MILAN, Jan 16, 2008 / FW/ — As already been mentioned here before, the focal point of the Fall 2008 Milan season is MAN and on the spearhead of this movement are Giorgio Armani, Neil Barrett and Moschino whose noble treatment of classical silhouettes are as good as it gets.

At Moschino, the treatment is mischievous and lighthearted, yet beneath the irreverence, Rossella Jardini had kept the rules of classic gentlemanly dressing with the black 3-piece suits and bowties, blouson cardigans worn on top of iridescent yet traditional shirt, gray traveling cape played backdrop on tiny red argyle knitted vest.

It’s retro-futuristic, with the chic evening suits that were proposed from the traditional sober stripes to the more daring shimmering shades. Purple cummerbunds, black & white wingtip shoes, fuchsia or purple laced footwear, Jardini’s vision of the 21st century man is a chip of the old “gentleman” block with just the right amount of James Dean’s rebelliousness to make him very interesting.

Neil Barrett, who just signed a partnership agreement with PMD Japan to distribute his label in the Far East, did what he does best – sharply tailored suits and pants with just sufficient amount of some military element to make them classical, then added zips and buttons plus the patent leather laced-up combat boots giving the collection an edgy appeal.

Using black & white as the main color palette, Barrett cut the trousers slim, and sometimes gave it an extra inch at the hem to get a ‘wrinkled’ effect. Suit jackets with double pockets and its matching vest were paired with low-rise trousers that featured zipped pockets. The Neil Barrett gent is not a video game hero, yet somehow, we all know that he plays the very popular Halo.

Once again, this return to sensible dressing, without the trappings of ‘Queer Eye for a Straight Guy’, Giorgio Armani is the true standard… AH-GAIN, as Homer Simpson would say.

A man in gloves and hat, aristocratic and refined, it was as if we are seeing Giorgio Armani for the first time once more, when Richard Gere was the ‘American Gigolo’. But that was at 27 years ago, ergo, the look had been updated. Now, there are velvet trousers and iridescent jackets, but the patrician qualities remain.

Jackets with rounded shoulders that caress the torso, trousers that draped flawlessly as they were generously cut. Classic tuxedos and bowties cut a sharp figure. Cardigans with wide lapels over knitted pullovers, anoraks and fur lined coats, long scarves worn as cravats, there is an air of regality around the Giorgio Armani gent.

And somehow, the little princess in every girl knows that she does not have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet her Prince because he is standing in front of her wearing Giorgio Armani.