Gentle reader,

I finally caught a few minutes of the new VH1 series Mob Wives Chicago over the weekend and it seems to be mostly about the short, mean-looking one named Pia running around and causing drama with all the other cast members.  The episode I saw started with the one who looks like an old Snookie and the tragic kinky perm one meeting up in a sad coffee shop to bitch about the rest of them.  Then midget stripper Pia hangs out with spacey Christina in some rooftop garden and decides to go visit the blonde with the Real Housewives extensions at her optical shop.  As you can imagine, that doesn’t really go well especially after it becomes apparent that the stripper and Real Housewives chick’s boyfriend go way back.

Mob Wives Chicago

 Mob Wives Chicago:  I whip my hair back and forth

This Pia seems to feel like the other girls hate her because her father was a rat and she’s a stripper but, after crossing paths with her while she was shopping in Beverly Hills the other day, I can tell you it’s more likely because she’s a fucking bitch.  An incredible fog of unpleasantness pervades from that tiny woman.  When you think about it, though, they’re all pretty damned unpleasant.  Give me the original Mob Wives Drita, Renee and Big Ang from Staten Island any day.  At least those bitches have a sense of humor.

On a lighter note, we’re in for a lot of fun next spring if the designers who showed at Milan Men’s Fashion Week over the past few days have anything to say about it.

Bright Color:  Bright hues blasted the runways of Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and Ermenegildo Zegna and, even though I’m not usually one for crazy color, there was a more appealing lightness and softness to these collections.  I guess you could say they were less neon and more ice cream.  Going the metallic route were Burberry Prorsum, Versace and Cavali with coats, shirts and trousers in shiny bright blues, pinks and mint greens that look like huge candy wrappers once you get past the hunky Ancient Greek “boxers” that opened the Versace show.

Ferragamo (Ph: Sonny Vandevelde)

Whites:  The lightness kept coming in all-white ensembles at Vivienne Westwood and the exquisite looks at John Varvatos that took on an Edwardian feel while Sarah Burton used Visconti’s Death in Venice as a clear reference in her Alexander McQueen designs.  The message here was that, despite the climbing temperatures, you can still dress like a damn gentleman in the middle of summer.

Sport:  On the other side, perhaps as a nod to this summer’s Olympic Games, there was a heavy dose of sport at Prada, where the trousers recalled track pants with the stripe down the inside.  The aforementioned Ferragamo show paired brightly colored athletic shoes with every look and Fendi was all about weird, sporty shapes in super-luxe fabrications.  At the end of his shorts-heavy Emporio Armani presentation, Mr. A went one better and brought a bunch of Olympic athletes onto the runway.  We also saw a continued push toward shorter shorts but, as we discovered last week, there’s a point where this just starts to look silly.  When a guy begins to refer to any part of his ensemble as “hot pants,” we’ve got a problem.

John Varvatos

A couple of notable exceptions fell outside the Bright Color, All-White and Super Sporty trends.  Designers Dean and Dan Caten cited young club-goers as their inspiration for their DSquared2 collection of black and white with distressed denim accents, but it was really more reminiscent of Sex Pistols punk with a little Tom of Finland thrown in.  The clothes were wearable, the styling was just enough and I absolutely loved it.  If you happen to see me sulking around the nearest Hot Topic looking for ways to copy them, just keep walking.

Then there was the show that has everyone talking:  Dolce and Gabbana’s Sicilian extravaganza.  The high-waist, cinched trousers and silk shirts and jackets colorfully printed with Hindu warriors were signature Dolce & Gabbana and those too-short shorts we’ve been talking about were plentiful.  Some, including myself, weren’t particularly impressed seeing it all trotted out on a bunch of regular Guiseppes, including little kids, who were trucked in from Sicily and walked like, well, guys who don’t know how to walk a runway.  And that frenetic “traditional” music made me want to pull someone’s hair out.  Others, like our own fashion godmother Diane Pernet, loved the novelty and the energy of the show and she was sitting in the goddamn front row!

Oscar Wilde wrote, “When the critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself.”  If he was right, Domenico D. and Stefano G. must be feeling pretty good right about now.  See you in Paris!

Much love,

xxJames

Please follow THIS LINK to view a slide show of my selections from the runway, both good and bad.