Milan fashion week left us feeling plaid all over
Milan Fashion Week veered from the outrageous (Versace's lacy knickers for men) to the stoic (Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Fendi). But most notable was a celebration of classic suiting styles, such as wide lapels and double-breasted jackets. Designers have become very comfortable with their own interpretations of suiting. And the result is sleek and sophisticated.
Versace, Prada, Gucci, Moschino and John Richmond were mad about checks and plaid. Most were strict and geometric - from bold tartan at Moschino to muted minimal tones at Jil Sander. And while colours were generally muted, there were bursts of bright hues and berry red at Burberry and Jil Sander.
Most labels kept things classic - albeit with a subverted twist - trust Donatella Versace to buck the trend with outfits that mixed 1980s Wall Street with items fit for a flamboyant gigolo. Super-wide ties, loud prints and big-shouldered silhouettes were presented alongside understated coats. But since men's fashion has just emerged from a '90s cigarette-thin indie boy hangover, I'm not sure it's quite ready to take on the masculine excesses of the '80s.
Whether you're scandalised or titillated by Versace's lacy offerings, one designer trumped it for controversy. German designer Philipp Plein had models in gas masks and balaclavas, shirtless and toting machine guns. This offended worldwide, especially in the US. In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, this was bad taste. But Plein has never shied away from controversy. Perhaps he is of the opinion that any press is good press.