The best (and worst) of Milan's menswear fashion week included great coats, man bags, shortened pants and even frilly underwear.
Tight-cut, ankle-topping trousers cropped to show off as much as possible of the wearers' boots. This winter equivalent of the "mankle" was seen at almost every show — with the brave exception of Belstaff — yet will never be more than the most passing of fads in real life.
The style press loved Dolce & Gabbana because it was full of eye-snaggingly interesting clothes. But Prada scoops the prize for combining the conceptual — an incredible set designed by architect Rem Koolhaas — with the conventional — beautifully considered overcoats, shirts and jumpers.
Jaw-dropper of the week
Facing competition from Moncler, Versace produced the week's strongest coup de théâtre. In a collection that brimmed with barminess, Donatella Versace's lacy underwear for men worn under fur coats was a Zoolander moment par excellence.
Next year's coat
The great coat. The massively collared, military-styled, three-quarter-length coat was the predominant style on Milan's catwalks. Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Canali, Emporio Armani and Zegna all marched with this style, but Gucci's light blue version was the most eye-catching of the lot.
The roar of revving motorbikes heralded Belstaff's first full men's catwalk collection. Designer Martin Cooper played around with the brand's motorsport heritage with biker-inspired down vests and asphalt-matte treated suits, but on the right side of parody. The leather gauntlet gloves, biker boots and waxed field jackets were the highlights of what was this season's most masculine collection.
At Fendi — which featured some particularly fine felty overcoats — there was a striking furry bumbag. Moncler made a bold bid for the sporran. Gucci had crocodile portfolios with gold-chained handcuffs (for the security-minded), while Z Zegna went for hard-cased prism-shaped backpacks.
Armani's winter mix
Giorgio Armani followed his excellent Emporio collection with a strong mainline collection yesterday, the last major show of the week. Formal monkstrap trainers with crocodile detailing, soft suede casual coats and patterned cashmere/mohair knits stood out alongside an emphasis on vampishly vermillion velvet trousers.