Milan – Difficult times can lead to Foley’s outbursts or justifications for justification. It’s the latter that he bought at Milan Men’s Fashion Week, which closed Monday: a very sensible, very efficient, very product-oriented season of mostly tasteless clothing. It was less a celebration of formality than an emphasis on strictness, simplicity and cleanliness.
To put it in Mrs. Prada’s words: “In difficult times, one must act seriously and responsibly. There can be no room for idle creativity. Innovation is meaningful and useful only when it discovers new things.
Alas, there were no new discoveries during this period, but a new regularity took hold: a metaphor Remember the order Over the years, they break down masculinity, dress codes and costumes. But what emerged was not a hardening of the male figure, but a sense of frailty, with tailored pieces resting on bare bodies rather than shirts and ties.
Never was Prada-Essima more evident than Prada with its modern and minimal purpose and Raf-Essima’s collection celebrating skin and hairless youth. There was nothing new here – and yet it seemed somehow new. What struck me was the relentless focus on wardrobe archetypes, the mathematical-architectural playfulness (tall and narrow or puffy and cropped) and the stress on cleanliness was a retro-future tease. But all this was not cold accuracy – this is Prada, after all: a fashion country contrarian thinking is now led by not one but two creators – as seen in the tension on the sternum of the erogenous zone. Long shirt collars rocked over coats and cardigans, but necklaces, all drew attention to this very slender figure.
The focus on lacque youth seemed narrow at Gucci, too, where dress and cleanliness, with a laid-back California spirit, replaced the bohemian extravaganza of the departed Alessandro Michele haute. In other words, Michel’s take on Faye’s masculinity remains, but the intensity he brought to his work is removed. The result was sweet and sensual, if not original: from Celine to Y/Project, echoes of other brands were noticeable.
This was certainly a highly anticipated season. The stakes were high, but given Gucci’s current set of circumstances—without a creative director and forced to show a collection designed by committee—there was little to be expected. Hitting the pause button for a season might have been a better approach, but as much as this outing was an exercise in refining Gucci’s vocabulary, the collection opened the door to the future.
Old school elegance and sophistication is making a comeback. He had beige, velvet and double-breasted coat-dresses worn with a Giorgio Armani tie. Last time King George sent a couple and it all looked like a cultural celebration that said a lot about the world we live in. , he doesn’t fall into the top-gun trap, keeping his cool demeanor with mismatched button-down jackets, cropped pants, and boots. Or, to quote Mr. Arman, “It’s human, it’s abstract. This collection was truly an unexpected surprise: perhaps a tour of the sartorial and aesthetic possibilities of a generation that had rarely known such waters before.
Impeccably tailored blazers, Dracula capes, waist shapers and sheer shirts came in black, white and very light grays by Dolce & Gabbana. It was sharp and focused, if overly repetitive. Here too, skin was a gift, but showing through a shirt and peeking out from under a coat and top, the look was more sensual than decadent.
Elsewhere, the family was front and center. Domesticity was everywhere: blankets, pillows, slippers and childhood memories. The emphasis on staying at home was odd: after the pandemic one would expect a great appetite for adventure, for parties, for other shores. But, in the uncertain world we live in, people undoubtedly want reassurance.
Sometimes the interior and the exterior can create an interesting combination, it gathers in the feeling of a house party. This was the case with Fendi, who brought together the perfect house crowd in fiestas and glittery gear at a show scored by disco master Giorgio Moroder. Silvia Venturini once again plays with duality and hits high points with her seductive, delicate Seventies tailoring and outerwear that’s a blanket blast from start to finish. What’s really interesting about her approach to menswear is how dense and rich each piece feels without looking overdone, flashy or vulgar. Such balance requires mastery and Silvia Venturini is the master.
In Etro’s first men’s collection, designer Marco De Vincenzo explored the concept of home and home as well as the fashion house, feeling equal parts fun and domestic. Etro started out as a fabric maker, so the show took place in a warehouse, among scraps and textiles. De Vincenzo’s love affair with textiles began as a child, with patterns reproduced on coats and velvet blankets. And if the collection looks very Etro and very De Vincenzo, the Etro man seems to be in touch with his inner child – a rejuvenated, if still searching for a clear identity. All things considered, it was a good start.
Not everyone felt quiet and at home: the times called for disruption and rebellion. At MSGM, the sexiness of the school uniform had a very early Raf Simons vibe, with Italian panache, and it felt fresh. Teenagers Dean and Dan Catton were exploring the craze for low risers, skin and hormones at Dsquared2, in a collection that somehow took the label’s time back to where it all started, twenty or so years ago.
Alix was the object of urban covers and prints designed with artist Mark Flood, Simon Botte and Filippo Biraggi, Simon Cracker, who expressed a genuine rejection of the present with a proper punk verve. Their used bric-a-brac is rough and tumble as necessary, as there is method to the madness in the old Vivienne Westwood way.
Luchino Magliano is the undisputed leader of the new crop of outsiders. What differentiates them is often the ability to embed concepts into clothing, not just the stories that surround them. Magliano’s broken, slow classicism is mournful, undone and drooping, but also beautiful and full of life, in the noble blood of Come and Yogi, a harbinger of left Italian perversity. Federico Sinama is also making strides in moving from the intimacy of his early days to a sensual sensuality.
During the recession, blank slates were very often blank slates. It takes skill and focus to strip things down and make clothes that are simple and desirable. Among the classics, the best was Briony’s infinitely subtle, inwardly luxurious journey. Working on his own fabrics and finishes, Alessandro Sartori delivers a proven punch to Zegna: one is the purity of the lines and the absence of unnecessary details that elevate textures, textures and emotions.
But it was Jonathan Anderson who stole the show with JW Anderson, making the reboot action so raw, so intense, that things got back to the fold. Reflecting on the ownership, ten years ago the slouchy shorts came back in a kinkier incarnation, and it was all full circle in the idea of shared laundry. This was an understatement with meaning.