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Milan blasts off with latest in astronaut chic January 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion.

Bored with black-tie? Sick of the same bland business suits?

Top designers came up with a few eye-opening alternatives yesterday, kicking off Milan men’s fashion week in space-age style.

For blokes who never quite got over that boyhood astronaut fantasy, Italian design duo Dolce & Gabbana reinvented the space suit in a dazzling autumn-winter 2007-08 collection. “It’s not science fiction,” Domenico Dolce insisted backstage. “It’s the immediate future.”

In silver-foil, blazing white and blinding bronze versions, the zipped, buckled and padded boiler suits are designed to be worn over traditional corporate clobber, in place of overcoats. A flashy pair of baggy trousers, gleaming like 24-carat gold, were shown with matching sneakers and a simple grey T-shirt. Silver bomber jackets, in quilted leather, were paired with drainpipe trousers and reflective silver shoes. Super-skinny silver ties accessorised sleek business suits, trimmed with glossy leather lapels and satin seaming. Sparkling knitwear winked like crushed pyrite. Even the evening wear was designed in a futuristic fashion, with metallic tuxedos lending a robotic touch.

Eccentric English designer Vivienne Westwood opted for Mardi Gras glamour instead. One of her burly male models could hardly keep a straight face as he swaggered along the catwalk in silver-sequinned budgie-smugglers, worn over a pair of grey tights. The audience cat-called in delight as another model strutted out in high-heeled gold ankle boots.

Westwood, a pioneer of the ’80s punk movement, offered a quirky take on the traditional grey business suit, cutting the crotch so low that the trousers hung like nappies. Playing cowboys and Indians, she mixed lurid cowboy hats with fringed suede rodeo pants, pink crocheted cardigans and strap-on skirts.

Fellow British brand Burberry Prorsum offered a parade of military-inspired coats and jackets, in luxurious cashmeres, silks and furs, matched with fur mittens as big as boxing gloves. “I wanted the collection to be a little more grown-up, a little more sophisticated,” creative director Christopher Bailey said backstage. “But you have that element of whimsy as well.”

Donatella Versace delivered an uncharacteristically sombre collection, which she said was inspired by European military academies and the “austere elegance of clerical garb”. “It’s less muscle, more soul,” she quipped.

But, perhaps revealing many a male’s dream accessory, it was the pouting procession of blonde babes in slinky sequinned gowns and stretchy little black dresses that stole the show.

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