#1709 The facts of life – Milan and Paris Menswear edition

Photo: Katherine Lowe

1. Corduroy is everywhere over here. You see it on the street, in the chain stores and all over the catwalks. This seems to be one of those rare occasions where the high street informs the high end. I picked up a pair of navy blue cord pants from Douglas Fir in LA, but I’m still desperately seeking a tobacco brown blazer. English professors of the world: help me in my time of need!

2. Still seeking a pants alternative to your skinny jeans? Look no further than the catwalks of Dior Homme and Lanvin, where the very antithesis to slim was put on display: Oxford bags. The jury’s still out on these voluminous examples of trou, but it will be fascinating to see if the mainstream picks up on pants that are wide enough to fit at least four of your legs in each leg. If not, one can only assume that they’ll be the extreme end of a trend towards loosening things up below the waist. Jump on-board early.

3. Another interesting pants suggestion was made on the catwalks of Gucci: flares. Baby boomers will be pleased. I once swore to myself that I’d never do a flared pair of pants, but surprisingly enough, I loved the silhouette. That said, there’s a marked difference between loving something on the catwalk and actually being able to infiltrate it into your wardrobe. Try before you buy.

4. Remember my slightly too small Gay Smurf sweater? Who’d’ve thought it, but the GSS was all the rage on the backs of cool dudes at the shows this season, as a result of one clever lady: Miuccia Prada. Her Fall 2010 show featured a whole raft of cropped knitwear in various pretty hues. Without even meaning to, I scored myself handmade Prada for peanuts. Sometimes, the stars just align.

5. I’ve been saying this for quite some time, but now it is official. Invest in a duffel coat. Every cool old European man wears one and every designer worth his (or her) salt showed one. If traditional camel isn’t your jam, look no further than Raf Simons, who showed them in every possible irreverent incarnation – from purple neoprene to cropped and boy scoutish. Do it.


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