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Batman, cowboys and Norman conquerors

  • A model wears a creation for Etro men's Fall-Winter 2014 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

  • Models wear creations for Dolce & Gabbana men's Autumn-Winter 2014 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

  • A model presents a creation for fashion house Giorgio Armani as part of Autumn/Winter 2014 Milan Collections during the Men's fashion week on January 14, 2014 in Milan. AFP PHOTO ANDREAS SOLARO

  • A model presents a creation for fashion house Gucci as part of Autumn/Winter 2014 Milan Collections during the Men's fashion week on January 13, 2014 in Milan. AFP PHOTO GIUSEPPE CACACE

  • A model wears a creation for Versace men's Autumn-Winter 2014 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

MILAN: Inspired by Batman, cowboys and Norman conquerors, fashion designers in Milan showed casual and vibrant outfits alongside sharp tailoring for male shoppers who are looking beyond the classic suit.

Italy’s fashion capital wrapped up Wednesday its showcase on 39 catwalks spanning four days for a men’s fashion market that consultancy Bain & Co. says is growing faster than womenswear globally.

Men now represent 40 percent of the luxury goods market, according to a Bain report in October.

At Iceberg, designer Federico Curradi drew on the sporty brand’s history of using cartoon images to create clothes intended to be as suitable at the office as at a party.

“The focus for me was to think about one fantastic cartoon, and I thought about Bruce Wayne,” Curradi told Reuters after showing long tunic tops under mohair sweaters, blazers and bomber jackets, mostly in black and gray with flashes of red.

“In the day, he was like a really traditional man, wearing a beautiful English style, but at night when he became a hero, he changed totally,” Curradi said.

Italian label Versace sent models down the runway in leather chaps, shirts fastened with bootlace ties, thick-heeled cowboy boots and motorbike helmets emblazoned with Versace’s Medusa-head logo.

“There is a young man who is buying us,” Donatella Versace was quoted as saying after the show by Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “Young men use fashion as a weapon now.”

Masculinity was also palpable at Dolce & Gabbana, where models wore crowns in homage to Norman kings who ruled Dolce’s native Sicily a thousand years ago.

The design duo evoked armor with tight-fitting suits in metallic tones, woollen hoods reminiscent of chain mail, and gloves and shoes covered in glittering studs.

The more casual options included boxy sweaters bearing portraits of kings, worn with slim trousers, and multicolored training shoes.

“I thought it was too beautiful,” Vogue Japan editor Anna dello Russo said as she left the show venue, which was decked out with flickering chandeliers and suits of armor.

Etro

Etro put its “Made in Italy” ethos in evidence by sending its tailors and seamstresses down the runway alongside models wearing their handiwork.So a pattern cutter named Flavio Cardilla marched down the catwalk to lively Italian folk music alongside a model wearing a closely fitted houndstooth suit, one of the many artisans joining in the parade.

“This show is dedicated to our tailors,” Kean Etro said. “After all, we’re together day in, day out.”

The fashion house that has made paisley a way of life devised this collection out of a jangle of contrasting checks and plaids. The silhouette was slim and tight, layered with waistcoats and topped with a wildly printed paisley wool scarf for a look that is pure 21st-century dandy. Briefcases in matching patterns completed the look.

Dolce&Gabbana

North invades south in the designing duo Dolce&Gabbana’s menswear collection for next winter.The cold-weather looks took their cue from medieval courts after the Norman conquest of Sicily, the designers’ eternal muse. Fabrics and yarns were warm and wooly, colors dark and royal.

In Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s Norman court, the king wears a thick, sturdy top bearing the image of a king, over slim-fitting trousers. Bejeweled gloves, slippers and, of course, a golden crown, finish the look. For a tour of his lands, there is a heavy sheepskin coat.

Knights wear a knitted cap, which is embroidered with sparkling studs to mimic chain mail, over a furry gray jacket and strapped ankle boots.

Emporio Armani

Italy’s fashion titan Giorgio Armani’s Emporio Armani menswear collection for next fall and winter stood out for its use of soft fabrics so lustrous they almost seemed lit from within.From first to last, the collection was a masterful compendium of modern good taste. Armani made his name with the artfully deconstructed men’s jacket, and the narrow silhouette at Emporio looked fresh. Slim pants ended at the ankle over chunky oxfords. Jackets were tight, with three or four buttons, and had small, high collars.

The somewhat-prim vibe of the jackets was counteracted by the quiet but deep luxury of fabrics. Fur was everywhere, either peeking out of hoods in flashes, or sleekly fashioned into soft overcoats and jackets. There also were sweaters with fake fur inserts.

Gucci

Gucci’s mod mariner cuts a boxy figure in loose-fitting short jackets and generous sweatshirts paired with slim trousers and solidly soled shoes. The peacoat that anchors the collection sports a rich, knotty texture achieved by working a traditional Tuscan fabric with neoprene.Creative Director Frida Giannini’s palate of dusty pastels creates a mood of a just-calmed storm and lends smoky contrast to the perfect black that permeates the collection.

Ready to set sail, the Gucci mariner tucks an oversized duffel or folded shopper with bamboo handles under his arm, dons his seafarer’s cap, in cloth or leather with a smart leather braid around the crown, and sets off, without squinting, into the sunrise behind his round Gucci sunglass frames.

Versace

Italian fashion house Versace’s cowboy-themed menswear collection for fall 2014 was outrageously fun, even by Versace standards.“Our cowboy is macho, he’s a biker. ... He doesn’t have a horse,” designer Donatella Versace said backstage after the show.

Donatella’s cowboys wear their boots with sharp, tight suits decorated with rhinestone horseshoes and cactus plants on both front and back. These cowhands head out on the town wearing red leather chaps over their jeans, or sometimes just over their bandanna-print underwear. Cheeky indeed! 

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 16, 2014, on page 13.
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Summary

Italian label Versace sent models down the runway in leather chaps, shirts fastened with bootlace ties, thick-heeled cowboy boots and motorbike helmets emblazoned with Versace's Medusa-head logo.

The silhouette was slim and tight, layered with waistcoats and topped with a wildly printed paisley wool scarf for a look that is pure 21st-century dandy.

Fabrics and yarns were warm and wooly, colors dark and royal.

Italy's fashion titan Giorgio Armani's Emporio Armani menswear collection for next fall and winter stood out for its use of soft fabrics so lustrous they almost seemed lit from within.From first to last, the collection was a masterful compendium of modern good taste. Armani made his name with the artfully deconstructed men's jacket, and the narrow silhouette at Emporio looked fresh.

Gucci's mod mariner cuts a boxy figure in loose-fitting short jackets and generous sweatshirts paired with slim trousers and solidly soled shoes.

Ready to set sail, the Gucci mariner tucks an oversized duffel or folded shopper with bamboo handles under his arm, dons his seafarer's cap, in cloth or leather with a smart leather braid around the crown, and sets off, without squinting, into the sunrise behind his round Gucci sunglass frames.


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