When the sartorial luminaries of the world descend upon the rugged north of Italy, it means that Milan Fashion Week is near. The further its legend resounds, the more would-be designers and aspiring models Milan attracts. As the celebration enters its sixtieth year, it is almost as vital to check out what is going on off the runway as it is to admire the glitzy creations strutting up and down the catwalk. But for our purposes, we’ll take a good long look at the established designers who continue to define boundaries, even as they push beyond them.
With so much talent abounding, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of the who, what, and where of it all. Let’s start with the when: the four day 2018 Spring/Summer edition of Milan Men’s Fashion Week recently finished on the 21st of June.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Just as fashion weeks of the past can break new ground and point to what’s en vogue, every designer can inspire a contradicting tide at fashion weeks of the future. Although preparation is already in full-swing for next year’s show, let’s look at what went down in 2017.
Versace brought heart on the 20th anniversary of its founder’s death, featuring a reworked logo and models sporting cargo trousers, print shirts, pinstripe tailoring, and a whole lot of pink. Dress shirts were accessorized with baseball caps, sweaters with neckties. The presentation was clearly geared toward millennials, which seems to be the direction Versace is heading next.
Diesel Black Gold, on the other hand, turned its eyes resolutely toward the past by hearkening back to the Grunge Era. Clad in over-sized coats and shirts over shorts, leggings, and boots, Diesel Black Gold flashed a look for all seasons.
Not to be outdone, Emporio Armani brandished some star power with a Shawn Mendes feature. On display was his new touchscreen smart watch, the latest addition to Emporio Armani’s Connected line of gadgetry. These days it seems bright colors are in and fashionable tech watches are on the rise.
Prada pushed even further than Armani in its contemplation of the future, with a textured, brightly colored examination of the reality of fashion. Pairing short shorts with knee-high socks, popped collars with graphic tees, Prada toyed with the idea of unity and division with its two-piece ensembles that came together as one.
The overriding theme during the men’s week in Milan seemed to be loose, cozy and at ease. Here were men laid back and comfortable enough to express their innermost selves through fashion. By contrast, the most recent Milan Women’s Fashion Week was all about extravagance locked in a tense dance with modesty.
What can we expect in 2018? It is, of course, impossible to tell. But if 2017 was of any indication, I think we can anticipate a flashy and embellished show that will once again muse the masses.