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Sometimes an obsession is a good thing. At least if your name is Massimiliano Giornetti and you design clothes for the steeped-in-tradition Ferragamo label.

“I am obsessed with elegance and beauty,” said the new creative director of the Florentine brand famous for its shoes and scarves, after a much-applauded show.

His goal is to reinvent the classic Ferragamo silhouette and give it a fresh modern energy “step by step.”

The designer is certainly headed in the right direction with his spring-summer 2012 menswear collection unveiled Sunday.

Inspired by the compelling nonchalance of a 1930s artist _ Pablo Picasso fits the picture _ Giornetti creates a wardrobe which is elegant but never stuffy.

His summer man sports a double-breasted suit with a shirt in the same material and high-waisted trousers with pleats. He strolls through life wearing a frayed raffia hat, vintage shades, and classic Derby shoes that allow him to escape into his romantic world.

Styles flow one into the other. A jacket resembles a shirt, a dressing gown morfs into a loose-knit cardigan, and a pair of canvas shoes double as slippers.

Materials range from hemp to washed fabrics with a sun-bleached effect. Colors are quiet beige and ivory, pastel grays, and eclectic navy blue.


Though dressed in rumpled suits and clutching soft colorful leather bags, the Bottega Veneta man is no slouch.

The collection previewed Sunday for next spring and summer contained pattern upon pattern in light, easy-to-wear fabrics that give the impression of endless possibilities, including business meeting, pool-side party, or a seaside dash. Colors were deep tourmaline blue, chocolate and indigo, set off by pewter or beige.

The line of the Bottega Veneta suit is nearly unbroken. Deep blue patterned jackets flow into matching tapered pants that give a full view of lace-up shoes, sometimes in the same pattern. Only a zebra/coffee striped shirt, buttoned high, interrupts the flow.

For more formal wear, designer Tomas Maier preferred deep monochromatic gabardine suits in arresting peridot, espresso jolt and dive-deep turquoise. He broke up the line with an off-color waistline _ for instance, turquoise on peridot.

Suits with mandarin collars and short waistbands give the appearance of a single piece, in another era a jump suit. Think airplane mechanic, first class.

“I’ve always liked the idea of a coverall or jumpsuit, of one single piece of clothing that works for a man the way a dress does for a woman,” Maier said in notes on the collection. “But a tailored jumpsuit is impractical. So we started with the idea of an all-in-one and related it to a suit.”

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