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Milan Fashion Week is shaping up to be a proponent of elevating the everyday. At Zegna, Versace and Prada, designers took on and elevated aspects of the lives men lead now; while Marni and Moncler tinkered with quirkiness and its applicable benefits. Basically, we’re seeing some damn good fashion. Here are our favourites for now.
1. Ermenegildo Zegna Couture
To open this season’s leg of Milan Fashion Week, Alessandro Sartori presented his Spring/Summer 2018 collection against a shock of rusty orange – a hail to the natural hue of Vicuna. What followed was a collection in rustic warm shades that moved effortlessly to the hand of a designer extremely gifted in making desirable clothes that hint at the future. Sartori has smartly avoided beating around the tailoring bush and instead offered a relaxed, free-flowing and encompassing vision; we enjoyed the particular flourish of tailored trousers with elastic ribbed hems worn with lightweight utility jackets atop sinuous meshed shirts. Though simple, the collection had such a consistent and convincing finish to it that one couldn’t help but be swept into Sartori’s world of rustic – at least in colour – luxury.
Marni’s menswear has always been a tricky equation. While Consuelo Castiglioni’s original line of women’s fashion stood for non-conformist eccentricity for the ladies, the men’s has always leaned a little experimental and, yes, quirky – albeit young. This season, Francesco Risso attempted to pull together dualities and incongruences. That meant sheer shirts won over shirts, the clashing of varying pinstripe widths, wild pattern mixing, and a layered soundtrack that gave Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy" an ominous undertone. Bar a questionable section of what looked like aprons with drawings tied on, the collection struck a note of childlike joy and experimentation – perhaps what Risso needs to make his mark at Marni.
Versace has always stood for a degree of brash Italian defiance against common ideas of good taste. As Donatella Versace took the show back to the family’s Palazzo, out came a collection full of the brand’s spirit of out and loud luxury. There were plenty of its iconic printed silks here: on scarves, handkerchiefs tied to bags, jackets with a superimposed panel, and even shirts made up of opposing prints. But perhaps Donatella’s triumph here was the return of the big and wide pinstripe. On the coat that opened the show, those wide lines took on a street-ready quality that transcended 80s nostalgia – perfect for today.
Make no mistake – Miuccia Prada is a wonder woman, or so she would have you believe based on the comic book and graphic novel panels (by artists James Jean and Ollie Schrauwen) set up at her showspace. This season, Prada (http://www.prada.com/en/e-store.html) seemed to be taking on the environments of fiction and reality we’re living in. The clothes bore a striking resemblance to workwear silhouettes with cinched pant hems, rolled up sleeves – the reality – coupled with the brand’s signature art-deco lines and prints rendered in a retro-futuristic manner – the fictive, perhaps. Ever the thinker, this might just be Prada nudging us toward clothes that make the most of a certain cognitive dissonance.
5. Moncler Gamme Bleu
For a brand famous for its puffer jackets, it seemed brave that Thom Browne would tackle trans-seasonal wear. His SS18 collection for Moncler Gamme Bleu took that idea and ran with it, smoothing the tricky temperature problems between Spring and Summer. To that end, looks were done twice over: lightweight ones worn under identical versions with down-filled linings. The tailoring expertise of Browne lent the cheeky concept a wearable believability, and the result was a collection of handsome pieces ornamented with checks (the patterns created by embroidery or stitching), intarsias and oversized zippers – versatile enough for varied climes.