The First 5 Trends to Emerge from Milan Fashion Week

As we wrap up our coverage of the best of the best in Milan, Fashion Director Nick Sullivan is off to Paris to continue reporting on the exciting new clothes you’ll be buying for next spring. Already, though, the great minds in Milano have challenged the way men dress, presenting new colors, cuts and ideas that are, at times, pretty baffling. Also: really great. Already, we’ve predicted what we thought we’d catch this season. Below, five things we actually are seeing.

True Blue

The odds continue to rise on the rich, ocean blue that flooded the Pitti Uomo tradeshow. In collections including (above, from left) Trussardi, Roberto Cavalli, and even a nearly-black Jil Sander collection, the return of cerulean shades is making for strong, bright knits and eye-grabbing tailored pieces. Elsewhere, aqua and navy are also competing for Pantone supremacy.

Join the Tribe

In a season full of texture, one motif that’s taken hold includes ethnic touches and tribal details — of no particular place, really, but on every item imaginable. Burberry (above, at left) used wood beads as pattern on t-shirts and sweaters, while their jackets and pants stood out with batik-like prints. These, too, could be seen at Mark McNairy’s collection for Woolrich Woolen Mills (above, center). At Etro: pattern, embroidery and go-to-hell paisley pants conveyed a (slightly) more formal message, but in the same vein.

The Newer, Wider, Pant

As skinny pants have swelled into their own category, we predicted that wider trousers would reign for Spring/Summer 2012. Indeed they have, as designers have incorporated these voluminous cuts with suits (Emporio Armani), as safari-ready separates (Salvatore Ferragamo), and even as an updated track pant in Calvin Klein’s athletic collection. There, the ankles had a level of elastic we haven’t seen since middle school gym class.

The Older, Longer, Jacket

While the shorter blazers from previous seasons continue to reign supreme — they look especially sharp with this season’s baggy pants — the longer jacket of decades past is having a smaller, resurgent moment. Designers like John Varvatos, Dolce & Gabbana and Corneliani have elevated this silhouette from its Miami Vice connotations, using relaxed fabrics and light-as-air construction for a soft, less-serious take on the summer jacket.

…and we all Shine On

Like that gorgeous ocean blue, we first spotted impeccable tailoring created from silk at Pitti Uomo. Now (along with Lurex, some leather, and various technical fabrics), many labels have chosen light-reflecting materials to provide a little extra (i.e. glitz) to their evening looks. One of the strongest examples is Gucci’s gleaming black suit above. Meanwhile: At Prada, Canali, and other houses, designers used silk and synthetics to add saturated patterns and infuse collections with a boho-louche mood that’s just right for the casual season. Rhinestones, too, if you’ve got balls.

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