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Chic designs on Milan ramp

Dolce & Gabbana's golden throne and a surprise appearance by pop singer Victoria Beckham kicked off a week of men's fashion in Milan, where designers struck a note of regal and romantic chic.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 17:23 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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Dolce & Gabbana's golden throne and a surprise appearance by pop singer Victoria Beckham kicked off a week of men's fashion in Milan, where designers struck a note of regal and romantic chic.

On Tuesday, Gucci produced one of the week's highs with tousle-haired models in sheer Victorian ruffle shirts, under riding coats paired with narrow trousers and sturdy boots. Feather collars added a bohemian detail to the sleek, predominantly black collection.

Italy's Gucci, now owned by France's Pinault Printemps Redoute, has identified menswear as a key area for growth along with high-margin sectors such as watches and jewelry.

At Prada, urban crusaders walking to the beat of a thumping operatic remix wore trophy-like fur helmets and wool balaclavas reminiscent of chainmail hoods, under screens flashing images of parts of the medieval Bayeux tapestry.

Miuccia Prada put herself at the top of the fashion pack with a collection of aristocratic collegial charm, with slim suits, pencil-thin trousers and oversized cardigans, livened up with animal-print raincoats and accessories.

"It's the secret dream of men and boys - a bit of the olden days with many references to the past, in the heroic sense," Prada said after her autumn/winter 2006 show late on Monday.

For Dolce & Gabbana, who chose a crown as their symbol, the key word was power, with a show that put next winter's man in low front-pleated trousers, belts with baroque buckles and velvet scarves tied around the neck.

The duo finished off with a softer look at waistcoats, traditional tailcoats and a handful of show-stopping Napoleon-style brocade jackets.

CATWALK DEBUT

Roberto Cavalli, known for his figure-hugging and flesh-baring clothes, sent former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham on her catwalk debut.

Against an opulent, 18th century backdrop, the designer showed tight biker trousers, kimono-inspired tuxedos and Japanese warrior hair, all mixed with fur-trimmed leather coats.

"This is a man that walks without a sword, who loves the idea of fighting for a woman more than anything else," Cavalli said after the show on Monday.

For many, the diminutive Beckham was the highlight of the day, delighting surprised photographers when she led male models out for the show's finale in a low-cut white georgette dress.

British fashion rebel Alexander McQueen seized on the Japanese theme at his show, where the fashion crowd sat on thin benches in a disused warehouse trimmed with dripping candles.

The designer, whose brand is owned by Gucci, sent out double-breasted pinstriped suits with wide trousers and high waists, followed by dramatic tartan and embroidered kimonos as four geishas with colored faces mixed with the models.

But Versace - renowned for over-the-top glamour - said the real news next season was sobriety, after a summer of brash Miami chic.

"I want a clean look - blue, black, bottle green. Lots of suits, even for casualwear," said designer Donatella Versace.

The house, which struggled to overcome the death of Gianni Versace in 1997, sent out sleek suits and neck scarves, leather biker jackets and the house's trademark printed shirts in midnight blue, bottle green and fuchsia.

Men's fashion week closes on Thursday with Giorgio Armani.

First Published: Jan 18, 2006 17:23 IST