Fashion week in Milan sees classic shapes, light layers

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Fashion week in Milan sees classic shapes, light layers

MILAN - Italy’s fashion capital is getting a little more traffic than usual as Milan Fashion Week kicks off, thanks to the Expo 2015 world’s fair at the city’s gates, now in its second month.

Four days of menswear previews for next spring and summer began Saturday with Emporio Armani, Dolce&Gabbana, Jil Sander, Versace and Philipp Plein.

And Marni is showing menswear on the runway for the first time. Perhaps the fashionistas will find time for Expo before moving on to Paris next week.

Here are some highlights of Emporio Armani.

It was not Gregory Peck’s Vespa from the film “Roman Holiday,’’ but the girl on the runway could be an updated Audrey Hepburn.

Emporio Armani has teamed up with Vespa to create a sleek new 946 scooter with matte black paint, suggesting a time somewhere between nostalgia and now. A series of the scooters greeted guests at the menswear spring summer preview in Giorgio Armani’s more intimately renovated theater.

The collection was light and layered, featuring classic Armani shapes in neutral tones. The looks were loose with textured and sometimes crinkled fabric, easy to imagine zipping along urban streets.

There was a focus on pants, with roomy pleated trousers that seemed to drape the leg. More athletic knit trousers were cinched at the ankle. Whether the look was formal or casual ultimately was defined by the jacket, ranging from double-breasted to more Asian-inspired looks with pagoda shoulders. And there were wonderful papery anoraks for that unexpected shower.

Shoes included surprising sling-back Oxfords as well as sneakers, while ample backpacks fastened snugly to the body. The looks were topped with berets and dark aviator glasses.

Though it was menswear, Armani sent a dozen women’s looks down the runway, displaying the adaptability of men’s tailoring for women - something in which Hepburn pioneered. A series of men’s cut shirts over baggy trousers would have suited her well.

Actor Tim Robbins, hair slicked back and mixing blue-and-black in Armani fashion, was in the front row for the Emporio Armani show.

“I don’t know fashion,’’ said Robbins, who is in town to perform a “Midsummer Night’s Dream’’ at the Triennale. “But I liked the clothes.’’

Robbins says he has been exploring Milan by bicycle, which is not for the faint of heart given the traffic and tram tracks.

“The Duomo is beautiful,’’ he said referring to Milan’s cathedral. “But I’ve been going with my bicycle everywhere, so I’ve ... seen so many things, not going inside, but just trying to figure out how to get around in the city.’’

He will be performing Monday through Wednesday evening with the Actor’s Gang.

“I’m just happy to be in Italy. I just love Italy,’’ he said.

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