OVER TONES AND ILLUSIONS

Morning style fiends. Saw some smashing coats yesterday. The message thus far, for real men, is that the importance of an elegant overcoat (or two) could not be under estimated. Did I say that last year? It's still the case. Ermengildo Zegna's were as good as any I saw, particularly those in the silver grey shimmery textured 'Spazzolino' alpaca that is Zegna's own recipe. Anna Zegna explained all sorts of processes to me about fabric. This remains a double strong suit for them. Stefano Pilati's not actually kicked in as creative director yet officially, but perhaps one could see the odd S.P. inflection. Regardless, it was a very good show. Longer length suit jackets, lasered minks, the lot.

Also visited Michael Bastian and met the charming fellow. Particularly keen on his lovely tactile, multi-pleated bib front dress shirts, made as he explained by hand picked Italian Grannies. These are a special piece they make perennially apparently. Am an instant advocate, especially if it keeps the old dears of the street.

As if Burberry would miss out on an outer-wear show case. They didn't, and Bailey presented all manner of interpretations of smart winter coat. Although camel got rinsed rather of recent, still liked these covert coat and overcoat hybrids. Just look at the accent on that shoulder.

C.B. added in exotic animal print shoes and bins to fashion the whole trad' Brit' caper up, which worked. People were talking of nothing else outside on Corso Venezia. Almost.

At Valextra, a fav of S&E, met the CEO and president, Mr. Emanuele Carminati Molina. They presented their new specially treated suede pieces. Mr.M demonstrated how he'd been testing his case for six months. He gave it a good kicking right in front of me. He really did. It was brilliant. Then we tried to scratch and pinch it a bit. The case remained unmoved by out attention. Loving his flow, his blue bins and his new gear.

Funky cold Molina.

Meanwhile, become obsessed with another non-stop wearer of bins, this Milan something or other bloke. Every show/presentation/whatever, there he was with his massive cardigan, his distinctive head and his daft aviators on. Saw him doing nonchalant at Marni, he nearly fell over trying to lean on something from behind his sunglasses. He didn't take them off all day- red card.

Okay, they're tons of people showing-out here in Milan, but give it a rest Milan. Super macho cardigan man is under the illusion he's George Michael or similar.

Big Milan, Aviator man

Last orders of the day were at Versace, and although completely over the top, as it should be, enjoyed the look and the striking of a blow against skinny ties. Massive ties and knots prevailed (the one below is nothing) along with some other stylistic 'nuances'. This reminds me. Checks are important, right? Big ones, subtle ones, subverted ones, all sorts. Will show some more digestible examples when I get a mo'.

"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain" said Donatella in her press release. They finished with Illusion by Imagination. Took me right back to getting picked on at a roller disco for having the wrong colour roller skate boots/wheels. I thought pink and red dropped back in '82. Thinking about is, she's got a valid point there. So did Imagination. This fashion game, its all..

Stubbs out in the dry ice.

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