There's a bit of a Brit thing happening in Milan. The classic fabrics of English tailoring—houndstooth, herringbone, Prince of Wales check—are being taken out for an airing time and again. They opened the show at Iceberg, as soft, unlined cashmere coats and jackets, flapping over tweed trousers and long, layered cardigans.
But if the show began in old England, it quickly headed south. Paolo Gerani's professed theme was gauchos, or make that their contemporary descendants, who "rather than roam the vast pampas now wander the streets of Tokyo, Berlin, New York on modern bicycles." The gaucho's draped blanket poncho became the basis for striped outerwear knits. That exotic note—plus the almost uniformly gray-ish palette—placed the clothes at a remove from much of what we've seen of Fall 2011 so far. But as such things go, they had a nubby, rough-hewn charm. Or at least as rough as cashmere gets.