Jan 16, 2008
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Gentlemen prefer fur on Milan catwalks

Jan 16, 2008

A creation by British designer Alexander McQueen during the Men Autumn/Winter 2008 collections of the Milan ready-to-wear fashion shows - Photo : Giuseppe Cacave/AFP
MILAN, Italy, Jan 16, 2008 (AFP) - Fur will be de rigueur for next winter's well-turned-out male, whether he is refined or goes for the bad-boy look, some of Italy's top designers decreed at Milan's catwalk presentations this week.

Along with the fur toques, scarves and coats that abounded during the four days of menswear shows, tartans and velvets too were the talk of the town.

At the house of Fendi, designer Sylvia Venturini Fendi went for fox, perching an elegant boa over a grey coat or three-quarter camel-hair, while tossing a black fur scarf for evenings over a tuxedo and gold bow-tie.

The Armani man strutted a rich leather suitcoat with thick grey fur at the lapels and cuffs, while Roberto Cavalli went heavily for leathers and furs, lining leather with fleecy astrakhan and mixing fur with leather in a zebra in a jacket.

DSquared, the line from Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten, went all out with fur, sending bad boys onto the catwalk carrying cigarettes and beer in shiny furry look-at-me puffa jackets.

For British designer Alexander McQueen, the fur accessory of the moment was the hat, and so why not an outsized chapka?

Dolce & Gabbana's youth line D&G also went for chapkas in red or silver fox, as well as abundantly furry trappers' boots to complete a collection that featured another recurring theme of the menswear shows that ended late Tuesday -- tartans.

Many may dismiss the time-honoured Scottish patterns as quaint, but lively colours injected new life to tartan and D&G's slim pants added a contemporary look.

The house reserved classic red, navy or dark green tartans for evening wear, in dinner jackets paired with black trousers, white shirts and traditional bow ties.

DSquared for its part used classic tartans to contrast faded jeans or black leather trousers while Italy's Kean Etro was more flirtatious, offering sneak peeks of Scottish plaids under violet or fuschia cardigans.

Armani bucked the tartan trend but liked velvet and the "gangsta" look, sending models out in mystery hats, fluid velvet trousers and impeccably tailored jackets.

Gucci too went for velvet, in bright 60s and 70s hues of Prussian blue and brick worn over flowery cotton or gypsy silk shirts, while Roberto Cavalli's black or midnight blue velvet suits were trimmed with braid, with pants either cigarette-thin or a little baggy for a more relaxed look.

Absent from this year's winter 2008-09 menswear collections was Valentino, who has opted to stage his final show on January 23 in Paris before retiring after an illustrious 45-year career.

by Katia Dolmadjian

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