Wanderlust: John Varvatos’ traveller

Under the opulently frescoed ceilings of the 16th century San Paolo Converso and tucked within carved marble arches decorated with busts, as is so typical of Italian churches, John Varvatos laid down his vision of autumn / fall 2011 at Milan fashion week. Laid down is something of a pun, as sharply contrasting with the religious surrounds was the catwalk: a temporary laid down train track, replete with sleepers and stone fillings.

The track ran a course between two giant clocks marked Milan and New York respectively – seemingly a metaphorical journey as well as a physical one. Sure enough, Varvatos’ show notes speak dreamily about fall’s man being a traveller – a wanderer on a quest for knowledge and adventure. Hence the focus on layering; there’s a rustic charm meets city sophistication, a chunky cardigan underneath a sharp wool overcoat, a three-piece suit with raw unfinished edges paired withfingerless leather gloves and boots. Varvatos’ man is never too finished, always too cool to care.

The key piece in Varvatos’ fall reportoire is the must-have overcoat; single or double breasted, as long as the lapel is peaked and the cut is lean. Elementally this wayward traveller look requires plenty of texture; Varvatos does it with alpaca and wool, washed suede, cold-dyed moleskin and metal threading. Accessorising is also key, if you want to use Varvatos’ nonchalant wanderer as inspiration, look to the leather accessories, ties and scarves in muted tones and organic fabrics.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the full set of runway pictures from John Varvatos at Milan fashion week.