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Originally published Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:38 PM

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Milan runways offer constructed winter silhouette

Menswear looks for next winter have a simple silhouette that is accentuated by stiff, structured outerwear.

AP Fashion Writer

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MILAN —

Menswear looks for next winter have a simple silhouette that is accentuated by stiff, structured outerwear.

Whether a hooded jacket or a military overcoat or a prosaic vest, designers are experimenting with textile technology to produce constructed looks. And a bonus of the workmanship is the new feel of the fabrics.

Everything from fur, leather and cashmere are getting worked over. The techniques allow more mixing of materials to create new fabrics.

The structured silhouette included high and doubled-up collars, shaped hoods and lots of static volume. This graphic look invites oversized accents, such as big exterior pockets, bold buttons and prominent clasps.

Since often-times the looks are substantial, colors stay conservative and monochromatic. Besides the traditional winter black, gray and navy, there is mustard yellow, baby blue and emerald green to brighten the short winter days.

GUCCI

"Modern with a romantic soul," is how Gucci designer Frida Giannini describes the man she has in mind for next winter.

The new collection presented Monday in a downtown Milan hotel was marked by a return to classic styles from the 1960s, contemporized by a sleek silhouette and techno fabrics. A simple silk kerchief tied around the neck becomes the hip theme of the season.

The latest Gucci suit comes in oversized Prince of Wales tweed, with a tailored jacket and comfortable trousers. As in most shows seen on the current Milan runway, pullovers abound. Whether crewneck or turtleneck, bulky is what makes the difference.

For next winter, Gucci brings back an all-time favorite, the military redingote, complete with metal buttons and belted back. For the super romantics, the coat comes with a furry collar just like the one Omar Sharif wore as "Doctor Zhivago."

By night, the Gucci man shies away from traditional garb, sporting a tuxedo jacket with a lavish black silk lapel, but fashioned out of refined daytime fabrics. Another evening outfit combines silk printed pants with a light wool black jacket, or reverses the order: printed jacket over black pants.

The winter palette is one of the brightest seen during the current menswear fashion week, adding ochre, orange, red and green to the staple black, blue and gray.

EMPORIO ARMANI

The Emporio Armani menswear collection for next winter is upbeat. More than for the young, the second line collection is in itself young.

The boyish models looked happy and relaxed as they sauntered down the runway in a beige caban, or a velvet dinner jacket over a pair of the latest Armani pants, slim-fitting and cropped at the ankle.

The winter style is "very, very Armani," the designer told reporters after the show held in his modern downtown Milan headquarters.

The collection's trump card is selecting iconic styles from the male wardrobe - an overcoat, a pea jacket, or a tuxedo - and refashioning them in the latest high-tech materials. Volume and stiffness are achieved by mixing different fabrics on a rubber neoprene frame, or by coating bulky yarns.

The Armani winter color palette sticks to urban shades of blue and asphalt, with flashes of yellow, orange, emerald green and purple.

FENDI

More than a fashion show, the Fendi winter menswear presentation was a fashion happening.

Dressed in the latest cold weather styles from cozy fur capes to sporty parkas, a bevy of Fendi models marched up and down a makeshift scaffolding to an obsessive disco beat. The fashion parade went on for an hour while the fashion crowd stood around sipping exotic Nordic drinks and tasting bean bread and frozen nuts.

The repetitive show presented in a contemporary art gallery also gave the fashion experts time to take in the collection and pick up the details.

The Fendi winter menswear wardrobe is made up of generous coats in fur, wool or leather, an array of hooded sport jackets ranging from parkas to pea jackets, shirts combined with bulky knitwear, light wool daytime suits, and for evening a tuxedo made out of daytime fabric but with a distinguishing satin lapel.

Accessories included heavy soled moccasin lace-ups, fur boots, muffs and the latest Fendi bag - an oversized fanny pack in long-haired fur.

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