Anything But Basic – Some succeeded and some fumbled, but it’s clear that the street wear high influence is catching up with the fashion houses – even in Milan
Home to a bevy of major fashion houses and labels, Milan’s image as a stylish capital has well embedded. Milan is known to take menswear seriously with the meticulous designs and polished executions. They have their own standards, reputation to uphold, and legacy to protect. So what do the designers has to offer this time around?
This season somehow feels more alive and loose, now that street wear is influencing the luxury fashion more than ever. High fashion brands have long been referencing street wear and urban clothing, but it’s nothing like we have seen these past year. Collaborations alone is not enough, they need to quickly adapt and attract the next generation of luxury lovers. It seems like the worlds of tailoring, sports, outdoor, active and street wear are on a big melting pot for men’s fashion.
There would be no sighting of Gucci in Milan this time. Alessandro Michele made the leap from Milan to Paris this season. The Italian house said to be temporary relocating to Paris as a part of their three-part homage to France.
Ermenegildo Zegna kicked of the Milan Fashion Week (MFW) Spring/Summer 2019 with a beautiful presentation. This is the third year for Alessandro Sartori leading Zegna and up until now, he is doing a remarkable job. With him, the company has managed to stop declining sales and in growth mode again. The Ermenegildo Zegna show took place in front of the Oscar Niemeyer building that also houses the Mondadori headquarter. The gigantic mirrored catwalk stretched out across the pool and the sunset was reflected on every surface, giving the show an incredible light. Buzzing drones followed the models down the runway, showing off a sporty collection with taupe, sand, pink and khaki hues. Sartori swapped suit with a bomber jacket and oversized blazer, showing off a lot of ankle cuff and denim joggers.
Making its first sighting two seasons ago, the era of athleisure is not over. Sport will dictate the fashion for one more season. Full of colors and quirk, Francesco Risso presented his very own fashion Olympic games for Marni. Everyone is welcome on Marni’s team: tall or short, skinny or chubby, young or old. Risso had the audience sitting on big bouncing gym balls while the collection itself is a mix of inspiration taken from cricket, tennis, athletics, golf, soccer and boxing. They were trying out new combinations that are oddly pleasing, bubble wrapped in kaleidoscope of colors.
A celebration of youth is a theme at Prada. With a series of different silhouettes, fun prints and psychedelic vibes, Miuccia Prada surprisingly also injected some sexiness into this collection. They even played Air’s “Sexy Boy” for the show’s music. Bright hues were paired with washed-out denim; leather pullovers and printed short shorts were matched with graphic long-sleeves. Logos are less visible on the collection with a few small square embroidered logos seen on selected pieces. This year Prada also took a younger approach towards men’s bag; ranged from shoulder bags to nylon drawstring bag were slung across the right shoulder on every single look. Sporty sunglasses and new headwear gives a light-hearted style to this fun and wearable collection.
Prada is certainly not the only one who celebrates the youthful feeling because it was all sunny and bright over at MSGM. Founded in 2009 by Massimo Gioretti, this contemporary and modern fashion house is delivering a free spirited collection for this season. Gioretti was inspired by tacky tourist and nostalgia for his youth growing up on the Italian Rivieras in the ’80s and ’90s. He described it as “a volleyball match” between the city he now lives, Milan, and his hometown of Rimini. The show was staged in a secondary school’s basketball gym, to highlight the MSGM’s sporty vibe. Channeling the early ’90s Italian fashion, he mixed in prints on sweatshirts and T-shirt with ’80s Japanese anime characters. Neon colors were popping out here and there, along with bold patterns printed on boxy shirts, tracksuit, zippered bombers, shorts and anoraks. The collection also features collaboration with American photographer Roger Minick who is known for his real-life American tourists photos, including a sweatshirt with a retro photo print of a couple at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, taken by him back in the ’80s.
Maybe it’s a good thing that the designers were more relaxed this time around. And for Versace, Donatella said that beauty on its own is boring. “I want a man who’s imperfect, confident and who’s not afraid to show his personality.” Donatella was done with perfection, hot bodies and pretty boys and interested in real, expressive people who can make connections. Versace’s collection was for every man –the boardroom guy, the skater, and the romantic.
Soft baggy jeans with wide shoulder gray pinstripe suit, iridescent and floating shirts were paired with 90s denim, red faux python in casual shaped wear and t-shirts with printed tabloid print with text like “Versace finally speaks out”. Well, Donatella have plenty of stories to tell with the collection.
Moving on to Fendi, Silvia Venturini Fendi took a dark approach this season, equipped with a glossy black runway, emerging from a lava-red archway with neon caricatures of snakes, demons and a clawed frog. An illuminate text reading ‘Fendi’ morphed into its anagram, ‘Fiend’ is right at the center of the archway. This is the work of the multimedia artist, Nico Vascellari, as this year’s artist in residence. He is in fact Silvia’s son-in-law. The collection was full of contrast; Silvia still uses the brand’s sleek tailoring and sharp silhouettes but reimagined them with more modernity and added the street wear aesthetic. And as usual, the prints and the double FF logos appeared throughout the collection, seen in Cuban shirts, bucket hats and tracksuits.
Another prove that the ’90s has also making an impact on the runway is from Giorgio Armani. As one of the hardest working designers out there, no detail escapes his attention. His expertise in tailoring always shown in his collection and for this season, Giorgio Armani is showcasing the Italian Riviera dandies. He morphed his signature style and revived his 90s nostalgia into a breeze of fresh air using summer textiles like linen and silk cotton mixes. He actually built the entire show around a double-breasted jacked along with stitched leather waistcoats, Japanese inspired
wide pants safari jackets and long-sleeved t-shirts in earthy tones. Subtle shown projected on the wall of the show space, the new Giorgio Armani logo is projected. A redesign? The answer is no. He simply revived one of his original logos from back in the 80s and brought back the fresh looking round design.
In the end, we can all agree on the three great truths to summarize Milan Fashion Week: sport will dictate fashion, the 90s rave style is revived and we learn how to mix prints, flowers and stripes.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE