Etro Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Milan

With Santana songs blasting, and straw sombreros, bullet holsters and hot leather pants trotting down the runway, Etro provided the theatrical high-point of the entire day. The only thing that was missing was Zorro in the flesh.

Taking this season's romantic theme to an extreme, Kean Etro's collection was directly inspired by his childhood fascination with the masked outlaw, as well as the gauchos of the Argentinian pampas and the Mexican riding tradition of Charreria.

Ever the pattern master, Etro's signature paisley was branded onto aged and waxed leather shirts and jackets, while South-of-the-border inspired bandana-like prints, leather embroidery and sharp pinstripes adorned three piece suits and collared shirts.  Horsey-patterns reminiscent of a 1950s boys' room wallpaper, provided this wild cowboy production with a fun-loving touch.

Intricate detailing served as the kicker for formal wear, with leather accents and figure hugging silver clasps on the front of dress coats and down pant legs.

Mandarin orange and daisy yellow shades provided playful contrast to the dusted and dirtied-eco tinting prominently placed on suits and outer wear.

Footwear included aged charro-boots and cowboy wing tip loafers, while hand-embroidered linen scarves and leather guitar cases really conveyed the push towards a Tex Mex inspired lifestyle.

Despite rising temperatures throughout the world, leather items and accents took center stage at quite a few shows this season.  In Etro's case, this was brought on by growing demand from their Japanese, Russian and Chinese clients, who comprise the label's top single markets.  "They ask for it. Leather is appreciated for its masculinity, representing the courage that comes from a man's heart. You have to love in order to be courageous," Etro said in an interview backstage, commenting on the western motif.

After all. Every little boy wants to be a cowboy when he grows up.

- Sofia Celeste

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