The Best Of Men’s Fashion Week: Round II

A continued look at the men’s Fall 2012 fashion shows in Milan and Paris…

The Salvatore Ferragamo show was set to moody piano music with a video of vaguely threatening clouds hovering above an urban skyline. Which provided the perfect backdrop for creative director Massimiliano Giornetti’s moody, broody collection, full of peak lapel double-breasted suits, fine gauge sweaters, tweedy salt and pepper overcoats, and velvet galore, all in classic shades of grey and navy offset by dashes of deep purple and rich aubergine. Also worth noting: the austere leather envelope bags and two-tone boots and lace-ups.

Missoni also offered color by way of cozy sweaters, plaid pants, and mixed-media parkas, which filtered the house’s signature stripes and zigzags through an English/Mod prism. This being Missoni, suit jackets had the ease of cardigans and slim velvet pants looked wonderfully casual-chic. Even the wool hats bore the house’s slouchy signature.

John Varvatos took New York City as his inspiration, as witnessed by the paved runway and NYC-themed short film that opened the show. On the runway, this played out via cement-hued suiting (I told you suits were big this season!) and asphalt-colored sweaters, chain-link prints, worn-in biker jackets, leather-sleeved blazers, and artfully distressed boots, all fit for Varvatos’ army of rock ‘n’ roll urban warriors.

Over at Roberto Cavalli it was all about carrying on the family tradition, as Roberto’s designer son, Daniele, showcased croc-print scarves, snake-patterned jackets, zebra-striped suits, and lush leather and velvet pieces offset by some beautifully cut blazers and outerwear in colors that ran from bold (salmon, purple, lemon yellow) to classic (navy, charcoal, and chocolate).

Neil Barrett also riffed on the suit, giving his a distinctly modern twist with zippered or knit-cuff trousers beneath sharp shouldered blazers, quilted satin sweatshirts, mohair sweaters, or leather varsity jackets, with many of the looks worn with stylish two-tone ankle boots and perfectly cut coats.

Newcomer Umit Benan made his men’s fashion week debut with what can only be described as a bang: amid a re-creation of an army barracks set at the end of the war, buff and rugged real guys (not a professional model in the bunch) showered, horsed around, and got tattoos. Real ones. On the stage during the show. And the clothes – a plaid cashmere paratrooper suit, a classic green Army jacket with a nipped-waist silhouette, cropped cargo pants, a butter-yellow rain poncho and a long johns-meet-quilted track suit ensemble – would look as appropriate on stylish civilians as they would on the enlisted men that inspired them.

Costume National designer Ennio Capasa looked back to his punk rock roots with a collection that twisted traditional menswear into something a bit more loose and free-spirited. To wit: trousers were cut full and cropped with a slight dropped crotch, a leather bomber had a ribbed knit back, a traditional trench trailed a trompe-l’oeil blouson, double-breasted jackets had knit sleeves, another topper reversed from a cardigan to a jacket, and many of the pieces featured backpack straps that allowed the wearer to hang it from their shoulders when not in use. The finishing touch: chunky black boots with silver toe caps (a detail also found on the kicks at Louis Vuitton – could this be a micro trend?).

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.


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