MILAN – In a muggy, scorching Milan, it's hard to imagine a summer of lightweight coats and leather jackets.
That's the look, however, that designers are forecasting for the summer of 2013 after three days of preview presentations on the Milan runway.
From Ferragamo to Prada, from Jil Sander to Gucci, almost every label has its version of the non-belted raincoat, once a must for a rainy day in the 1960's.
The vintage leather jacket — from blazer to bomber to wind breaker and crafted out of super soft leather and suede — also makes a comeback for next summer.
Designers have also made men happy with the introduction of open-necked shirts for the warmer months. Mostly in white, these shirts come in crisp cotton and have a wide collar, unbuttoned just below the neck. Cool and comfortable, they easily pass the without-a-tie elegance test.
For the stuffier crowd, a few designers showed the shirts with ties worn under a see-through pullover, another popular item this season.
From the very start one message has come across bright and clear: next summer is all about color.
The Milan shows end Tuesday with Giorgio Armani's signature collection.
Creative director Frida Giannini has brought a whole lot of Mediterranean pizazz to Gucci.
It was no easy task following in the footsteps of American superstar Tom Ford, who turned the once-staid company into one of the sexiest labels in fashion before leaving in 2004. But the Rome-born Giannini decided to see fashion her own way — and that was somewhere between "La Dolce Vita" and the Mediterranean seaside, with a bit of Anglo-American rock thrown in.
The result has been highly successful. And her latest menswear collection Monday for the summer of 2013 was no exception.
Next summer's Gucci palette is a burst of Mediterranean energy from sea blue and green to turquoise, terracotta, raspberry, orange, lemon and pistachio. These bright colors can be used for a suit, a pair of pants or a sweater. When mixed together, they create cheerful prints for silk shirts and slacks.
The new Gucci blazer in cotton jersey is double breasted and fitted around the waist, creating the slim effect favored by 1960s "Dolce Vita" playboys. Trousers are classic but on the skinny side. Loosely knit pullovers, net-stitched polo shirts and printed foulard shirts add casual chic. Summer raincoats, a popular look on the current Milan runway, also come in bright shades.
The latest Gucci bag is roomy and colorful. Styles range from the canvas shoulder bag to the crocodile weekend bag.
The leitmotif of the warm weather collection is the classic Gucci loafer.
Giorgio Armani's Emporio menswear collection was elegant, classy and focused on single theme: a simple pair of summer shorts.
For his second-line summer 2013 collection, which was presented Monday, Armani paired cuffed shorts with single or double breasted jackets to create a spiffy warm weather blazer-and-pants effect. At times, the designer added a white shirt and tie — complete with tie pin — for extra sophistication.
Armani also paired his shorts with lightweight trench coats, soft leather jackets and see-through pullovers. He used new technical procedures to turn classic tweeds into super-light summer look-alikes. Colors belonged to the traditional Armani palette: gray, beige, brown and blue, with military green being a new entry.
Footwear came in extra sturdy leather running shoes, which doubled for classic lace-ups. Big bags were carried by hand with a shoulder strap option. Armani also offered a small iPad carrier, a very popular item this round.
At the end of the show Armani sent out a parade of male and female models dressed in swimsuits, with a huge photo of the Olympic circles in the runway's backdrop.
Armani is the official designer of the Italian team's uniforms for the London Olympics.
The Missoni summer man likes to travel in style and comfort. He wears a safari suit complete with matching hat, carries a large patterned bag and sports Missoni-patterned desert boots.
The models at the Missoni menswear show for the summer of 2013 presented Monday walked down a colored sandy runway worked into a Missoni pattern to underline the vacation mood of the collection.
The safari suit came with Bermuda shorts — popular this round of menswear — or casual trousers cuffed at the ankle. If he prefers, the Missoni man can don patterned sneakers instead of desert boots. Blazers and bomber jackets, also big items for next year's warmer weather, completed the Missoni summer suitcase.
Colors for next summer, which in general promise to be particularly bright, started at Missoni with sandy beige, dark olive and ink blue, and then burst out into poppy red, saffron yellow and emerald green.
In the knit department, designer Angela Missoni offered a series of pullovers and cardigans, which like most Missoni knitwear never goes out of style.