Sunday, June 21, 2009

How will you be dressed for the flood....

During the first day of the Italian men’s shows, the wave of cropped trousers appeared to have been designed in anticipation of The Great Flood.

Dolce & Gabbana were the first to ride the tide with a parade of bejeweled and embroidered black evening jackets that were shown with full pants that tapered into cropped cuffs. Some of the most successful looks accentuated this proportion by showing the pants with a simple solid silk shirt with contrasting placket and tank top underneath…with a bejeweled shoe, certo.

Angela Missoni’s charmingly bohemian take on this trend for attenuated pants featured cropped, pleated (stay with me now!) full-cut jeans, in bleached or faded denim. Somehow they worked. Loose, light linen trenchcoats and cropped pants in plaids and pale ocean colors paired with slouchy cotton sweaters recalled the stylist Ray Petri’s Buffalo seminal look from the 1980’s.

Christopher Bailey’s appropriately outerwear-heavy Burberry collection featured signature trenches and jackets in waxed cotton and ultra-light ruched nylon and leather. Squall-ready technical pieces in bright red, yellow and cobalt popped alongside the otherwise winning neutral palette. All looks were shown with weathered Chelsea boots and washed khaki bags and rucksacks with worn leather trim.

Giorgio Armani started his show with several iterations of the pale grey suit that were nicely deconstructed and form-fitting yet not constricting — the perfect uniform for the evolving workplace. A group of crisp navy and white sport jackets, shown with matching and contrasting board shorts, was a clever take on tailoring that illustrated the many possibilities for the suit, swim and otherwise.

In his collection for Jil Sander, Raf Simons used racy illustrations by the Japanese artist Leonard Foujita to give his precise and highly refined collection some much appreciated sensuality. Foujita’s group scenes and portraits were projected onto the showroom walls and also appeared on slender pants, loose tank tops and sheer cotton short-sleeved shirts, giving the pieces a little bit of a sexy bite.

Meanwhile, the concisely sharp Bottega Veneta show opened with a slightly military group of washed olive and khaki cottons featuring — you guessed it — cropped pants, only this time they were a tad more slender and featured zips at the ankle. Tie-dyed knits and ombré scarves in graduating tones brightened up the neutrals and led the way to a fantastic grouping of red and fuchsia tailored and sportswear combinations.