Ah, Milan—so much style and so little time. Five days are never enough to cram the menswear trends, but with the lure of Paris we must move on. Judging by what we saw on Day 5, we won’t be pushed for choice, only the limit of our bank accounts for a magnificent parade of well-constructed, daring and collectable pieces. Never fear: we have at least six months to save.
Dean and Dan Caten know how to put on a show: over the years, they’ve transformed runways into mid-sermon churches, barnyard bacchanalian orgies and today a multicolour-transitioning bamboo forest. But it was against this simple backdrop they showed a truly beautiful collection of East-meets-West inspiration and atelier-not-sweatshop quality and finishing. One thing the twin Canadians know how to rock is a tuxedo, whether in its denim or after-five form, and they combined a little of each for the Fall-Winter show, along with a little highland zing.
Starting with cheongsam fastenings on a denim shirt, and belt ties on karate gi jackets (the Dsquared2 man is white belt, FYI), samurai trousers became zip-off half kilts, pleated and unpleated, knee and full-length, worn with shorts, trousers or black knee-high socks. Patchwork denim jeans that had the distressing and detailing of early Ksubi (or Tsubi as it was known then), while structural bomber jackets with printed flowers had a distinctly Japanese feel. Outerwear was oversized: red satin parkas in classical Japanese-art jacquard and printed Manga pop-art prints were key. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Dsquared2 show without the leather with models wearing crossed harnesses over denim, while buttery leather jackets and trench coats emblazoned with lime green and neon pink studs were the real showstopper.
Not to be mistaken for conservatism, the Giorgio Armani brand is built on timeless classics rather than the transience of trends. There’s a reason the Armani suit (and other permutations of the line) has endured as a covetable item, and that’s due to its classicism. The strategy itself lends itself to good business: a loyal returning clientele that knows no matter the season nor how dastardly the fad, there’s always something to suit them in an Armani boutique.
This season the Giorgio Armani collection comprised the classic signature hues of navy, grey, brown and black worked in sublime fabrication and refined Italian pattern making. Double-breasted coats of heavy wool and lustrous sheared beaver stood out in the navy-and-black story, while zigzagged floor-length cardigans floated through the grey. Accessories were a major component of the entire presentation; gloved, hatted, bespectacled, and bagged models walked solo, with female accompaniment or twinning in variations of matching grey pullovers and hoodies. And that’s something the Armani man will always be—put together.
Click through the slideshow for highlights of Day 5 of Milan Fashion Week AW16 Collection