Valentino 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.