Color — even in winter — is the strong message coming off the current Milan menswear runway.
Midway through the four days of preview showings for the fall-winter 2011-2012, it is clear that designers are asking men to brighten up their wardrobe, adding bold purple, blue, green and even yellow to their conservative black and gray palette.
Sunday, day 2 of the Italian menswear preview showings, Miuccia Prada added her voice to the color chorus.
The minimalist designer offered silk shirts primly buttoned at the neck in shimmering blue and green, as bright as that of a circus juggler. When it came to knitwear, Prada upped the ante offering minimalist styles in sparkling lurex.
Although she kept to her staple gray and black palette for most suits and jackets, the designer introduced snow white leather for next winter's coats and boots.
Earlier Sunday Tomas Maier for Bottega Veneta dipped his classy styles in such garish shades as lobster red, electric blue, plum purple and acid yellow. These colors shared the limelight with staple black and brown for boiled wool jackets with slim lapel, combined with super-soft leather pants.
Unlike his fellow designers, Armani, who presented his second line Emporio collection Sunday, preferred a conservative palette to underline the urban feel of the collection. City grays and blacks shared the runway lightened up by camel and a few dashes of purple and blue for extra long coats, jackets with asymmetric collars and trousers with a knit hemline.
Evening at Emporio was typically all black with the 'must' tuxedo jacket and bow tie — the only tie featured in the collection.
In general ties are 'out" for next season, with designers preferring an elegant silk shirt — often colored — to accessorize their suits.