Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry kick off Milan fashion week

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Dolce & Gabbana and Burberry kicked off Milan’s fashion week on Saturday with both design houses going back to their roots in their menswear collections for next winter.

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Italy’s most famous designer duo said they went back to the brand’s origins for their Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 line, “with a black and white portrait of Sicily, revisiting all the hues from baroque to neorealism to aristocracy.”

Their show was one of the first of 40 catwalk presentations during Milan’s menswear fashion week, which run until Tuesday and comes as the economic recession begins to bite hard in the United States and elsewhere.

Models, dressed in caps, were sent out in quilted-silk trousers with a tuxedo stripe, quilted satin robes and military style jackets. Ties were slim on mainly white and black shirts.

Their creations were mostly in black, blue, brown and grey, but fuchsia and light pink loafers added colour.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana also showed off “Gold Edition” jeans, featuring 24-carats gold metal details. For the evening, models wore silk-like jackets, hand-intertwined, in white and black, red and pink.

Burberry Creative Director Christopher Bailey had “modern nostalgia” for the Burberry Prorsum menswear line, using photographer Bill Brandt as a reference.

Silhouettes were oversized and tapered, with large black and grey coats over dark skinny trousers. Shirts were simple white, knotted at the collar, and topped with trench coats.

Wearing caps, models were accessorized with large Burberry check scarves, rolled around the neck. They also wore knitted, scarf-like belts at the waist. For the evening, Bailey sent out models in midnight blue, green and plum coloured, velvet suits.

“I wanted to go back the DNA and the roots of what Burberry’s heritage is about, which is why I did so much outerwear, so many trench coats, I wanted the Burberry check to be in a very strong way,” Bailey told Reuters after the show.

“I feel it’s a good moment to go back to who you are and what you stand for.”

Luxury brands have not been spared by the credit crunch and in the toughened economic climate, Bailey said now was a time to stick to strengths.

“I feel very similar to what I felt I had to represent for the show -- stay in your lane, keep doing what you’re good at and where you come from,” he said.

“We come from outerwear, it’s our heritage, it’s our philosophy, hence I wanted to stay close to the familiar.”