Is this the last Milan Fashion Week for men? Maybe so, if designers continue to opt out of the biannual runway. The Spring/Summer 2017 edition this month saw ten designers skip on showcasing their collections. And they were big names: Calvin Klein, Ermenegildo Zegna and Kering’s Brioni and Bottega Veneta. And it’s the last time Gucci will hold a solo men’s show streamlining menswear with its womenswear show.
But despite the show disarray, the luxury labels who did hit the MFW runway defied critics, those sceptical of menswear’s pull power. Shows were extravagantly staged – sports arenas, clubs and live bands – for attracting Instagram attention. And the fashion: stronger, more interesting and thankfully, more wearable than ever before. From sporty luxury to louche loungewear, here are the 5 hottest trends from Milan Fashion Week. And most can be played around with now. Andiamo!
#1 Ultra Sporty
Milan proved sports-inspired luxury will be even more active on the men’s style scene next summer. Versace unleashed navy zip-up blousons in the Italian casa’s old prints, billowy nylon parkas in forest green or dark magenta and jersey cotton blazers with a tech-twist that meant the jacket was barely crushable, a travel suit serving the modern businessman.
Elsewhere, Prada sent trekker-adventurers down its runway dressed in parachute silk suit separates in go-to tailoring hues – grey, navy and even beige check, while Salvatore Ferragamo had artsy explorers parading sahara silk jackets and loose, paper-light parkas. The outerwear piece de resistance this season is certainly the parachute parka. And the bigger and shinier, the better.
#2 Comfort Suits Are King
American icon Ralph Lauren made sure his menswear was indeed wearable with deconstructed suiting which was garment-dyed in shades of his signature blue and grey. Elsewhere, Brunello Cucinelli had models decked in trackpants, instead of suit pants, with a cuff, crowned by the linen blazer, to keep it all sharp, of course.
But it was king of Italian cool Giorgio Armani who brought home the less formal approach to menswear, offering suit jackets that draped over the shoulder, or sometimes no jackets at all, opting for a refined cardigan instead of tailoring. Comfort was echoed by wide-legged trousers that slouched at the waist. and lightweight trench coats in silky fabrics that belted through the middle. The resemblance to sleepwear reiterated the importance of investing in louche loungewear for next season.
#3 All-Over Neutrals
All-over neutrals nuked the runway this season. From variations of brown and grey to white and slightly off, monochromatic looks, typically black, felt chic and fresh, thanks to lightness in shade. Jil Sander showed head-to-toe neutrals across suits and smart casual piece, while Canali copped beige, almost-white and barely blue tailoring for airy approach to tailoring.
#4 Statement Stripes
Fendi forayed into stripes, swiping horizontally and thin over polos and t-shirts, vertical and thick down trousers that sat relaxed, and on the hero piece – a blue and brown paint-striped jacket, whose ‘shearling’ was actually terry towelling, much more summer.
Armani opted for stripes as part of its print repertoire too, while Damir Doma floated a silk co-ord set with grey-on-black chunky panel stripes, as well as a pin-needle thin stripe trench in olive green.
#4 Embellished & Bright
Flamboyant Gucci (which has been fashionably tearing up menswear since Alessandro Michele took the reigns) returned down the runway the embellished (Donald Duck or Paolino Paperino in Italian stuck on jackets) and bight (acid colours) for its take on ‘travel’. Asiatic embroideries, with dragons or tigers rivalled the nostalgic Disney characters, models appearing from a different place and different time.
Appliques – such as rainbow birds on thin gauge knits – and rope embroidered knitted polos served as trompe l’oeil motifs at Missoni too, the garments humid and South American inspired, and rich in artisanal weave technique.
#5 Sleep Away
Slumber party: it’s all about pyjama dressing this season. Oversize robes and silk sets slayed the runway taking sleepwear outside of the bedroom and into staple street wear. Dolce & Gabbana presented a maxi polka-dot Hawaiian gown with matching pants and Nike Air Max-inspired sneakers, as well as revere collar silk separates for a more languid, bed ready tailoring.
And Trussardi over slept too, the maestro offering softened Italianate artistic-aristo sets and robes, which sometimes felt luxury boxer, again, paired with high-top sneakers. It’s gonna be a long, lazy summer.