- Associated Press - Sunday, June 19, 2011

MILAN (AP) - Classic styles with a relaxed feel permeated the Milan runways Sunday, the second day of menswear previews for next spring and summer.

Bottega Veneta, Ferragamo and Emporio Armani showed updated versions of the well-tailored summer silhouette, easy to wear and easy to pack.

Bottega Veneta and Armani both played with layers and ultralight fabrics. Ferragamo trotted out well-worn raffia hats and derby shoes, echoing a 1930s artistic look, and high-waisted trousers that are emerging as a trend for next summer.

Less beholden to tradition were Prada and Vivienne Westwood.

Minimalist Prada allowed herself to have fun, seeking inspiration in golf, of all things. What emerges is a colorful, upbeat pastiche that works on and off the golf course.

Britain’s Vivienne Westwood, thinking ahead to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, presented whacky T-shirts printed with Olympic icons, fanciful laurel wreaths and golden Greek sandals.


Golf inspired Prada’s offbeat, whimsical menswear collection for next spring and summer.

“I was using golf as an excuse to make it eccentric. Even if I hate golf and don’t play, it is completely international,” designer Miuccia Prada said back stage after the preview menswear show Sunday evening.

The motif, she said, allowed her to merge ideas and cultures, although the basic theme of the spring-summer 2012 collection was “Americana.”

Prada laid artificial turf for the show inside a cavernous industrial space in central Milan, just the thing for the riveted soles of the fringed golf shoes worn by the models _ or were they caddies? Several carried floral printed or studded golf bags, with Prada-branded golf clubs.

Sporting cocky golf hats, the models seemed to enjoy themselves as they snaked down the grassy runway, to a lively remix of Cole Porter’s “Summertime.”

The collection was perfectly balanced, featuring whimsical comic book figures on shirts, trousers and jackets. A rodeo-style shirt with studded yolk featured cowboys on bucking broncos, teepees and dancing couples. Some trousers showed a miniature golfing tableau. A jacket was printed with musical figures, including a Rockabilly guitarist and a conductor in boxer shorts.

The backbone of the collection came in the well-tailored jackets, trousers and sweaters in neutral colors, from tan to black, that became the blank canvas for Prada’s whimsy.


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