Designers tune in to the feel of the Nineties: Roger Tredre finds that 'travellers of the soul' are at home in Milan

FASHION designers, who are showing their men's collections for spring 1994 this week, are turning their attention to matters spiritual.

Perhaps this is because matters commercial are none too good. Designers admit business is slow, although the UK, Italy's fifth-largest market for menswear, showed a slight upturn last year.

The strongest fashion story in Milan came from Dolce e Gabbana, arguably the most influential of Italian menswear designers in recent years. Their message was simple: turn on, tune in, drop out.

The two designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, dressed models in sarongs, white ribbed vests and loose layers of cream linen. Their new man, they said, was 'a traveller of the soul, looking inside himself in order to find an answer'.

This all seemed like mumbo- jumbo to some in the audience, but the two designers have a valid point to make. The confident 'power suits' associated with the Eighties seem out of place in the less confident mid-Nineties. Designers are making clothes to match customers' new mood; introspective rather than brash, with new priorities.

Dolce e Gabbana, who first used the superwaif Kate Moss on the catwalk, reinforced the change of direction by finding a new model: Ralf Winter, a 23-year-old German who has shaved his head, to the delight of every fashion editor bored with long locks. In Dolce e Gabbana's long ribbed sweaters, Thai-weave jackets and embroidered waistcoats, Mr Winter looked like a Hare Krishna devotee.

Dolce e Gabbana also showed more of their high-buttoning, Edwardian silhouette jackets, and white shirts untucked under cropped waistcoats. Sweaters in linen and linen mixes were wrapped around waists. Army green combat trousers and jackets were a nod towards another significant fashion trend next year.

Men's sandals are back in fashion, particularly sandals of the variety worn in biblical television epics. Their return is causing much amusement. Jo Levin, fashion editor of GQ, said: 'They are fine if you have beautifully tanned feet. But men with white feet should forget it.'

The alternative is to wear them with socks, a solution favoured at Gucci yesterday. Even in Milan, the home of exquisite men's dressing, they make mistakes.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat