Prada goes urban, Gucci opts for romance

If Prada or &to=http://english.pravda.ru/culture/2002/05/28/29388.html' target=_blank>Gucci is doing it, then you know men and women are wearing it. The two staid leather goods houses, turned hip by farsighted designers, brought Italian fashion into the second millennium and continue to be two of its major trend setters.

The collections they presented during the latest week of menswear preview showings are sure to set the pace for the fall-winter 2006-2007.

Scottish designer John Ray, who has been designing Gucci menswear since Tom Ford's stormy departure several seasons ago, opts for a gentler silhouette than Ford's staple sexy look.

Romantic defines Ray's look for next winter, presented Tuesday evening in a downtown Milan hotel. Long-haired models walk the catwalk with their trousers tucked in their boots and wearing black ruffled shirts in see-through chiffon. There are few jackets in the collection. The designer preferred intricately knit sweaters, or a slim three-quarter coat. An old world and very romantic overcoat in gray flannel, with cinched waist, deep pockets and fur lining is the favorite outerwear.

Miuccia Prada rarely makes a fashion statement she has not thought through to the last detail. Her latest menswear collection, presented Monday, based on the city warrior, oozed Prada perfection.

From the furry motorbike helmets, to the animal-print overcoats, to the heavy-duty boots and golden amulets dangling from the large leather satchels, the show reflected Prada's new take on men _ less intellectual and more aggressive.