Gucci, Prada on opposite end of menswear runway

Gucci, Prada on opposite end of menswear runway

By: By DANIELA PETROFF AP Fashion Writer

MILAN, Italy (AP) — Prada and Gucci have often been at opposite ends of the fashion spectrum — minimalist versus maximalist or, translated into the vernacular, plain versus showy.
This time around is no exception. For the fall-winter 2008-09 Miuccia Prada wants her man more illusion than reality, while Frida Giannini for Gucci is all about in-the-face flash.
While Miuccia Prada has no particular model in mind for her effete male figure, Giannini says she “fell in love” with Eugene Hutz, the Ukrainian lead singer of the hip New York band, Gogol Bordello, and his flamboyant Gypsy style.
The Gucci collection presented Jan. 14 is laden with details gleaned from Russian folklore — from richly embroidered silk shirts to oversized fur outerwear.
Models with tussled hair walked the carpeted runway in super soft leather riding boots, carrying a large bag, a gilded chain belt marking the waist of the tapered trousers, a colorful shawl tossed across the shoulder. Military jackets with brass buttons and velvet collars — White Russian in exile style — abound.
For nighttime, the Gucci man flaunts a silk shirt with ruffled front and a heavily decorated velvet jacket with traditional standup collar.
On Jan. 13 at Prada, the idea was what you see is not what you get — starting from the shirt, which was worn back to front, and closed with a cummerbund which at times doubled as a skirt. Just to further confuse the issue, a shirt front was flattened by a huge bib and some collars came in pairs.
“It’s all about pieces, and a mixture of what is real and what is not, in my search to find new ways to present traditional clothing,” Prada explained to puzzled reporters.
In the reality department, although atypical for Prada, the designer showed suits in shocking red and electric blue, showy shopping bags and exaggeratedly pointed footwear.
“At times fashion resembles theater,” was Prada’s enigmatic comment on the odd runway setting, where pale-faced models emerged onto a raised stage and slowly walked down a long ramp to parade among the fashion crowd seated on minimalist plastic foam cubes.
Except for the five lively Spice Girls, front row guests at Roberto Cavalli, there was little entertainment at Cavalli’s show Jan. 14, which marked a return to elegance for the designer famous for his overtly sexy styles.
“Today’s man is in search of that special thing that will make him feel good about himself,” the designer said before the show which was staged in the hall of a military academy turned into an old fashioned sitting room complete with portraits of ancestors lining the walls.
Men in perfectly tailored suits with slim trouser and slightly fitted jacket, worn under an elegant top coat, accompanied fancy ladies in velvet and taffeta gowns down the runway.
“There’s not a piece in the collection that I wouldn’t wear myself,” the designer said.
Published in The Messenger 1.25.08

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