The line, long under-rated as one of geometry's most basic forms, is getting a lot of exposure on the Milan menswear runway.
Designers are embracing stripes of, well, every stripe, and using them as a metaphor of sorts to clean up the line, that is the silhouettes, of the collections presented during Milan Fashion Week, in its third day on Monday.
For next summer, men can expect to be wearing stripes, both fine and bold, along with pulsating, radiating and curving lines, as well as simple checks, all creating optical effects that bely the simplicity of some of the looks. Lines are also being worked into the fabric, in chunky textiles that create an architecture of their own.
Giorgio Armani says he has done a wholesale cleanup of looks for his Emporio Armani collection for next spring and summer.
The predominantly black-and-white collection has a strong graphic component, with lines transmitting a sense of energy from the garment, from steady pulses, webs and waves up to full black and white bold stripes. Color makes cameos in contrasting stripes of turquoise and aqua-green.
"After years of doing a little bit of everything, a melange, florals and ethnicity, finally a little cleaning," Armani said.
The silhouette is loose and easy, with pleated trousers or drawstring athletic pants. Silk and cotton shirts loosely cling the frame, and T-shirts, worn under coats, are soft.
GUCCI EARNS ITS STRIPES
The Gucci man for next summer has earned his stripes, along with golden buttons, epaulets, insignias and other trappings of a mariner's life.
The collection, shown against a background of shimmering water, has a decidedly nautical flair, featuring trim and dignified white, navy and red suits with suggestions of officialdom in stripes. But these are not mere costumes. The collection projects both luxury and a free spirit.
The silhouette is disciplined, with the expected blazer, double-breasted jacket and pea coats, but creative director Frida Giannini also includes jackets with Nehru collars and blousons with a contrasting buckle waistband that can function as a shirt or jacket. Pants are lean and straight, or baggier and lose.
Frida Giannini gives the look a modern twist with bold navy and white vertically striped pants and jackets, worn together for an eye-popping optical effect but more often mixed and matched with plain colors.
The stripe also appears on lapels, scarves tucked inside jackets that substitute for ties, and on the straps of the collection's ample leather duffel and messenger bags.
Here's a new one: faux denim.
The jeans on the Fendi runway were not at all what they appeared. The shirt was printed cotton and the classic jacket was in reality leather with a denim print.
Besides the denim elaboration, the collection by Silvia Venturi Fendi also featured woven leather pieces and striped knits, as designers continued their study of the line. Again, there were no ties but silken scarves tucked inside a sweater's V or beneath a jacket lapel. The color palate was eclectic, with something for every taste. Shoes were mostly slip-on sandals. Bags included a small front-carry pack that stays secure with a triple strap, biker style.
Denim and music have always been a winning combination, as they were on the Fendi runway, where Fendi introduced a new leather-clad colored headphone in collaboration with Beats by Dr. Dre.
BIODIVERSITY IN FASHION
The Apulia-based brand Etro is promoting biodiversity in fashion — using natural fibers in part of the menswear collection for next summer, and promoting a diverse diet.
Menswear designer Kean Etro said he wanted to show how thread could be made out of natural products, not only hemp, which is well-known, but also banana, cereals and milk. Etro said the message behind the collection is "to keep biodiversity running in agriculture."
The collection opened with a series of looks made from natural fibers, maintaining a predominantly white palate before a color burst of egg blue, salmon pink and canary yellow. Instead of the brand's familiar paisley, the prints were photographs of plates of food, from fruit to crustaceans.
Paola Masera contributed to this report.