The loudest show of Milan Fashion Week? Probably Prada, though it wasn´t because of the clothes. Outside of the Fondazione Prada thousands of young had gathered, screaming for their idols, the Korean Boy-Band Enhypen. Those were seated front row at the show, a cultural phenomena watching a culture-defining brand. „When times are so serious there is no room for useless creativity“, said Miuccia Prada backstage. She and Raf Simons focused on the essential, even minimal, without loosing a sense of fun. This was transported by detachable collars, peeking out of sharp suit jackes and cardigans. Padded Tanktops and bombers reminded of the pillows that were sent with the invitation. The Prada man likes it comfortable, but also slim, preppy and adventurous: Some looks included kneelength dresses worn over pants.
Giorgio Armani is flying high right now, his experience and commitment to quality and sustainability being more celebrated than ever. Maybe the aviator style hats and sunglasses we saw at the Emporio Armani show were just another sign that „Il Grande Giorgio“ is still ready to tackle new frontiers. And as always, he proved he will do it in style. With Glencheck suits, puffer jackets with shirts and ties and even baggy leather pants.
In times of transition, everything can be possible. That is what the new Gucci collection wanted to prove, the first since Alessandro Micheles departure and created by his team. „Improvisation as methodology“ was the mantra, a journey through the different characters that Gucci and Michele have always strived to represent. Without him, the team relied less on a fantasia of patterns, applications and accessories, and more on a laid-back style defined by flowy silhouettes and a rock star attitude.
A fashion brands wealth is less it´s economic power but its heritage. This was made clear by Marco de Vincenzo at his first menswear show for Etro, for which he recreated the textile warehouses the company owns in Como. His collection was therefore also rich in patterns, but interpreting it into cozy sweaters, jumpsuits and t-shirts embellished with flowers. De Vincenzos Etro has a groovy 70ies feel about him, but is very modern in the way he wears a skirt over jeans.
Sicilian Minimalism? If this seems hard to imagine, Dolce & Gabbana offered an idea of what it could look like. Slim black suits, low hip pants, shirts accentuated by corsets: Not serious, but very sensual and at the same time classic. Because this is Dolce & Gabbana, some embellishments and ripped Baggy jeans had to be there – and whoever has been looking for a black lace suit will be very happy with this collection.
Walter Chiapponi has been travelling a lot and he likes what he sees. „There are hardly people with sneakers anymore“, he said during the presentation of his new menswear collection. His aim for Tod´s was always to bring „sensuality and preciousness to young people“. „And step by step I can see they are following me in that direction.“ How could they not? Tod´s knows about precious materials but it is Walter Chiapponi who transforms them into elegant separates like leather pants, slim turtlenecks, jackets and polo shirts, which feel elegant without being stiff.
It’s not like Milan doesn´t have young voices, but it definitely can´t hurt to welcome a London visionary like Jonathan Anderson. He plans to show his menswear collection in Milan in the future and this show reminded everybody of what made Anderson such a star in the first place: The will to provoke thought and tension, to experiment and to reevaluate norms and stereotypes. As he has done in the past, Anderson played with gender identity, showed sweaters as dresses, ruffled dresses and tight shirts. It´s quirky and different, but full of easy to buy pieces that Anderson’s fans will love – in Milan and elsewhere.