This was a superb collection in which the leitmotif was always total quality, and understated, self-assured elegance that will eternally be the mark of class. Canali have a curriculum and a three-generation history that allow them to reinterpret the features of the season as they wish, and they did just that. The show began with a series of film sequences featuring Milan, its trams and monuments, projected onto two giant doors with the Canali logo.
Even though there were some greys, the overall impression was one of delight in bright colour, highlighted by sumptuous fabrics from velvet to satin and silk. Checks, tweed and tartan-type motifs on suits were artfully coordinated with superbly detailed knitwear shirts or more formal, ulta-cool shirts and ties. Shoes were stylish but discreet, and the trend for shortish trouser legs at the ankles was minimal or absent. Three-piece suits were rendered almost informal by the luscious softness of the fabric that created shapely folds enhanced by the satin finish. Large scarves, another de rigueur motif for the season, were coordinated or brilliantly contrasting. Accessories seemed entirely at home in the outfits, tanned leather belts, suede bags with leather trim, black patent leather shoes for evening outfits.
From leisure wear to office garments and right through to formal wear, the collection was absolutely spectacular, and when the two doors opened to reveal the models and the looks on two tiers, the effect was one of a rainbow of colour amidst the frankly obsessive blacks and greys dominating much of the fall/winter 2011-12 season. Applause was prolonged and sincere, underlined by cheering, the only time in this round of shows that I heard it. Grazie, Canali!
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