Galleria Vittorio, Milan
Galleria Vittorio, Milan

MILAN, Jun 30, 2002/ — Anyone who says that you can’t invent anything new in menswear — and a lot of people, even critics, do — should have gone to the Miu Miu collection shown in Milan Thursday.

Not to suggest that the collection was revolutionary, but at least designer Miuccia Prada come up with some novel approaches to some sartorial issues facing men today.

There was a time when one of the definitions of “gentleman” was someone who didn’t carry a package, or even money.

Today, practically every guy packs a cell phone, Palm Pilot or Blackberry, wallet and maybe even a mini disc player.

The standard solution for all this kit is the cargo pant, which is fine though limiting.

Miuccia today proposed a new sort of high-tech holster or multi-pouch cummerbund in matching colors to the trousers. They were hip and plausible.

These came with some of the best pants in Milan that echoed high-waisted hussar’s trousers without belt loops. They were brilliantly cut, yet looked comfortable.

Miuccia other big idea did not come off half so well.

She linked leather strings or silk brigadier’s braids to wallets that looked fresh, but it was hard to imagine many guys actually wanting to advertise where they keep their credit cards.

In footwear, once again, Miu Miu was first rate.

There were two key looks, images of which are probably being faxed to third-world copying factories right now.

First, some wonderful elongated black leather slip-ons — the sort you would wear with a tuxedo but composed with an athletic sneaker heel — then, some revamped Ninja slippers, but with sturdy soles and in patent leather.

Finally, there were just some plain great items, especially a series of short-sleeve shirts in floral patterns that were the definition of hyper wearable, or some great rayon-satin Chinese tops worn inside the hussar pants.

Shown after the audience had a chance to visit an inspiring installation by San Francisco artist Barry McGee, the afternoon felt like a symbiotic meeting of fashion and art.


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