Critics Fall for Burberry’s ‘Gentlemanly’ Charms, Deem Dolce & Gabbana ‘Overwrought’

From left: new menswear looks from Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Burberry.
From left: new menswear looks from Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Burberry.


• “[Bailey] turned his substantial talents to that most conservative and reassuring forms of soft armor, the suit … with confident reassurance. [T]he collection sent a message of competence, quietly skillful craftsmanship and of hunkering down … [Bailey] exhibited a comfortable understanding of what it means to be endowed with more testosterone than estrogen.” [NYT]
• “[A] tellingly clever and cool visual discourse on a new sort of gentile chic … Bailey wowed with a excellent set of Alpine apres-ski sweaters, whose erratic patterns and crafty twisting necklines made them that rare thing in menswear — truly original garments … [a] thoroughly accomplished show.” [Fashion Wire Daily]
• “The collection, with its quirky charms, hit the spot … Bailey peppered the collection with light touches, in the form of beaded appliqué fox heads on knits, leather gloves sprouting punky gold studs, and jaunty polka-dot neckties that would put a smile on the lips of even the most dour Englishman.” [WWD]
• “[I]t was all very Downton Abbey drivers [and] quirky details … Gone was last season’s bohemian boy.” [Vogue UK]
“[A] kaleidoscopic shake-up of town and country … There was a military swagger, an urban sharpness, and a yearning for country … [Bailey] got the balance just right this season.” [IHT]
• “[Bailey drew] on Burberry’s military heritage [and] the seam of eccentricity that runs through the company’s history … to great effect. [The clothes were] an appealing advertisement for a new kind of gentlemanliness.” []

 See the Full Fall 2012 Burberry Menswear Collection.

• ”[A] quiet collection … there was a sweetly (as opposed to cloyingly) nostalgic mood, a tacit allusion to a similarly flush era, to better times.” [NYT]
• ”[M]ore path-breaking than many recent shows, [with] knitted trousers … He also went outside the envelope with a new airy tweed … [T]his septuagenarian designer still keeps his ideas fresh.” [Fashion Wire Daily]
• “The designer put his own spin on tradition for this masculine but soft-edged collection, which was packed with knitted wool, stretchy fabrics, velvet, wide-ribbed corduroy and textured leather … That softness and comfort wove its way throughout the collection.” [WWD]
• “City-perfect style … Coats were seriously cosy and suits ready to take on the winter weather.” [Vogue UK]
“[Armani’s] show defined absolute integrity of design … Nothing would have seemed really “new,” as in a jarring note … But there were enough ideas, especially the printed-on knit patterns, to refresh the Armani style.” [IHT]
• ”[Armani] has evolved his own sui generis version of formality … There is, in fact, something transgressive about emblematic male items taken to such an extreme.” []

See the Full Fall 2012 Giorgio Armani Menswear Collection.

• “It was a strong collection, notable for varied proportions and masterfully combined textures.” [On the Runway/NYT]
• ”[T]he collection was a pretty masterful display of Gucci craftmanship and artisanal skills … The stand-out Gucci look was an ideally dramatic car coat … Talk about cool billionaire’s opulence … Giannini got [the accessories] right, and just the right side revolutionary.” [Fashion Wire Daily]
• “Romance and decadence were the twin inspirations behind Gucci’s handsome collection … Giannini’s bohemians were more of the polished variety … Poet, painter, soldier, lover — Giannini’s collection was generous enough to encompass them all, and then some.” [WWD]
• “You’ve got to love a Gucci man … Oscar Wilde is very much the hero here – think rich, dark tones, an emphasis on eveningwear and luxe in velvet and military detailing.” [Vogue UK]
• “Frida Giannini is a true connoisseur of doomed male beauties … It was alluringly outré—and that’s a quality that can’t go undenied in the face of Milan menswear’s tame restraint.” []

See the Full Fall 2012 Gucci Menswear Collection.


• ”[The presentation was] graphic, theatrical and oddly anachronistic. It was also fanatically detailed. But so what? … [W]hat struck this observer about the Prada show was how little it conceded to the real world.” [NYT]
• ”[A] fashionable statement on the power of dressing, rather than just powerful dressing … even if the silhouettes and garments were classical, designer Miuccia Prada gave each a fresh twist …[the lighting was] a clever meditation on how men really do reveal exactly what they think of themselves by the way they dress.” [Fashion Wire Daily]
• “Prada lent her status as a fashion influencer to a big mood change in men’s wear … In Prada’s hands, [darker, more severe clothes] look new and compelling … The show was the talk of Milan.” [WWD]
• ”[Q]uite the menswear feast … It was, as you’d expect from Prada, often in the detail … what turned out to be a top show.” [Vogue UK]
• “The clothes were spiffy in their fine elegance … this was a major outing for updated classic tailoring, right to the upper-crust evening wear.” [IHT]
• “An awful lot of ingenious thought had gone into making a statement about the emptiness of dressing to impress, while, at the same time, producing clothes that will entice men to do exactly that. This Chinese-box ingenuity carried through to the last moment of the show.” []

See the Full Fall 2012 Prada Menswear Collection.

• ”[A] hyper polished, ornately finished take on modern gentlemen’s attire … Much of this impressive collection looked like couture for men, so finely hand-made, so opulently finished … Class is what will count in this fall’s men’s wardrobe.” [Fashion Wire Daily]
• ”[T]his charming — if at times overwrought — collection delivered high drama … The gold and flourish recalled the duo’s Napoleon-inspired collection from fall 2006.” [WWD]
• “The tone [was] one of opulence and grandeur … and had a usual healthy dose of bare-chested men.” [Vogue UK]
• “A a full-on return to old world glamour … And if some pieces looked either theatrical or strictly for oligarch weddings, the general effect was bold and dashing.” [IHT]
• ”[E]scape and dream actually blended effortlessly in this gilded spectacular … a collection that straddled decades … Persuasive.” []

See the Full Fall 2012 Dolce & Gabbana Menswear Collection.


• ”[A] hyper sophisticated display of voluminous tailoring, edgy juxtaposition and brilliant use of bonded materials … [A] gutsy collection — with subtly voluminous silhouette used in a garments that combined athletic sportswear elements with haute gamme tailoring.” [Fashion Wire Daily]
• ”[The collection] focused on sharply tailored modernist takes on men’s wear classics, straddling the sartorial tradition and new technology…While the smooth bonded-leather trench looked a tad secret agent, [there were] covetable outerwear options.” [WWD]
• “Modern in fabric, cut and outlook but with craftsmanship and detail reflecting haute couture … the spirit was not so much Mediterranean as urban, with short coats and narrow pants.” [IHT]
• “Inject the spirit of couture into the traditions of menswear? … [T]here was something obsessive bordering on fetishistic about the detail … The look had an almost sinister precision that felt like the very opposite of casual.”[]

See the Full Fall 2012 Valentino Menswear Collection.

Critics Love Burberry, Pause at Dolce & Gabbana