Sand under the runway and swathes of canvas for the ceiling at Belstaff's menswear show set the scene for designs that took inspiration from Lawrence of Arabia and gave them a modern, savvy twist.
British-born Belstaff, whose trademark biker jackets were a favourite of soldier and writer T.E. Lawrence, is now owned by Italy's Malenotti family.
Its spring/summer 2008 show featured scarves in creams or black and white squares that were thrown around the neck above open shirts in linens and cottons. Many of the models carried motorbike helmets with leather trim.
Egg white chinos were topped with a black leather zipped biker jacket; white bermuda shorts were worn with a lightweight blouson the colour of sea-soaked sand.
A more urban spin came from a Prince of Wales check in blousons and trousers, or stamped into a black leather jacket, while for the beach, Belstaff turned up cuffs on bermuda shorts and threw a blue and red checked sarong under a short cotton jacket.
Beachwear at Giorgio Armani stuck to bermuda shorts in dark grey linen or in cream with a subtle chalk stripe.
Armani, taking a "South" theme for his show, put lazy looks together from soft, wide leg trousers and loose jackets in pale greys and cool creams, worn with gold Turkish style slippers or moccasins and canvas gym shoes.
The designer, one of Milan fashion's long-established names, was true to form in turning out flowing designs with impeccable tailoring that were easy on the eye and easy to wear.
His take on the waistcoat - becoming a regular feature of this week's shows - was shawl-collared and fastened at a wide waistband with four buttons.
Models wore the waistcoat in traditional style under suits, or open over shirts or even on its own as a skimped shirt.
Against a backdrop of Grecian columns and sunsoaked white walls, Armani splashed a summer sky blue into his show in open-neck shirts.
For evening wear, the blue shifted to midnight for silken shirts with leaf designs in a satin shine.
D&G flashed back to the 1980s in its menswear show earlier on Tuesday with shiny metal zips and studs on trousers, bleached battered jeans and plastic jackets.
Silver baseball boots, sandals with broad studded straps and trousers put together jigsaw-like by zips were worn with hooded black shiny jackets or drill cotton with big metal buttons.
The spring/summer 2008 designs from the label had some echoes of their stablemate Dolce & Gabbana, whose show on Sunday kitted men out in military-style.
But D&G's look had heavy punk undertones, from metal plated belts to chains swinging from waists. Union Jack motifs were picked out in sparkling stones over black leather in a huge shoulder bag or on the front of a white vest.
Milan's spring/summer 2008 menswear shows run until June 27.