Umit Benan is a quiet revolutionary. And aren't they the most dangerous? Look at what he's doing at Trussardi, for years a slumbering (or rather lumbering) giant limping along with a lacklustre fashion collection and some high-octane, low taste accessories lines. How times have changed: under Benan, Trussardi is proposing something fresh and different. The fashion crowd hasn't entirely leapt to attention yet. But give them time, Signors Trussardi, and they will, because what Benan is showing is unlike anything else on the Milan womenswear calendar.
For Autumn/Winter 2012 Benan took us down Mexico way. Well, ish. We had an Andalucian-alike fruit market as fancy backdrop and some models (mercifully few) emerged wearing wide-primmed Peruvian monteras. For all my churlish nose-thumbing, they actually looked rather fabulous. Ignore the rest of the bunkum about transposing the sway of a gaucho's poncho to a multilayered skirt that you may read elsewhere - and ignore the numerous mistakes and oversights of nationality above, blending South America into one aesthetic melting-pot. Essentially, that was Benan's approach, taking the merest suggestion of South America, of travel and of movement, and capturing that through clothing. That's a menswear approach - men, generally, want to dress rather than dress up. It's about their character, not some abstract designer inspiration. Umit Benan's revolution? Apply that to women's fashion.
Let's get down to basics: these clothes looked great. The colours were once again restricted, this time to hued of stone grey, brick red, a rich navy and black, mixing tailoring with leather and thick knits. Outfits were single colour, although they could be composed of, say, a sweater over a shirt under a blazer, with a skirt, hat and boots to match. And maybe a bag - Benan offered eminently practical rucksacks, another piece filched from a man's wardrobe that makes perfect sense for women. Maybe that's what this revolution is all about: a sensible, working wardrobe for a woman who really wants to live and not be a decorative object. These were clothes not to look at, but to live in. It not have had the razzle dazzle of other catwalk shows, but that's what the applause was for. Next season it looks set to be a roar. The revolution has begun.