John Varvatos is never afraid to indulge in what others may consider a trite cliche. Season in and season out, his man is louche, long-haired rocker - he's friends with enough, having coerced and coaxed the likes of Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper to front his campaigns.
For next spring, Varvatos was thinking softer than Messrs Osterberg and Furnier - more sixties flower-children than seventies punk, with flowing locks and soft, gently bedraggled layers. Fluid jackets draped around the body, fluttering open, sometimes stonewashed, colours a shadow of their former selves - stone-washed grey wool, sand, khaki and olive drab. Ribbons trickled from wrists, hand-painted roses rambled over suits, nothing looked as if it had ever been ironed, and I doubt anything had been washed (dry-clean only for these hippies).
Overall, it all felt a bit over. Designers have been knocking the stuffing out of the tailored suit for decades now: does Milan really need another half-dozen versions of the unstructured jacket? Especially when those versions look like ones already hanging on many a shop-rail, including not only Varvatos' but high-street retailers the world over. The trite fabric manipulation also looked somewhat passe, the kind of cold-washing and unfinished finishes normally utilised by overpriced Italian denim brands trying to give their product a high-fashion sheen but failing abysmally. Perhaps that's too harsh. This is signature Varvatos, after all, and the man has been in business for a clear decade, indicating their must be a market wider than a few off-duty music legends looking to rock this look. As high fashion, however, there was a lack of invention that perplexed.