Jan 18, 2012 12:00AM

Backstage at Milan Men's Fashion Week

Plus we re-cap Jil Sander, Burberry, Gucci, Emporio Armani and Calvin Klein.

Milan Men's Fashion Week wrapped up yesterday and our photographer Sonny Vandevelde was there amongst all the backstage action.

One of our favourite designers Raf Simons presented a collection for Jil Sander that was a little 90s internet cafe goth (the patent leather trench coats combined with dark sunglasses, and leather turtle necks), a little American Psycho (the slicked hair, and suits worn with gloves). Incongruous to this was a line-up of cutesy and kitsch knitwear complete with whale and dinosaur motifs - although we loved them nonetheless. Burberry channeled a similar vibe with applique fox faces on jumpers and shirts. So British. This season, Burberry also fine-tuned their classic coat styles, adding larger-than-life toggles to thick duffle coats, which were worn over skinny-suits, while thick bands of colour appeared on trench coat hems. Puffy parka jackets were exaggerated, with big, encompassing collars.

Velvet was key to many of the collections, as seen at Gucci, Burberry and Emporio Armani. The former had a jet-setting Rolling Stones vibe, with paisley and floral prints galore as well as Mick Jagger-worthy stovepipe leather and metallic pants. The palette was autumnal, and the aviator-style sunglasses along with vintagey tapestry travel bags made for a look that was a little 'I'll BRB, just getting on my private plane and being a rockstar.' Velvet was also the star of Emporio Aramani's collection, where the mood was dark (seen literally through the colours) and decadent (with wool, soft sheepskin and double leather). Stovepipe pants were in for Armani too, but these were teamed with thick-soled lace-up boots, offset by contrast stitching. Pony and rabbit adorned portfolio-sized document holders (which in girl world are known as clutches).

Calvin Klein had a bit of a sportswear thing going on, with puffer jackets and vests, windbreaker-capes and backpacks. Alligator appeared on hoods, shoulders and bags, while camel was a main colour. The use of cashmere and the inclusion of more formal coats and suits made sure that while the collection was athletic, it was also luxurious. Don't miss Australia's Stenmark twins appearing on the runway.

Photography: Sonny Vandevelde

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