As we flocked to Milan – the Italian capital of cool, it wasn’t just the Spring/Summer 2016 designs hitting the fashion week runway inside that were worth noting.
Offering a mix of casual street, retro and tailored looks with a contemporary Italian twist, Milan gave us plenty of style meat to chew on, while we wait for the next seasons’ collections to officially drop.
From the rakish ragazzi to sleek signors, here are the five biggest street style trends from Milan Fashion Week.
#1 Wire Frame Sunglasses
No longer reserved for pilots, the POPO or John Lennon-types, the wire sunglass is perfect picking this season.Despite the neon-mirrored lens hitting it big last fashion week, the colourful shade took a backseat to a wire frame with more neutral-hued lenses.
This season, the metal shades came in various styles: aviator, round or square shapes and even teardrop. And then there were the hybrids, and ones with attached readers, letting men play around with lens shape and width for one that suited each face.
The slender arms of the wire frame make it one of the easiest styles to adopt – working stylishly with suits or a plain white tee. Want more of a feature shade? Add a splice of tortoiseshell to the upper frame of say, a wayfarer variety, in dark brown or green.
#2 Retro Prints
Following the assault of minimalism – the complete absence of bright colours, textures and most of all, prints – patterns in retro flavours are back, some fifty years on since their original debut. The muted tones of yellow, red and green make for perfect graphic prints with Seventies brown on short sleeve Milanese shirts.
Elsewhere, jacquard – the raised-stitched shirting giving-off an embossed look – spilled over dressier long shirts. The pattern technique, especially in brocade and floral motifs, felt Chinoise (known to aristocratic Europeans) made even more Oriental with a mandarin collar.
Pair your shirt with summer white chinos, dark denim jeans or Teddy Boy trousers in a shade of light brown – front pleats a must.
#3 Wrist Action
Jacking up the jewellery in Milan was essential style play. Leather cuffs, plaited bracelets and woven threads added a natural texture to glass beading, metallic trinkets and silk bands. Stealing the look, the key to wrist accessorising lies in the layering.
Thread on different width and coloured bands and play around with buckled varieties, knotted tie-ups and smooth slip-ons – ensuring the assortment looks effortless.Then look at colour. Orange, aqua and neon green contrast well against brown or white leather.
And add a watch or silver wrist chain for a metallic edge – playing nicely off your belt buckle.
#4 Man Carry Things
As men become more accustomed to having a bag on hand, the market has exploded with several luxury types. Men in Milan lead the way here. Document or folio holders were standouts. Crafted from exotic skins and the more demure cowhide, the best came in natural hues such as tan, beige, brown and black.
The leather sleeves paired effortlessly with a tucked tee and chinos or classic tailoring, the latter working with a studded variety in pebbled alligator skin.
Elsewhere, roomier totes with canvas trunks and leather trims added contrast to pattern blazers, and bucket bags in Italian were cool-er versions of a sporty backpack. Take your pick, depending on occasion. Document holder for work and smart casual, or tote and backpack for less dressier events.
#5 Stan Smith Sneakers
We don’t normally play favourites but the Milanese streets gave us no choice. The white sneaker crown was without question won by the Adidas Stan Smith. The streamline sneaker was the first full leather tennis court shoe ever to be made, and its sales made the Guinness World Records back in 1988. And this season, it prevailed again.
Call it what you want – sportsluxe, street chic or athleisure – the meshing of fashion and sports wasn’t slowing down in Milan. Men were wearing the sleek white shoes with suits and a tee, tailored denim (sometimes double-style) and chino/blazer combinations.
Outside of Adidas, stark white kicks were represented by Nike breeds and Vans, too. But, for both tailoring and street wear interchanging, you cannot go past Mr Smith.