Style director Adrian Clark and stylist Barnaby Ash report back on the latest trends from the Italian fashion capital.
The opening weekend of Milan Fashion Week, previewing designer menswear for spring 2012, started on rocky terrain, building to a stellar presentation from Prada.
Uncertainty in the European markets has forced even the most visionary of luxury labels to rein in their creativity for the season ahead, with designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta playing it very safe for spring/summer 2012. That said, the Brits who use Milan as a springboard rise above the sea of linen and non-descript neutral colour palettes.
One of the strongest collections to be shown over the opening weekend of the international show calendar came from Vivienne Westwood, who presented a sophisticated and sartorial salute to the pending Olympic games, using the ‘gentleman sportsman’ as her inspiration. References to the games iconography appeared throughout the collection, with trompe l’oeil medals printed on the fronts of t-shirts and imagery taken from ancient Greece, softening the elegantly crafted tailoring in pinstripes and checks.
At Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Bailey stayed true to his loyal customer base with a familiar silhouette, but injected his usual British heritage with an African theme, using traditional North African prints and knits with mosaics of leather tiles or raffia to detail the collars of coats and for accessories.
However, it was yesterday that Milan saw its real turnaround when Prada showed one of its strongest collections for men in living memory. Never predictable, the clash of 1960s-inspired florals and vintage-style ‘wallpaper’ prints, crystal decorated golfing shirts and impeccably cut tailoring will be a hard act to follow by Gucci and McQueen who will show today.
P&G Grooming Stylist Michael Douglas explains how you can recreate this style from the Calvin Klein show (far right):
This style is a mid-eighties inspired flat top –it’s not short enough to have a military feel and has a slight nu-romantic feel. A good square shape always gives a masculine feel to a hairstyle. To achieve this look, wash the hair and scalp with Head&Shoulders Cool Menthol shampoo (below, right) (RRP £2.39 for 250ml) to ensure it’s really clean as oily hair won't stand up! Then apply Shockwaves Lightweight Gel (below, left) (RRP £2.99 for 150ml) through dry hair and comb into place.