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Old Faithfuls

Buyers had their work cut out looking for new directions in Florence, with many Italian heavyweights presenting an almost identikit roll-call of spring 07 trends

It was groundhog day at Pitti Uomo for any buyer heading straight for the lower ground floor of the Padiglione Centrale in Florence. A first port of call for international retailers wanting a quick round-up of next season's directions, the lavish emporium of premium Italian tailoring presented a virtual re-run of spring 07 trends.

Commercially tricky cappuccino shades reappeared alongside colonial looks, a Riviera story, preppy casuals, shiny surfaces, eveningwear details, a mod revival and checks.

Sophisticated shades of brown, from walnut to mocha, were presented for a third consecutive season. While complementing the darker southern European skin tone, suits in these colours translate less well in the UK, with buyers here generally giving the trend a wide berth.

With stripes a spring 07 young fashion hit, the Riviera looks seen in Florence are likely to be popular, particularly among the 35-plus market. Breton striped knits and jerseys in luxury silks and cashmeres were presented with unstructured reworkings of the classic blazer, replete with club insignia. The unstructured jackets that anchored the Riviera story were also given a wide outing in the casualwear halls, underpinning the reappearance of the preppy trend. Block-striped rugger shirts, argyle cricket knits, laundered shirts and chinos defined the theme.

Grabbing the baton from the grey trend were checks, which appeared in a number of permutations. A splattering of grey persisted, mainly on the Italian tailoring stands.

Taking their lead from 1950s Rat Packers, mohair and silk were used in equal measure to create suits with shiny surfaces.

THE KEY LOOKS

COLONIAL

For reference think EM Forster's A Passage To India. Broad-lapelled Great Gatsby-inspired double-breasted styles shared rail space with classic 2sb styles. Casual multi-pocket jackets nodded towards safari styling.

CHECKS

Checks appeared in every permutation. Glen checks, some with subtle single-colour highlights, provided the main backdrop with houndstooths, puppytooths and even windowpane checks in the mix.

RIVIERA

Classic looks received a modern makeover. Navy or white blazers were mixed with club ties, Breton striped knits and jerseys, and white trousers in cotton or linen. The look was mixed with deckside casualwear.

CAPPUCCINO

These shades may not translate commercially in the UK, where skin tones are generally less sun-kissed. Nevertheless, biscuit, mocha, walnut and cappuccino tones were out in force.

SHINE

Mohair and silk joined forces to provide shiny surfaces. Aquascutum's retro take was rooted in the mod era, while Tiger of Sweden, Canali and Corneliani presented slick 2sb Rat Pack lounge suits.

EVENING

Details from eveningwear have already infiltrated premium streetwear, with men's tailoring brands embracing a formalwear ethic. Silk tailoring, narrow shawl collars and satin taped seams featured across the board.

PREPPY

A perennial inspiration. Staple categories including button-down Oxford shirts, rugby jerseys and blazers were given a contemporary makeover, with unstructured shapes and slim silhouettes leading the charge.

UNSTRUCTURED

Slightly dishevelled looking, unstructured jackets were a headline category in laundered cottons and linens. Styles featured button-down pockets and body-conscious shoulder shapes.

COLONIAL

Spring's ivory, cream and beige tailoring is ideally suited for our man in Havana

CONTACTS

Bugatti 00 49 52 21 88 41 14

Canali 020 7439 4052

Corneliani 020 7491 4955

Hackett 020 7939 6800

William Hunt 020 7284 3257

Jaguar 00 31 76 75 06 700

Pal Zileri 020 7307 0886

Tombolini 00 39 73 35 11 511

CHECKS

From Glen checks and puppytooths to larger houndstooths, checks replace the grey trend

CONTACTS

Baracuta 01405 782829

Canali 020 7439 4052

Clerk & Teller 020 8970 6250

Gant 020 7201 2900

Hackett 020 7939 6800

Mark Powell 020 7287 5498

Pal Zileri 020 7307 0886

Simon Carter 020 8683 4475

Tombolini 00 39 73 35 11 511

RIVIERA

Henley blazers, club insignia and stripes combine to provide a touch of quayside glamour

CONTACTS

Ballantyne 00 39 2584 9821

Faaonnable 020 7498 0755

Favourbrook 020 7491 2337

Gloverall 01604 812812

Hackett 020 7939 6800

Holland Esq 0115 968 1281

Pringle 020 7259 1667

Sand 020 7499 9601

CAPPUCCINO

The brown story is refined in mocha, biscuit and walnut shades

CONTACTS

Canali 020 7439 4052

Corneliani 020 7491 4955

Hackett 020 7939 6800

Odermark 00 49 5321 7080

Scabal 020 7734 1867

Strellson 020 7437 0101

Tombolini 00 39 73351 1511

William Hunt 020 7284 3257

SHINE

Shiny surfaces take lounge suits into the evening for spring, with a passing nod to 1950s goodfellas

CONTACTS

Aquascutum 020 7675 9050

Baumler 020 7624 0164

Canali 020 7439 4052

Corneliani 020 7491 4955

John Rocha 00 353 1662 9225

Sand 020 7499 9601

Strellson 020 7437 0101

Tiger of Sweden 020 7287 2777

EVENING

Eveningwear details are incorporated into day suits for everyday sophistication

CONTACTS

Baumler 020 7624 0164

Mark Powell 020 7287 5498

Corneliani 020 7491 4955

Drykorn 00 49 9321 300 318

Holland Esq 0115 968 1281

Pal Zileri 020 7307 0886

Tiger of Sweden 020 7287 2777

William Hunt 020 7284 3257

PREPPY

US Ivy League style mixes with a Brit public school ethos to provide a preppy casual stand-off

CONTACTS

Ballantyne 00 39 2584 9821

Brax 07768 762298

Gant 020 7201 2900

Hackett 020 7939 6800

Henri-Lloyd 0161 799 1212

Pringle 020 7259 1667

Rene Lezard 00 49 9324 3020

Strellson 020 7437 0101

UNSTRUCTURED

Unlined, body-conscious fits dominate casualwear

CONTACTS

Aquascutum 020 7675 9050

Canali 020 7439 4052

Corneliani 020 7491 4955

Haversack 00 81 3 3477 0521

J Keydge 00 39 2 7600 1925

John Rocha 00 353 1662 9225

Marlboro Classics 020 7336 7993.

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