With Milan Men’s Fashion Week just behind us, we take a look back at the highlights from the shows and collections that impressed us most.
Italian tailoring predictably abounded in Milan, but it definitely took on a more relaxed vibe, with trousers baggy and often cropped at the ankle or above, and suits worn with (socks and) sandals. The ’60s and ’70s were palpable on the runway, with oversized lapels at Neil Barrett, Marni and Gucci, along with some psychedelic prints, contrast buttons and retro sunglasses.
Milan is known for its suiting and crisp tailoring, so the Damir Doma show was a pleasant departure into a more unstructured, almost ethereal world. Finishings were often raw and minimal, but the silhouettes were far from simple: oversized sleeves, ankle length culottes, careful layering and kimono jackets made sure of that.
The latest collection from the Italian brand managed to remain in its wheelhouse of sartorial elegance while putting out a stellar range of innovative and wearable garments at the same time. There was an interesting dialectic between restraint and fluidity: the former in slim suits boldly belted at the waist and architectural waistcoats; the latter in flowing cropped trousers, unstructured knit blazers and linen bombers. These are styles we’re looking forward to next summer.
Neil Barrett went away from the neoprene sweatpants and monochromatic looks he is known for. The collection stays within the brand’s tradition of structural and geometric clothing though, which this time finds itself worked into the lines and patterns of prints. That isn’t to say that Barrett doesn’t deliver on killer silhouettes; trousers were brilliantly slouched with smart tapering and bomber jackets abounded. But the hybrid prints were the centerpiece here, incorporating keffiyeh and batik prints with camouflage for a brand of subtlety unique to Barrett.
Marni put out a solid, wearable collection that gave a subtle nod to the ’60s and ’70s in its use of oversized collars, retro prints and utilitarian jackets. Trousers came cropped at the ankle, leaving just enough space for a flash of marled sock and funky sandal.
Canali went to the ’50s with its tailored collection. Pants continued the slouched trend, but these were carefully tapered and cropped at the ankles. Crewneck sweatshirts in short sleeves tucked into pleated trousers were reminiscent of a collegiate aesthetic, whereas tailored trenches belted at the waist and pastel colors played with gendered norms of dressing. A solid collection from the Italian house.
We have to give it up to Gucci for going full throttle on the ’70s revival we’ve been seeing on and off the runway recently. While other brands have certainly been channeling wide lapels and tinted shades, Gucci’s collection took a romantic look at the Summer of Love. Willy Wonka goes to Woodstock in this collection, and while we aren’t sure you’ll want to wear it to your next lunch meeting, it deserves mention.
Bottega took things in a surprisingly casual direction, with close fitting sweatpants in luxe fabrics, and henleys and parkas calling for easy dressing. The whole thing had a utilitarian feel, with pockets, straps, and a color palette of muted browns, beiges and blacks. This is still Bottega though, so would-be windbreakers and joggers were cut from supple suede. Loose pants and sandals (with socks, again) continued to make an appearance.
Stefano Pilati keeps the focus on fabric at Zegna Couture, playing with paper thin sheers and linens in tailored constructions that pushed Zegna’s classic silhouettes to their limits. Artfully draped jackets complicated typically structured suiting, and suit jackets came narrowed at the waist only to give way to billowing trousers. Pops of color showed in blown up madras prints on trenches and jackets.
There was something stiff and sculptural at Calvin Klein this season, despite the fact that the models walked out with their bionic-looking socks strapped into velcro sandals. Maybe it was the military pockets on pants and jackets or the denim print on tailored trousers paired with white tees, but these guys looked like business, in spite of their seemingly casual attire.
Jil Sander is a favorite, and for good reason. There’s always something clean and simple about the way the fashion house cuts its suits, this season in the form of sharp-edged jackets and wide leg shorts. The collection wasn’t particularly summery – thanks to a dark palette and heavy fabrics – but it was definitely refreshing. Pockets and straps, and the shine of stiff coated canvas made it clear this wasn’t for the beach-minded, and that’s a good thing.