Seasons come and go, but so far this one is particularly memorable. The notion of menswear subverted, we males now have more options than ever before: from more colour, more embellishment and a range of fabrication usually reserved for our female counterparts.
Fendi brought the slumber party to us with a Fall-Winter collection heavy on the sleepwear-style outerwear we’ve seen repeated this season. Flannelette dressing gowns got the Fendi treatment in less incendiary wool check, presented in blues and browns.
Teddybear-style fur coats and matching bags in chocolate and shocking mustard could’ve triggered protests from PETM—People for the Ethical Treatment of Muppets—while a suit in charcoal felted wool was a luxe interpretation of shag carpeting. All jest aside, Silvia Venturini Fendi presented a strong collection that would serve its Fall-Winter purpose well: keeping the wearer warm. But with such snuggly fabrication and the pyjama-party aesthetic, who would want to leave the house?
Since Alessandro Michele took the reins from Frida Giannini, Gucci underwent a metamorphosis worthy of the flora and fauna commanding his men’s and women’s collections since. Gone are the sleek and rock-god looks that Tom Ford introduced in the late-‘90s, and instead we’re presented with a joy and an innocence rather than sex-charged excess. And while this phase isn’t new—Sixties and Seventies Gucci was heavily entrenched in its Flora pattern—this season references the archive once again, and uses the brand hallmarks—horse bits, green-and-red webbing, and Michele’s introduction of the bumble bee, a symbol synonymous with Italian aristocracy for over 500 years.
In a monochrome Twin Peaks-style red room, with thick drapes, carpet and furniture to match, the collection popped with a bold versatility that will not only look good on shelves, but will fly from them. Michele’s Gucci has a certain collectability about it, as if it’s already a classic even though it was just shown. Embroidery was everywhere, including knitted caps, on cardigans, and jeans à la Tom Ford’s early-2000s collections.
Suits were floral-printed and slender on the fit, with sleeves hovering at the wrist and flared hems dragging over patterned loafers. As such, the fur-lined mules of previous seasons came in other colour-ways such as floral tapestry and check. A jaguar mink cape was a highlight and had the same impact as when Burberry showed theirs a few seasons ago, but perhaps the most surprising and memorable pieces were the Snoopy and Tweetie emblazoned T-shirts worn with printed leisure jackets and trousers, which gave this grown-up’s brand the salubrity it needed.
Click through the slideshow for highlights of Day 4 of Milan Fashion Week AW16 Collection
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