Milan menswear seems to be playing it remarkably safe for Spring 2012. Take Salvatore Ferragamo - hardly a bastion of design innovation, but chief designer Massimiliano Giornetti has been twisting its wares in interesting directions of late. This season, however, Giornetti kept to the straight and narrow - double-breasted suiting, linen, earth-tones, wide-brimmed straw hats. They've been the acceptable polished masculine summer wardrobe for half a century, especially in Italy - alongside the hip-swathing and crotch-hugging more suited to Ferragamo's Milanese compatriots. Ferragamo is Florentine in origin, of course, so perhaps that's where the refinement came from.
No need for over-analysis. Giornetti's collection defied a deeper meaning. What we got instead were straight-forward fashion basics. His silhouette was high on the waist and wide in the trews - either Oxford bagging around the shoe or pouched into a tapered ankle with plenty of pleated volume at the hips. Jackets were predominantly double-breasted, some times cropped at the waist. That was about as fashion-forward as they got, although the abbreviated proportion did look good, especially in the hot, unbleached palette Giornetti pushed, plainly sandy shades of oatmeal and beige but veering into rich ochre and sage-green, alongside a touch of the black that has become an odd but much-reiterated trend for next spring.
For a house dominated by leather goods, they were in scant supply. A few tan leather satchels, half-a-dozen pairs of nappa-topped espadrilles, and a bit of leather thronging knotted around the wrists. That felt oddly unfulfilling in a collection that otherwise managed to tick the boxes for a polished summer wardrobe, albeit without really pushing the boat out. Then again, I suppose the Ferragamo man hires someone to push that boat out for him.