Milan was last week but..
I have a new role. I’m the ‘Associate Editor - Style’ of the yet to launch men’s style and news weekly, GAZ7ETTA. Yes, there is a 7 in the name, and you better believe it’s significant, (you mothers). Been in action in Milan, and soon Paris, with David Lamb, formerly of GQ Style and i-D magazines: a properly pedigree chum, and generally calming influence. You will note my tone and behaviour is that befitting this new post. Now that’s all cleared up, on with the shows, style fans. The shows.
One can tell one is getting on when one finds a Corneliani show really quite pleasant. One did. Charcoal grey three-piece pinstripes with a softish shoulder? Er, yes please, and a blanket for my knees too lovey. They’d also taken this seaons smart outtwearer baton and painted the town camel .Similar polite Italian tailoring at Zegna, NB. Bloody hate the camel trend. It’s ruined it for proper camel wearers. It’s gonna take decades to re-set camels cinematic prominence. I’ll be in my mid fifties before I can enjoy the verve of well cut camel unhindered by bloody trends. That, I guess, is fashion for ya. (Note. Style itself is getting old. It’s looking back and seeing halcyon days of constructed, dignified flamboyance. Even some of the young agree).
‘Lumber up, limbo down’ for the first biggy: The Dolce&The Gabbana show. Bryan Ferry and two of his progeny were present as we received a message about the new, shorter jacket length. Not for everyone, but never-the-less a message. This ‘Demi-Bolero’ format worked particularly well for eveningwear as the boys presented us with a platoon of velvet jackets and black bow ties teamed with battered blue jeans: Rock’n’roll Black Tie to usurp the Hollywood black tie perhaps?
Bryan’s matinee idol take on immaculately dishevelled evening style will never be bettered. As Roxy and Ferry soundtrack thumped to its newly bestowed house beat, other highlights included Dennis the Menace broad stripe knits. These are gonna happen as a key element of ‘Nouveau Suedehead’, a sub-trend as seen on streets of Milan on one or two thinking fashion fellas.
Afterwards, driver Federico found us outside the elegant Cafe Le Tres Marie, imbibing another swift espresso. ‘I say go- He say yes-Off to Jil- You can guess the rest’.
And you really could guess it too. That clever, ‘in the know’ style of important overtly fashion item, as seen at Jil et al, is pretty dead. Peculiar futuristic fashion pieces will get you nowhere. It’s about dropping looks now- any means necessary. Ahem. (Note. Its been heard that Rafs’ Jil’s men’s collection hardly sells, and his women’s is all that keeping him in the job. His backers pulled from mainline too, and he showed in Paris with no collection to seller to buyers.) Maybe thats all a bit harsh and a shame, but just doesn't feel very current.
Burberry worked something far less obviously wearable than recent season defining collections. Block colour outwear in tightly cut ( particularly under the arm) styles, some looking like neoprene, some like sheering, some unidentifiable from the second row. Much of it was quite mental. I prefer London when Prosum comes out like this. That said, cable/fur fusion knits were v.clever and will become ‘a thing’ it is certain. The fur trims on coats and suiting was black and white and looked like ermine. It was sort of leopard rabbit. Men and fur continue to be a story both on and off the runway. It can look great, but it never looks hetro, except on a parka, or an overcoat trim. Or on a Mick Jagger, but more of Ol’ Big Lips later. Big, pointed tassel loafers with a D.M (work it out young ‘ens) sole, were good, and are also part of a bigger trend one ventures. Albino leopard-rabbit flat caps were sported throughout. As Cliff, (or was it Dusty by then?), ‘bang banged’ the heavens, (or rather the rigging) opened a man made downpour onto a column of clear raincoat wearing boys, slipping and slidding down the runway. Burberry are all about rainwear, you see?
“Ermine furs adorn perilous, strike dear mistress and cure his heart.” Amen Lou.
Later, exuberantly trotting up to Dolce’s nudey book launch in their massive Martini bar with Lamb and C.B.Barker from The Rake, I was egged on to deploy more ‘Robe Shouldering’, the practice of wearing coat or jacket on shoulders without arms, an old school move I favour, which appears to be catching on again in fashion land too. I couldn’t resist, despite the rampantly leery quotient this M.O delivers: A double breasted Moschino camel coat (AW 2005) perched impudently over a fitted Gieves three piece pinstripe with Sexton collar pin was far from low key. On entry Lamb and I found ‘selves in the ‘meet n’ greet’ slot, a bank of photographers poised to snap the main men when they arrived. Which they did a second later. The look I was now channelling was ‘Del Boy takes a stag do to the races’, when it was clearly someone else’s gig. I felt a proper pillock exchanging banter with Domenico, and meeting Stefano, almost as if it was my house I was welcoming them into. What is Italian for ‘I’ll get my coat?