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Milan Men’s Collections 2009: Knit Picks

In Milan, a crop of high-end knitwear brands, such as Pringle of Scotland and Malo, mined the past while moving forward.

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It’s tempting to wrap yourself in heritage during tough times. But a crop of high-end knitwear brands mined the past while moving their knitting needles forward.

Pringle of Scotland creative director Clare Waight Keller layered sharp Sixties-like tailoring with the house’s specialty — soft, lush knits. Dapper chunky cables in cognac tones came with matching scarves, alongside novel designs, which revamped the iconic argyle pattern with fuzziness and a vintage feel. “It felt appropriate this season to do a lot of knitwear for the warmth and the coziness,” she said.

Malo’s new creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua went back the brand’s roots with luxurious knitwear in a classic-yet-innovative vein. Standouts include a snug cashmere jacket with tartan graphics and a cashmere bomber jacket with plaits and cable stitches. Exemplifying Malo’s know-how, stretch cashmere is treated to look like a woven fabric, and fashioned into a slim military coat.

The motto at Ballantyne seemed to be, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But according to designer Dawidh di Firmo, that doesn’t mean you can’t innovate. He proved his point with an Art Deco-inspired collection of knits in exclusive colors, including violets, grays and regal blue — the color of the actual pipes in Ballantyne’s Scottish factory. Meanwhile waterproof cashmere track pants with zip-off legs and cashmere field jackets with polyester lining proved luxury can indeed be functional.

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