In Milan, Gucci tries on Bohemian as Richmond rocks

From Gucci's Bohemian grunge to John Richmond's rock 'n' roll attitude and Etro's feathers, fashionistas were treated Monday to a reinterpretation of menswear classics for autumn-winter 2012.

Gucci designer Frida Giannini came up with "a vocabulary of intellectual luxury for new rebels" inspired by Austrian-born actor Helmut Berger, she said, dubbing the result "Visconti Grunge" after Berger's director and partner Luchino Visconti.

The collection features oversized, destructured coats, sailor's jackets cinched in the back with big metal buttons, all in rich materials: velvet, British textiles and silk prints.

Short, close-fitting jackets make for a dynamic silhouette, with discreet embroidery or prints of roses and irises - black on midnight blue, maroon on golden brown.

Injecting a rock element was a vintage leather jacket paired with biker boots, or for really tough guys, a black rapper-style coat of sheepskin and beaver.

Weekend accessories include riding boots zipped up the back, and velvet or varnished leather slippers for the evening.

Sober but intense hues dominate but make room for the occasional "decadent red and peacock green touches", Giannini says.

Mixing and matching is the thing: a heavy wool jacket wraps around a delicate silk vest worn over a bare torso for a sensual vibe.

Donatella Versace brought colour to the equation, whether in graffiti prints or tightly belted jackets in fluorescent pink, green and orange: perfect for night-time cycling.

Shoes, even dress shoes, came with green, blue or red coloured soles, a trend seen on other Milan catwalks this week.

Camouflage pants and hooded anoraks, gold charms pinned on jackets and headgear and a paratrooper's beret studded with Swarovski cristals leant a military air.

Those cristals also turned up on dinner jacket collars as well as gloves and shoes.

Where there was leather, it was black, adorned with little gold chains and studs for a biker look.

British designer John Richmond unveiled his own rapper coat, but a shorter version than Gucci's, striving for "elegance with rock 'n' roll attitude", but in earth tones: brown, grey, taupe and maroon.

The biker's jacket comes in a hound's tooth pattern, the parka is in super-soft wool and the hunting jacket is loaded with zippers.

De rigueur next winter will be Richmond's Pete Doherty-style hat or his wool cap in grey or white. The bomber jacket is in red and black checks with a leather yoke.

A military officer's jacket combines leather, lizard and hound's tooth, a mixing and matching of materials that is trending this season.

Weekend suitcases will bulge with Richmond's oversized woollens.

By day, suits are understated plaids and stripes, but when night falls the rock 'n' roll mood returns, with black silk shirts and jackets printed with skeletons or skull-and-crossbone motifs sure to turn heads. A tuxedo trouser trimmed with sparkling braid completes the look.

Etro has a more mystical appeal with a collection titled "The Great Flight: From the Everyday to Myth."

The idea is to "melt the traditional elements of the masculine wardrobe ... like drinking a cup of hot chocolate under the covers", the programme explains.

Clearly in a party mood, Etro suggests sumptuous coloured feathers galore, for next winter's frills, ties, bags, shoes and hats.

For a night at the theatre, why not a grey frock coat with lemon yellow trim, accessorised with an ultra-light scarf floating over the shoulder?

Or turn on the brights with an orange-red jacket over an orange pullover and yellow and orange plaid trousers.

Etro's other colours - blue, grey, emerald green - are distilled on buckled wool, brocade, velvet, mohair, you name it.

On Tuesday, the king of Italian couturiers Giorgio Armani wraps up the week of shows along with Canadian duo Dsquared2.

 

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