Milan Menswear #2  

Article publié le 18 janvier 2016

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Texte : Jessica Michault

The jam-packed second day of Milan menswear was filled with quite a diverse offering. Buyers were spoiled for choice as there was something pretty much for everyone. But if there was one linking sentiment, it was how most of the designers continued explore how to make the sartorial gender line become even more porous.

Crédit : Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta

Watching the latest Bottega Veneta menswear show was like having a home cooked meal prepared by your Italian mother. It was made from the best ingredients, prepared with love and attention, and warmly filling. The collection was an extremely tasty sartorial meal that merited savoring.

Creative Director Tomas Maier talked about wanted to create a lineup that was « long and lean » and a focus on offering pieces that were « very calm » and « very discreet » but none the less looked, even to a neophyte, extremely luxurious.

No matter who you are, wearing pieces like Maier’s burgundy bonded lamb and crepe wool trench coat, his windowpane plaid wool jackets or a languid charcoal gray suit is going to get you noticed for all the right reasons.

The tip top casting, which was a melting pot mix of some of the most beautiful “beautiful people” working in modeling today, included a smattering of female models. When Dilone walked the catwalk in a plum velvet suit she looked equally at easy – and just as chic – as her similarly-attired male counterparts. Unisex at its best.

Each ensemble clearly showed the designer’s prowess of bending luxe fabrics, the latest construction techniques and complex color combinations to his will. In their quiet understated way the outfits exuded a potent elegance that couldn’t be ignored.

This was a collection of wholesome goodness filled with pieces that will sustain their wearers for years to come.

Crédit : Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

The regular fashion pack faced off a whole different sort of pack when they arrived at the Calvin Klein menswear show on Sunday. The front of the venue had been overrun by hundreds of screaming fans of Internet sensation (and handsome hottie) Cameron Dallas. Some editors were so confused that they thought all the hoopla was for actress Cameron Diaz.

Really… Cameron Diaz!?!? However Italo Zucchelli the creative director of the brand’s menswear, has always kept up to speed on the latest of everything. Be it fabric treatments, music trends or even hot new ambassadors, like Dallas, who can promote his hyper modern creations to a mass audience.

Once golden boy Dallas was installed in the front row, Zucchelli proceeded to present a show filled with gold standard staples like camel colored coats, tailored ebony black wool blazers and white denim pieces, shot through with a sprinkling of gold dust jacquard. In fact, the designer hit the mother lode when he use ore as a dramatic accent element in the lineup, crafting everything from shoes and cummerbunds to coat lining and voluminous quilted parkas in reflective gold, silver and rose gold metal foil fabrics.

The designer even upped the ante on the whole trend of including female models in a menswear show, tasking top carat catwalk supermodels like Mariacarla Boscono, Gemma Ward, Iselin Steiro and Jessica Miller with taking on some of the men’s wardrobe classics and making them all their own.

With this menswear show Zucchelli proved that, far from gilding the lily, he still has the Midas touch at Calvin Klein.

Crédit : Prada

Prada

One word was circled amongst all my scribbled musings jotted down while watching the Prada menswear collection unfold – forlorn. Everything about Miuccia Prada’s production had a despondent energy to it, as if the collection was infused with a world weary perspective, the models resigned to their fates.

The impressive set, crafted out of particle boards, the poor man’s building material, was lit with the absolute minimum illumination, letting the dark and gloom creep in from the corners. The woeful voice of Nick Cave singing “The Mercy Seat” and “Where the Wild Roses Grow” added to the melancholy mood. Then the models arrived in attire that was almost violently disheveled.

The men looked like sailors on leave. Their military jackets, shirts or capes featuring torn away cuffs and collars that stood stiffly askew from the garments, as if to say the models had no time or inclination to mend them, leaving them dangling because they couldn’t be bothered to do more than just get through the day; a sentiment echoed by the cropped short trousers that suggested the models had grown out of them but didn’t have the wherewithal to buy a new pair.

The same could be said for Prada’s women. Their slightly Forties-style dresses came constructed to gather off-center on a hip or drape seemingly haphazardly at the sleeves. Looking demure from the front the models turned to reveal a scooped out back, leaving lots of bare skin exposed to the elements.

Coats were the big story of the show, all of them crafted from an assortment of hardy utilitarian materials like leather, denim and wool, and fashioned to look almost homemade with elbow patches in shearling wool and knitwear elements – resembling something a quirky grandma might have woven in hopes it would keep her loved one warm as they traveled displaced across the world. And on those voyages they would come across Prada’s nonsensical printed tops, which only the locals would ever truly understand. But Prada’s pack looked as if they never remained in one place for very long. Their journey felt like an endless trek with home always a glimmering dream in the distance.

Crédit : Missoni

Missoni

In one of the strongest Missoni menswear shows in recent memory, designer Angela Missoni presented a warm and inviting collection inspired by the India region of Ladakh, which extends from the Kuen Lun mountain range all the way to the Himalayas.

The audience certainly felt like they were on a chilly mountain top as they sat outside to watch the show in the January cold, covered in Missoni blankets as they huddled all together to keep warm. And while their teeth might have been chattering, their hearts were being melted by a collection that took the brand’s colorful knitwear DNA and elevated it to a zen-like state.

With hippy dippy music, supplied by Pink Floyd, piped in to help the audience transcend the cold, the 70s-tinged lineup felt very much in keeping with the season’s current fascination with male adornment, the most striking example being the richly embellished sweaters and vest that came embroidered with beadwork and clinking metal coins. An abundance of horizontal fringing was another clever textural alternative.

As the models walked the catwalk covered in fallen russet leaves wearing the impeccably degrade sunset shaded knitwear, it was hard not to be moved by this collection’s Eastern beauty.

Crédit : N21

N21

“The mood is very English Mod,” said designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua before the start of his N21 show on Saturday. “But it is contrasted with feminine lingerie colors and materials.”

With this collection the designer was right in the slipstream of fashion’s current blurring of gender lines movement. But to be fair, Dell’Acqua has been combining his menswear silhouettes with feminine fabrics and shades for years now, which means he has refined the balance of power between the two halves to the point of perfection.

This was a highly successful show that blended a touch of urban military in kaki and olive hues, oversized 3D shirt pockets and high cuffed pants with softer touches like dusty pink silk tops, lace shirts and romantic ribbons of raw-edged grosgrain figuring military medals across the chest of parkas and jackets.

The best example of how Dell’Acqua combined the masculine and feminine was in his use of a “Chanel” bouclé wool as the foundation of a button-up shirt and jacket, patterned to look like something a lumberjack might wear. The introduction of leopard print mohair to craft coats and anoraks were another poised proposition.

Perfectly in tune with the times we live in, this collection didn’t hit a single false note.

Crédit : Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo

“The mood is very English Mod,” said designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua before the start of his N21 show on Saturday. “But it is contrasted with feminine lingerie colors and materials.”

With this collection the designer was right in the slipstream of fashion’s current blurring of gender lines movement. But to be fair, Dell’Acqua has been combining his menswear silhouettes with feminine fabrics and shades for years now, which means he has refined the balance of power between the two halves to the point of perfection.

This was a highly successful show that blended a touch of urban military in kaki and olive hues, oversized 3D shirt pockets and high cuffed pants with softer touches like dusty pink silk tops, lace shirts and romantic ribbons of raw-edged grosgrain figuring military medals across the chest of parkas and jackets.

The best example of how Dell’Acqua combined the masculine and feminine was in his use of a “Chanel” bouclé wool as the foundation of a button-up shirt and jacket, patterned to look like something a lumberjack might wear. The introduction of leopard print mohair to craft coats and anoraks were another poised proposition.

Perfectly in tune with the times we live in, this collection didn’t hit a single false note.

Crédit : Moncler Gamme Bleu

Moncler Gamme Bleu

It is tradition at Moncler each season that designer Thom Browne pick a theme for the brand’s Gamme Bleu menswear line – be it fencing, skiing or swimming – and spin an entire collection out of each sport’s traditional attire. Purportedly, the fall/winter 2016 show took its starting point from alpine military corps. But all anyone in the audience saw was a bumper load of camouflage.

Browne sent out what seemed like an endless lineup of men covered in head-to-toe camo in shades of red, white and blue, with a bit of gray and black thrown in for good measure. From head (the models worn face obscuring balaclava masks with the sliver of skin around the eyes also painted to blend in) to toe (yes, camo socks and shoes), every inch of cloth and skin was covered in the pattern. This collection was all about concealment.

But what couldn’t be disguised was the audience’s visceral reaction and distaste for a collection that felt rather thoughtless considering the recent terrorist attacks in France and subsequent heightened security measures across Europe.

No doubt did Browne not mean to look insensitive. The inclusion of fake pink eyelashes on the models felt like a last minute attempt to lighten the mood his collection exuded, and after all, camouflage is a pretty standard go-to motif in menswear.

However, the overall effect of models wearing shaved fur jackets, shimmering sequined coats and studded pants, all crafted in the same camouflage pattern, was disdain. And it didn’t help that the finale was a square shaped snow globe concept that saw all the models lined up in a row and surrounded by swirling snowflake confetti.

Camouflage is never cute.

Crédit : Damir Doma

Damir Doma

A confident Damir Doma was all smiles backstage before his show, which took place at Milan’s famed central train station. “My last show, which was the first one I showed here [in Milan], felt very transitional to me,” admitted Doma. “Because I started them in Paris and I finished them here. It was with a team that changed. And this time I was really settled down. I knew how the ateliers worked and they knew how I worked.”

That understanding showed on the catwalk, where the designer sent out a collection with a flaming red high-speed train in the backdrop. Against that bold color, Doma’s collection popped. Raw edged outerwear, sweaters woven through with a single off-center ribbon undulating through the weave and roomy coats with a fringe circling just below the hip, all had a dramatic homespun appeal.

The generally oversized silhouettes obscured the models’ forms. Between the casting and understated styling, this collection had an asexual utilitarian sculptural strength about it that felt very of-the-moment.

“I really managed to do a collection that is one hundred percent me,” said Doma. We couldn’t agree more.

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