James Bond on the slopes is the cool look for next winter

The gentleman skier, as much at home on the slopes as in the city, is the latest creation of Italian menswear designers presenting their winter 2007-2008 collections on the Milan catwalk.

The look emerged on the first day of preview showings when Dolce and Gabbana unzipped a gilded snow suit to reveal an impeccable business suit complete with white shirt and black tie underneath. Frida Giannini for Gucci perfected the look at her Tuesday evening show, which was the midway mark of the five-day menswear fashion week.

Models looking like they had come from a James Bond movie, via St. Moritz, strolled down the catwalk in fur-collared ski jackets worn with quilted pants, heavy wool socks and old-fashioned lace-up mountain boots. With the same ease, the Gucci guys sported bulky knit cardigans over a silk turtle neck, paired with tuxedo pants tucked into furry moon boots. Fashionable city suits, complete with traditional Gucci loafers, were worn under a luxurious three-quarter fur coat.

The look was ennobled by a new Gucci logo, a medieval crest dug out of the original Gucci archives, which appeared on sweaters and leather tote bags.

"The collection is very James Bond all about the jet set crowd of the 1960s and 1970s, said Giannini after the much-applauded show. She said she was inspired by such upscale ski resorts as St. Moritz and Gstaad.

The chalet theme was highlighted by a wood-paneled catwalk and white fur cushioned seats for the audience.

James Bond _ the latest movie about the superspy, "Casino Royale," came out in Italy over the holidays also inspired Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's second line D&G collection, presented Wednesday.

"Our mission this season is to bring new elegance and taste to fashion; both in dressing-up and in lifestyle," the designers said in their fashion notes.

As in their signature show, gold played a big part in the collection, maybe in honor of the hot downtown Milan restaurant GOLD, which the designers opened last fall.

The glittery show full of shiny accessories from super-thin belts to glistening tote bags, spoke of a sleek look of tight-fitting jeans and tailored suits right up the Bond alley.

Nighttime was very 007, with velvet tuxedo jackets, patent leather shoes and bow ties.

Earlier in the week Valentino, the quintessential designer of elegance, showed his winter wears, where his love of white was a reminder of snowy landscapes, but the overall feel was all about the indoor lap of luxury.

A series of beautiful cashmere sweaters, jeans with techno seaming and blazers in ultra-light wool tell the tale of a man who cherishes comfort but is not into casual.

For evening, the switch is from white to black, with ultra-soft tuxedo jackets and trousers with marked black silk bands, worn under a super-light silk raincoat which can double as a dressing gown.

What's fun about Moschino is that the label doesn't take all this fashion stuff too seriously. Witness the finale of Tuesday's show with models parading down the catwalk in white T-shirts with black ties or tuxedo bibs printed down the front. So much for the sobriety that seems to be one of the strongest messages coming down the Milan catwalk for next winter.

Yet at the same time the T-shirts captured another theme of this round of preview showings the use of tuxedo motifs such as satin lapels and silk bands for daytime as well as for the traditional evening wear.

In general, the Moschino collection offered a varied and wearable wardrobe from the black rock star jeans to the lurex dinner jacket, from the classic gray flannel suit to the fine tailored overcoat. Red was Moschino's favorite color from crimson socks to a citified hunting jacket with black velvet lapel.

Now to puzzling Prada.

With most everyone underlining basic black sobriety, Miuccia Prada came out with teddy bears models that is clad from head to toe in furry fabric. Her Monday evening show exuded coziness from the woolen caps and fuzzy ponchos, to the wooly leggings and impish pointed shoes. There was little black in the collection, with the favorite shades beige and gray which morphed from light to dark on different parts of the outfit, reports AP.

Add to this teddy-bear look the couture coats complete with delicate collar and gathered hemline, the kind high society women wore in the 1960s, and it's hard to figure out where the avant-garde designer is headed.

"Change is at the heart of the collection," Miuccia said by way of explanation after the show.

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Author`s name Editorial Team