Milan Fashion Week is being covered by D’Marge editor-in-chief Luc Wiesman, who’s currently in Milan.
The last day of fashion week was shorter than the first three but packed a mighty punch. First off, Canadian brothers, Dan and Dean Caten lead a surfer/raver collection onto the runway for Dsquared2, offering overwhelming colour and layer-upon-layer that definitely required a re-see post-show.
Relative newcomer, Christian Pellizzari offered an Oriental-inspired silk men’s wear collection, followed by Stella Jean’s colourfully-printed and fruity West Africa collection that almost put the Caten brother’s to shame.
But the daily honour stayed with Giorgio Armani, who closed the week with a collection that summed up well the overall theme of Milan this season: elegant comfort. But it’s something Armani has been doing for a long time now – that perfect mix of sports and tailoring.
Surf and skate (or a touch of warehouse raver?) collided on the runway for Dsquared2 spring/summer. Slouch beanies, bulky backpacks and beaded necklaces accessorised the hyped-up urban collection, ranging from wetsuit-inspired outerwear, to tattoo-print shorts to bleached out denim jackets and palm-tree motifs. Leather pants matched their jacket counterparts in jet black – an orange or yellow racing stripe adding a sports touch, while other leathers came in a western brown with gold stud-age.
The intense colour (ramped up by models wearing tattoo-sleeve shirts) peaked from behind heavy layering of mesh singlets, parachute parkas and leather Bermudas over leggings, meaning you had to look close to pick out the wearability of each piece. Purveyors of denim, Dean and Dan Caten launched super slouched jeans, which bunched all the way down to the hi-top sneakers, followed by slim fit denim with patched-up rips in the knees flecked with a spilled-bleached effect. The alternative? Skinny jeans in a vibrant mid-blue, dipped up to the knees in acid white, for a contemporary ombré.
With a career that spans forty years, how does Giorgio Armani approach this milestone? By doing whatever he likes. The Italian built a solid sports-tailored collection: activeness in the way the clothes floated and allowed the body to move, while luxury silk and cotton fabrics sustained a sartorial element; especially those heritage check blazers.
The colour palette referenced Armani’s preference for patternless blue and grey hues, which was refreshing following the kaleidoscope of prints and colour earlier in the day. Armani’s was a wearable collection with unstructured linen jackets and slouchy tailored pants, which at times were cropped just below the knee. Everything looked light, even the knitted sweaters and cardigans in diamond or stripe print, and cropped leather jackets. Bring on summer.
Stella Jean looked to her signature tribal-motifs for spring, but with a New York-edge that gave the ethnic designer a more commercial men’s wear collection. Burkina Faso stripes met with sports-fit jackets, slim fit blazers, relaxed suits, short pants, parkas, trench coats and bombers; an array of fruity hues – purple, pink, red, yellow, orange and green – splashing onto the West African patterns.
Spliced pomegranates featured on tees, as well as oranges and tinned food, a throwback to childhood memories perhaps for Jean. The playfulness contrasted against the rare moments when the designer did tone-it down a bit, offering wide-striped, light suits, neutral chinos and Seventies, matte-finished denim.
The chinoiserie homes of wealthy 18th-century Italians set the theme for Christian Pellizzari’s spring collection. The designer took pattern and print inspiration from Oriental porcelain, working delicate flowers and koi fish onto aviator onesies, bomber jackets and utilitarian green pants. Robed shirts saw the East’s influence on western men’s pieces, before the exotic crept on down to denim, with Chinese-embroidered denim jeans.
Silk was a huge component of the collection with the young Italian reportedly working with local mills in nearby Como to replicate the luxury of hundreds of years ago. As men’s wear becomes more in tune with the luxury of traditional craftsmanship, the nostalgic theme looked good on the runway, and was a smart business move too, for Pellizzari.
Click through the slideshow for show highlights, Day 4 of Milan Fashion Week.