Fur brings opulence to Paris and Milan menswear

Opulence. That was the word that kept popping up during the menswear shows in Milan and Paris. Designers have dialled up the decadence, using sumptuous fox and glossy mink to convey their message. As fashion plays with traditional gender boundaries, there’s a new glamour to menswear, accentuated by the use of fur.

The menswear shows in Milan were all about fur – on and off the catwalks. Gentlemen showgoers kept warm in fox-trimmed parkas and slouchy, classic mink coats – the latter in the vein of Gucci, where Alessandro Michele has ushered in a new era of bohemian decadence and precious embellishment – and what could be more precious than fur?

For his third Gucci menswear show, Michele paired pyjama-style trousers with a white mink coat, which revealed wallpaper-style floral embroidery on the silk lining. Mink was used to trim lavishly embellished velvet robes, and a pre-fall womenswear mink coat in sorbet pink and white gingham intarsia gave a very pretty hint at what’s to come.

Fendi embraced laid-back, robed playboys in furry slippers and brown mink coats with the playful signature Fendi faces as intarsia elbow ‘patches’. A smoking jacket in warm, enveloping mink felt like the ultimate in luxury lounging, while a brown perfecto jacket took the classic style to new heights.

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Donatella Versace stormed into the future with intergalactic, sporty sci-fi puffer jackets with big fox-trimmed hoods, either in silver fox or dyed black. Thom Browne was also in survival mode for Moncler Gamme Bleu, where top-to-toe camouflage included statement intarsia mink on a floor-length coat and as an arresting lapel on a quilted vest.

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At Ermanno Scervino, models were wrapped up in luxury utility wear: khaki green parkas lined with black fox. Fox was also at John Richmond, where his after dark glam rockers wore silver fox as plush gilets and Fox-on-Fabric jackets.

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In Paris, the full-on extravagance continued, with many designers gravitating towards it to fight the darkness of recent world events. “Paris is the City of Light and I want to bring back those lights,” Olivier Rousteing told WWD after his show for Balmain. Here, military-inspired jackets – many in the 1000-watt sparkly Michael Jackson tradition – were trimmed with the softest fox that moved beautifully as the models walked.

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At Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci looked to Botswana’s heavy metal subculture, wanting to express a sense of freedom to dress however you want, in fur, studs and coiled snake appliqués. A gleaming bomber jacket had an electric red dyed Silver fox collar with pointy ends trailing down the front, and the fierce, lavish rocker vibe was echoed in an incredible mink intarsia coat turned inside out to show the raw beauty of the patched pieces.

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Beautifully showcasing how fur is now used to free the classic men’s silhouette, Valentino sent out an earthen, khaki jacket lined with mink that lent a luxurious, wild edge to the otherwise muted piece.

Jan 26, 2016