Prada Offers Men The Soft, Cuddly Look

Miuccia Prada plans to give men that warm-and-fuzzy feeling next winter.

The trend-setting Italian designer showed off shag-pile style in her autumn-winter 2007-08 catwalk collection yesterday, during men’s fashion week in Milan.

“Men will be like cuddly soft toys in winter,” she joked backstage, explaining her top-to-toe fuzzy fashions.

“I’m tired of seeing the same skinny trousers so I tried to do something different.

“The idea is one of mutation, from sportswear to elegance.”

Hi-tech blends of cashmere and mohair – their fine fibres melded together rather like hair extensions – were used to create furry coats, rectangular vests and fluffy trousers, soft against the skin but textured like shag-pile carpet on the outside.

Long black beaver fur formed Yeti-style overcoats, and trench coats were cropped into short fur capes.

Hairy mohair jumpers poked from beneath the hems of boxy grey flannel suits, and square-cut tunics featured drawstring necklines, hems and cuffs.

Splashes of acid orange and green livened up the sombre shades of black and gunmetal grey.

The tops of trousers and bottoms of jackets showed either splashes of colour or a faded effect, as if the wearer had sat on wet paint or spilt bleach.

Prada’s clean-cut models clutched handbags resembling women’s purses, in quilted black nylon or bright patent-leather versions with flashing silver handles.

Black was the business of the day for Giorgio Armani, who used only flashes of silver to brighten his youthful Emporio Armani collection.

“It’s not a matter of winter being dark, of there being little sun,” he said backstage.

“It’s just difficult to put colour in a men’s collection. And lighter colours always make you look bigger.

“Young men just want to look great when they dress up. And black just looks hot, guys – it looks hot!”

Armani mixed street-style with sophistication, matching formal business jackets with silken sports pants that gleamed like molten mercury.

Trousers, tight as leggings, were tucked into long, scrunched-down black boots.

Footwear featured rugged black ankle boots, shiny sneakers and calf-high boots the colour of melted chocolate.

Armani’s winter sports range might be a boon for lost snowboarders – the sci-fi silver snow gear looked dazzling enough to be spotted from space.

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