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January 2011

the rest of milan thing

Am certain you’ve just been dying to hear the rest of the report, so..

Ferragamo was good style. Wide lapels on double breasted suiting in caramel, terracotta or vivid colour pinstripes. It was all about the accessories combined with tailoring to accent the whole thing.

Seventies Ferragamo pimps swaggered nonchalantly down the runway in a Toulouse Lautrec wide brimmed hat and scarf combos. Meanwhile the sheepskin and beret looks had something of a Beatnik Citizen Smith about them. Pimp, or activist? Your choice.

You might of course wanna be a luxerx dart player casual instead though. The vintage Prada show was hailed as massive success by those that knew. Some of the stuff I couldn’t quite grasp, the strength and the unmistakable handwriting was very evident in the art direction come fashion show. There were sort of Glam-Rock Gabicci button tops in sparkly silk blends too. Pieces were utterly amazing in their construction, like the heavy purple and black chevron tracksuit tops actually made from blended silk and viscose. Those that know, remember, don’t always show.

Taking of those that know, Lamb and I gave David Bradshaw (formerly of Prada, Arena Homme Plus and more recently GQ Style) a lift from Prada to Moncleur.
He was robe shouldering away outside Prada when I approached him. Bloody hell, he knows his men’s stuff. Interestingly he gives Tom Brown, (Creative Director of Moncleur Gamme Bleu), credit for ‘changing the whole aesthetic of menswear’. A serious accolade for a bloke who peddles tight, ankle exposing flood pants as his main raison d’etre. But then again, every fucker is now wearing ankle exposing flood pants these days, so maybe…

We robe shouldered through the fog into the horse show arena situated on the edge of Milan, where it became apparent that it was as bloody freezing inside as it was out. Gamme Bleu was entertaining. Huge production values with massive horses, riders in hunting pinks, and a pack of runway boys leading Beagles round the arena in faux British hunting/ski garb. It was a pleasing spectacle, but it’s the same trick as always. Maybe it’s a good one, but it feels too familiar. There was to be more Brit flex later in Milan, but far more serious.

But not from Gucci . Gucci showed pure, unabashed Italian tailoring verve. Snake hipped, butt hugging flares, an impudent shoulder line and a divinely subtle caramel, mink and silver-grey colour palette made the whole affair double fanciable. It was more retro-luxe, working right back to Jagger and his pals circa Exile on Main Street, with the grand lapels of Sexton/Nutter in which Mick married Bianca. Rod and The Faces doing ‘I’m Losing You’ further underlined the louche Seventies ethos. Man clutch bags might well be a leap too far for chaps already struggling to the get their heads around kick flares. At least Gucci’s  tassel loafers were far easier to digest.

Come another cold night, it became apparent McQueen’s menswear legacy remains intact. The house conjures an atmosphere, and is intent on delivering a story with its show. Aristocratic surroundings and the rarefied trappings of officer class were the visual prompts for distinctly Brit-rigorous interpretations of tailoring and military outwear. Both naval and City style references were blended in an amalgam of noble looking masculinity. It was very strong, and pieces punctuated the show that were more than wearable by civilian men. People really should investigate.

OK the shows don’t tell us what to wear, but the way we look at them is a good indication of the prevailing mood.  Men’s style now (and for a while) is all about doing a tailored look, not for business, but for style’s sake. Take your inspirations and references from the Seventies, take them from classic British tradition, take them from literature, anything, but don’t roll with the crud of ‘easy casual’. As for good casual, leathers and sheerlings have the rugged-agro-drama while knits are with the tactile romance. Meanwhile my advice is do smart while you’re young. Vintage and construction are so much less extraordinary on an old fucker. Trust me…

Milan was last week but..

I have a new role. I’m the ‘Associate Editor – Style’ of the yet to launch men’s style and news weekly, GAZ7ETTA. Yes, there is a 7 in the name, and you better believe it’s significant, (you mothers). Been in action in Milan, and soon Paris, with David Lamb, formerly of GQ Style and i-D magazines: a properly pedigree chum, and generally calming influence. You will note my tone and behaviour is that befitting this new post. Now that’s all cleared up, on with the shows, style fans.

The shows.

One can tell one is getting on when one finds a Corneliani show really quite pleasant. One did. Charcoal grey three-piece pinstripes with a softish shoulder? Er, yes please, and a blanket for my knees too lovey.  They’d also taken this seaons smart outtwearer baton and painted the town camel .Similar polite Italian tailoring at Zegna, NB. Bloody hate the camel trend. It’s ruined it for proper camel wearers. It’s gonna take decades to re-set camels cinematic prominence. I’ll be in my mid fifties before I can enjoy the verve of well cut camel unhindered by bloody trends. That, I guess, is fashion for ya. (Note. Style itself is getting old. It’s looking back and seeing halcyon days of constructed, dignified flamboyance. Even some of the young agree).

‘Lumber up, limbo down’ for the first biggy: The Dolce&The Gabbana show. Bryan Ferry and two of his progeny were present as we received a message about the new, shorter jacket length. Not for everyone, but never-the-less a message. This ‘Demi-Bolero’ format worked particularly well for eveningwear as the boys presented us with a platoon of velvet jackets and black bow ties teamed with battered blue jeans: Rock’n’roll Black Tie to usurp the Hollywood black tie perhaps?

Bryan’s matinee idol take on immaculately dishevelled evening style will never be bettered. As Roxy and Ferry soundtrack thumped to its newly bestowed house beat, other highlights included Dennis the Menace broad stripe knits. These are gonna happen as a key element of  ‘Nouveau Suedehead’, a sub-trend as seen on streets of Milan on one or two thinking fashion fellas.

Afterwards, driver Federico found us outside the elegant Cafe Le Tres Marie, imbibing another swift espresso. ‘I say go- He say yes-Off to Jil- You can guess the rest’.

And you really could guess it too. That clever, ‘in the know’ style of important overtly fashion item, as seen at Jil et al, is pretty dead. Peculiar futuristic fashion pieces will get you nowhere. It’s about dropping looks now- any means necessary. Ahem. (Note. Its been heard that Rafs’ Jil’s men’s collection hardly sells, and his women’s is all that keeping him in the job. His backers pulled from mainline too, and he showed in Paris with no collection to seller to buyers.) Maybe thats all a bit harsh and a shame, but just doesn’t feel very current.

Burberry worked something far less obviously wearable than recent season defining collections. Block colour outwear in tightly cut ( particularly under the arm) styles, some looking like neoprene, some like sheering, some unidentifiable from the second row. Much of it was quite mental. I prefer London when Prosum comes out like this. That said, cable/fur fusion knits were v.clever and will become ‘a thing’ it is certain. The fur trims on coats and suiting was black and white and looked like ermine. It was sort of leopard rabbit. Men and fur continue to be a story both on and off the runway. It can look great, but it never looks hetro, except on a parka, or an overcoat trim. Or on a Mick Jagger, but more of Ol’ Big Lips later. Big, pointed tassel loafers with a D.M (work it out young ‘ens) sole, were good, and are also part of a bigger trend one ventures.  Albino leopard-rabbit flat caps were sported throughout. As Cliff, (or was it Dusty by then?), ‘bang banged’ the heavens, (or rather the rigging) opened a man made downpour onto a column of clear raincoat wearing boys, slipping and slidding down the runway. Burberry are all about rainwear, you see?

“Ermine furs adorn perilous, strike dear mistress and cure his heart.” Amen Lou.

Later, exuberantly trotting up to Dolce’s nudey book launch in their massive Martini bar with Lamb and C.B.Barker from The Rake, I was egged on to deploy more ‘Robe Shouldering’, the practice of wearing coat or jacket on shoulders without arms, an old school move I favour, which appears to be catching on again in fashion land too. I couldn’t resist, despite the rampantly leery quotient this M.O delivers: A double breasted Moschino camel coat (AW 2005) perched impudently over a fitted Gieves three piece pinstripe with Sexton collar pin was far from low key. On entry Lamb and I found ‘selves in the ‘meet n’ greet’ slot, a bank of photographers poised to snap the main men when they arrived. Which they did a second later. The look I was now channelling was ‘Del Boy takes a stag do to the races’, when it was clearly someone else’s gig. I felt a proper pillock exchanging banter with Domenico, and meeting Stefano, almost as if it was my house I was welcoming them into. What is Italian for ‘I’ll get my coat?

Stubbs out.

Robe shouldering

Its a thing. Fact. The practice of Robe Shouldering is back. For some it never went away. See footage from Milan and Paris.

Stubbs, back in the Metropolis.

apple Disaster – apple alimony

I bought an iPhone to go to Milan with to make it easy to blog with and that caper. Christ how wrong can a chap get things?

It became apparent I needed different software to upgrade iTunes to marry the phone to my world. I ended up with a trial separation from all technology full stop. I want to divorce Apple but they’re already more than part of the family. We’ve just got to live with them, and keep paying the alimony.

I’ll bore you with knock on effects once on train to Paris at 6 a.m. this morning.

Paris is about to happen. Milan was good and quite calm, and Geneva was an expensive rush of appointments in the middle. Really not got a handle on this last week and its all Bill’s fault.

Stubbs out.


So I’m in Milan. It’s all happening. I’m representing my new magazine GAZ7ETTA. It’s going to be mental. Got a car, a driver and a new fashion husband, Dave. We’re both very happy out here. Blogging is tricky as schedule relentless. I’m not complaining mind, just will have to be brief.

Day one included Burberry show during which it rained. And Dolce&Gabbana show where Bryan Ferry and his boys were in attendance.

Had videos of both. Don’t seem to have anymore. Fuming.

Gonna post something about the practice of ‘Robe Shouldering’, wearing one’s coat on one’s shoulders, an Italian tradition dating back to the 18th Century.

Thing is it’s quite leery, and not every one should/can do it. This old fella is a master at work.

I gotta go D&G now..


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