrobe staple during their collections for spring/summer 2008 Milan Fashion Week.

Valentino added a colonial flavour to his show which, with its sports jackets in luxurious fabrics, emphasised the classic elegance the 45-year-old label is renowned for. Armani, on the other hand, deconstructed the jacket to have it serve like a shirt, worn over a bare torso and waistcoat. Adding another take on the suit for next spring/summer was British designer John Richmond, whose collection married English dandy with Sicilian bandit.

Sportswear was a big focus for many of the designers, including Alexander McQueen. The Londoner had taken inspiration from surfer dudes, presenting fluorescent lycra leggings, hippie style T-shirts, Sixties slogan prints, and Bermuda shorts. The surfer look was echoed at Burberry where dropped-crotch trousers imitated the silhouette of surfers easing themselves out of a wet suit.

Motor racing, however, was the theme at Dsquared2 where buff models donned pit-style overalls and Formula One patches adorned denim jeans and leather jackets.

Less was clearly more when it came to beachwear at Dolce & Gabbana, with the Dutch design duo showing uber-minimalist swimming trunks. The glamorous label also gave a young urban take on contemporary menswear though linen shirts and scrunched up combats.

While many of the catwalks kept to a typical summer palette of creams, light greys and pastels, the Moschino runway was a riot of colour, reflecting the designer’s homage to the Eighties. Brightly hued trench coats in sizzling orange mingled with white trousers and pink sock combos topped with fluorescent hats.

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