Monday, June 29, 2009

Venice - Fashion’s Labyrinth

This June saw me in the winding alleyways and canals of Venice. If you’ve ever been there, you will know that the city is a maze of labyrinth style streets, men in striped shirts offering you a trip down the canals in their quaint gondolas, amazing food and of course in true Italian form, fashion to die for. The streets are ablaze with the latest styles. The shop windows are inspiring alone which creates a new love affair around every corner, be it with leather gloves, exquisite tailoring or the latest ‘it’ bag.

Like most cities, Venice is one of contradictions. In parts of the city where tourists flock it is an invasive assault on the eardrums, however when you walk a little further and go beyond the centre, the silence is deafening. The buildings of Venice seem so beautifully fragile yet almost every wall is flawed with graffiti. And the latest trends are a mix of bright hues encased in stark white, sharp tailoring against whimsical creations and pretty dresses with rock n roll accessories. French navy, burnt orange and rich purple sit along side nude and mink to complete the palette of the season.

All of that said, I cannot write of fashion in Italy without mentioning menswear. With iconic designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Giorgio Armani, men have been allowed to express a form of elegance in their dress not seen in any place in the world. This can be seen in their accessories alone; Cashmere scarves, detailed leather shoes and stunning leather holdalls which grace the arms of perfectly groomed gentlemen. Now, if this isn’t a reason for Italian women to spread their fashion wings and look the part of ladies, then I don’t know what is. One thing’s for sure, Italy is definitely one step ahead of the fashion pack… but most of us already knew that…