As a whole, the Milan Spring/Summer 2007 menswear collections went back to basics – highlighting the masculine. Colin McDowell that the “Armani in the 1980s … is a look that’s ideal for today’s mean. And why hide the muscles that have been so hard-won at the gym?” (2006, p. 26). This was what was seen in the Milan Spring/Summer 2007 menswear collections which had fashion-minded men rejoicing for given the right clothes, styles, and accessories that allow them to be remarkably feminine, but without compromising their masculinity.
Alexander McQueen’s designs in terms of styling, silhouette, color, fabric, themes, print and pattern, and accessories emphasized the elegance of men, although feminine touches were artistically interwoven by McQueen. Prada, on the other hand, was a bit more flamboyant. Prada’s style was more on the ultra savvy emphasized by the shiny and bright colored fabrics and plastic looks. In other words, it was all about digital for Prada. As Renee Minus White said:
“Prada Menswear pushed out digitally inspired clothes with a techno quality. In soft micro fibers and silky fabrics, there were short (knee-length) raincoats, blazers and shorts. Narrow suits with cropped pants were shown with oversized shirts. Color tones were mainly grays and blacks. Geometric prints were bold in strong primary and secondary colors including tangerine and electric blue” (2006, p. 16).
From what I have seen in the Paris runway shows for spring 2007, specifically on menswear, I think that the trend is going towards the feminine. With the emerging popularity of young and daring designers, this trend will continue for sometime. For example, Briton designer Mark Budd and Vietnamese designer Quoc Pham, enliven the Paris shows by using unique colors, which are exclusively associated to women, for their menswear collection. Maggie Davis aptly described the duo’s collection: “The duo use details usually associated with women’s wear, such as polka dots and hot pink, in their spring/summer collection, which also features tops with mismatched buttons and collarless blazers” (2006, p. 40).
One word for the Chanel Paris show last Tuesday – fabulous! The haute in Paris’ couture is back thanks to designer Karl Lagerfeld who reinvented Chanel’s haute couture. From what I saw, classic in clothes, styles, fabrics, colors, accessories and so much more is back and will be so for a long time. I picture women sporting thick black sunglasses with a classic three-quarter length coats and dresses with eye catching details such as sequins and feathers. Of course, the little black dress is still a woman’s must have essential – it is still considered as the uniform for every women with style and class.
The come back of haute couture is not really surprising. With the increasing affluence of people especially those from Asia and Europe, naturally comes the demand for more luxurious items such as haute couture. As this appetite grows, more designers will focus on this. After all, haute couture, although hit by crisis after crisis, is still a status symbol – a yardstick of how stylist a person is. As the Web site Fashion Era said “[couture] means dressmaking, sewing, or needlework and haute means elegant or high, so the two combined imply excellent artistry with the fashioning of garments. The purchase of a haute couture model garment is at the top level of hand customised fashion design and clothing construction made by a couture design house. A model haute couture garment is made specifically for the wearer’s measurements and body stance. The made to measure exclusive clothes are virtually made by hand, carefully interlined, stay taped and fitted to perfection for each client.” Hence, a priceless piece o`f clothing.
Davis, M. (2006). The best of trends: What will be the key looks for spring/summer 2007? From gold tweed for men and winkle- pickers for girls to the return of the ruffle. The Observer December 31, 2006, 40.
Fashion Era. Accessed on July 4, 2007, Available from http://www.fashion-era.com/haute_couture.htm.
McDowell, C. (2006). Dispense with the formality. Sunday Times, July 16, 2006, 6.
White, R. M. (2006). Spring/summer 2007: Milanese menswear report. New York Amsterdam News, 97 (28), 16.