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Soft, comfy looks – YSL sit out Paris

Giorgio Armani

MILAN, Jan 18, (Agencies): There have been lots of warm fuzzies on the Milan runway this season: shaggy fur, furry footwear, thick knits, big gloves, droopy caps, face-framing neck-warmers. All useful for hunkering down in turbulent times.

Four days of menswear previews for next winter and fall at Milan Fashion Week ended Tuesday with a focus on soft tailoring and comfortable looks.

Blazers tended to be long, and paired with loose-fitting trousers. Overcoats, if not furry, had fur collars. Shoes had big soles with fresh detailing like rubberized studs or built-in socks, but most of all tufts of adorable fur.

There was a nostalgic return to homey knitted gloves and caps. Designers also opted for a rough look with half-finished accents, big embroidery and some deconstruction. Bags were big, ready for a quick get-away. Colors tended toward deeper urban shades of gray and black, with flashes of white, and some designers opted for color blocks.

Some highlights from the final day of Milan Fashion Week, which included previews by three Asian designers supported by the National Italian Fashion Chamber:


Giorgio Armani was the first among wrappers this menswear season.

Armani defined the silhouette of his easy tailored looks with a novelty: sleeve scarves that warm the arms and wrap across the chest. Armani opted for a generous variety, from fine knits in prints or contrast colors for sunny days when an overcoat might be too much, to chunkier furry versions.

The designer also brought back the tie and three-piece dressing for day, in soothing charcoals with a dark velvet double-breasted vest for a dandy look, finished with a narrow-brimmed Trilby hat.

Masculinity was projected in geometric patterns including triangular blocks on zip-up hoodies and softer alpaca pullovers. Hiking boots completed many looks and bags included satchels and doctor bags.

For truly cold days, there were large hooded coats and shaggy furs.

Yoshio Kubo

Yoshio Kubo’s manifesto was spare on the page: “I always focus on new details for outfits. I try to see outfits from different angles. I make a story for each season, which people never imagine.”

The U.S.-trained designer, who has based his eponymous yoshiokubo line in Tokyo, gave the collection an East-meet-West feel, playing with layers and volumes and deconstructing familiar codes.

“I destroy the silhouette,” Kubo said backstage.


Paris Men’s Fashion Week starts Wednesday without two of its perennial star brands but with Colombian designer Haider Ackermann joining the big league with two hotly anticipated shows.

Ackermann will put his own bohemian line on the catwalk Wednesday night and follow it up two days later with his debut show for the Italian luxury brand Berluti.

The 45-year-old Paris-based creator is the latest in a long line of stellar designers to have passed through the doors of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, following the likes of Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela.

Berluti, which is best known for its $1,000-plus shoes, launched its own menswear line in 2011, five years after being bought by the French luxury goods and fashion group LVMH.

But while all eyes will be on Ackermann, Paris mainstays Yves Saint Laurent and Carven will be notable by their absence.

While Carven have suspended their men’s line, the reasons for Yves Saint Laurent’s absence are more mysterious.

Its new Belgian-born designer Anthony Vaccarello made a typically sexy splash with his first women’s collection in September, having taken over from Hedi Slimane, who held last year’s menswear show in his adopted home of Los Angeles.

But Yves Saint Laurent were not forthcoming on why there would be no autumn-winter Paris show this year. “We have no reason to give you,” a spokeswoman told AFP.

With decades-old fashion show conventions in flux over the last few years, the trend for mixed shows with men and women sashaying down the runway together seems to be getting stronger.

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