Missoni's Spring women's show was so fearlessly iconoclastic that it sparked tremulous anticipation of the men's collection that would follow. Classic or chaotic? That was the question. But Margherita Missoni, probable heiress to the family heritage, made a clear case for a variant on the former. She insisted she had no interest in seeing her men in some kind of kooky knitwear meltdown, which may account for the somber, almost downbeat mood of the collection that was shown today.
The emphasis was squarely on the artisanal weaves that made the family fortune, but the twenty-first century inserted itself in the technology that guaranteed that however many layers there were, there would be no bulk. So a cardigan sat comfortably over a quilted waistcoat that sat comfortably over a woven shirt. Masterful.
The palette emphasized reflective shades of earth, fog, and heath. There were floppy, perforated suede hats that would be perfect for Devendra Banhart, who's been cruising around Milan this week. He would surely respond favorably to the intrinsic languor of knitwear, inherent in this collection's union of track pants and trousers, or the droop of a pantsuit. But wait Did we dismiss the iconoclasm too fast? A knit pantsuit? For men? That might be more Minnelli than even Banhart could bear.