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Silky comfort is emerging as a trend on the second day of menswear previews for next Milan menswear spring summer 2016 fashion week. Bottega Veneta designer Tomas Maier joined colleagues Versace and Dolce&Gabbana in offering silken pajama-inspired looks, down to the classic stripe, for the next warm weather season. The outfits surprisingly can sometimes take the form of suits, becoming office wear for the style-minded.
Milan Design Agenda show you some Milan menswear spring summer 2016 fashion week highlights from yesterdays shows, the second day of previews, by Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Calvin Klein, Missoni and Prada.
From the mountains to the sea, Bottega Veneta has got you covered for the Spring/Summer 2016 season. Designer Tomas Maier moved away from the sophisticated urban arena he knows so well and offered men a selection of clothing inspired by the beauty of the outdoors. “I liked this idea of hiking, being in the garden, and getting in touch with nature,” said Maier after the show.
Different outdoor activities were reworked by the designer into relaxed elegance pieces that still maintained a sense of their more rugged progenitors. So a pair of tapered pants that alluded to long johns came cut in technical fleece with suede inserts at the thighs; a hunting jacket was crafted out of cotton gabardine, its name patch a strip of shearing; and a woodsman’s sweater was embodied by cotton Chenille and its wide collar accented with a rope detail woven into the neckline.
This season’s fascination with silk striped pajama suiting also found a home at Bottega. But it was all the creative quilting on leather pieces and cotton jackets, covered in a patchwork effect of different patterns, that were the show’s true standout offerings.
The accessories will also be on heavy rotation with the fashion set next summer. The leather sandals with brightly colored whip stitch details and the luxe trekking boots, along with all the stylish leather backpacks, finished of each ensemble flawlessly.
“This season I focused very much on a casual look,” said Alessandro Dell’Acqua about his N° 21 menswear show. “But still with some structure and a relaxed attitude.” This informal yet purposeful aesthetic was a new direction for the house. It is one that the designer should continue to explore further next season as this show had a strong and cohesive message.
By bringing together tiered, layered linear silhouettes with those of the oversized variety, Dell’Acqua instantly broadened his potential customer base. And yet, there was a youthful energy about the entire show. The playfulness of a fitted knit top with a Henri Matisse-like lineup of naked ladies across the torso or a wife beater t-shirt cut from black lace worked well as a counterpoint to supersized bomber jackets or chunky anchor motif sweaters with raw yarn accents.
For a show that looked so carefree from a distance, there was quite a lot happening on the catwalk. The idea of creating a striped sweater woven to look as if, halfway down the arms, the yarn had been turned inside out was very clever. The use of a tropical animal print on military green garb to soften its associations was also insightful. Even the classic straight cut, high-waisted trousers were spruced up thanks to the inclusion of a grommet-adorned knee length belts.
This was a smart, successful collection that felt right in step with what men want right now.
For those of us who were still a bit hungover from last night, all it took was John Richmond’s cacophony of a Spring/Summer collection to slap us awake. A mishmash of colors, prints, and genres were as metaphorically loud a sound as the Chemical Bros music blasting the whole show through. An ode to the social media generation, the collection went from punk to pop, from Rockabilly to prep, in seconds.
Models raced by in glittery green and cheddar cheese orange sneakers and exaggerated preppy golfer shoes. Prints ranged from cartoonish ones with scribbles of OOPS! and BANG! – to groovy 60s ones with mosaics. For evening, the runway put forth jacquard geometric, tattoo-like prints to get the party started and then ended the evening with a nightcap of silk tuxedos embedded with shimmering gems.
With his flair for handmade accents, Richmond showcased stamped and laser-cut and embroidered lace-effect leather jackets.
Daytime suits were fitted and featured chest-to-back paneling that accentuated the upper back. It was the little features like this where the maestro’s talent was unmistakably evident through the chaos.
At Salvatore Ferragamo, designer Massimiliano Giornetti was in a very experimental mood. His goal seemed to be to create a cohesive collection through a number of disjunctive design techniques that showed off the impressive sartorial savoir-faire of the house.
Geometric, often striped, color blocking was the most predominant avenue that Giornetti traveled, using unusual color combinations that saw brown, kaki, and beige pushed up against pink, purple, and green. For example, wide strips of turquoise would flow down the front panels of a sober suit jacket, and a top would be constructed out of brightly-hued leather and suede strips woven together across the torso or appear in a graphic cacophony of colors interspersed with slanted braids of shimmer textiles.
This collection was brimming with intriguing embellishments that blended two and three dimensional adornment and trompe l’oeil concepts. Sometimes the garments skated to the edge of looking tricksy, but they always stayed on the right side of pretentious luxury. However, it was a lineup that begged for a re-see appointment, as there was just so much intense handiwork on each and every exit.
It was smart that Giornetti slanted all his hard work towards a younger, more urban consumer. That choice gave the collection a sartorial relevance for the customer base that will be most willing to try out some of this show’s more daring designs.
For his Spring/Summer 2016 Calvin Klein menswear collection, designer Italo Zucchelli stuck to the sharp and strong minimalistic aesthetic that has served him, and the brand, so well for more than a decade.
But this time he wove into the rigor of his urban offerings a suggestion of movement and a sensation of a sartorial expedition. He did this both in shimmering laminated waves of color that rolled across sleeveless t-shirts and in the undulating addition of a ribbon of fabric affixed to slim pants. Often, the glassy sheen of those breaker tops would be damped down with a semi-sheer lightweight sweater, as if they were just a mirage in the desert.
This arid sensation was also subtly reinforced by the addition of a palm tree motif into the collection. While a series of faux light blue denim pieces, cut from stiff jacquard, surfaced like an oasis of cool in the middle of the searingly precise show. Even the bracing hardcore metal music from the band Ministry playing on the show’s soundtrack has a way of isolating the audience from its surroundings.
Zucchelli squeezed every last ounce of minimalistic possibility out of his designs this season. No pocket, accessory, or garment felt auxiliary in any way. When the Calvin Klein man goes exploring next spring, he will have everything he needs and not one thing more
If there were any politicians or central bankers at the Vivienne Westwood men’s show in Milan, they may have been metaphorically assassinated by the seething anger emanating from the collection. The journalists working with top newspapers were also shamed.
A champion of various environmental causes like climate change and fracking, Dame Vivienne Westwood used the Spring/Summer 2016 collection to illustrate how politicians and central bankers are accelerating climate change and transferring wealth from the poor to the rich.
The words “criminal,” “politicians,” “bankers,” and images of handcuffs and ball clubs flashed on the screen. Corruption began to set in and suits bore exaggerated stripes and clownish plaid patterns, showing man’s point of no return.
Westwood also addressed the media as the croupier, who helped banks and politicians fool the world by accepting austerity as a way to save money, when it was, according to Westwood, a scam to make the rich richer.
On a catwalk of sunset-hued rose petals designer Angela Missoni sent her men on another far flung adventure. This time the trip they took was to exotic India where a rich mélange of colors was the spice of life.
“The collection goes from the north to the south,” explained Missoni about the color progression that played out on the runway. Easy silhouettes in feather light knits, linens, and cottons moved from rich patchwork shades of indigo and jade through to olive greens and finished in burnt orange and paprika red hues.
Among all the patterns and prints, some of the more eye catching pieces were those that pulled back a bit on the color. The beauty of just two-thirds of the sleeves of a tunic top covered in the patchwork treatment had a refined control. A soft blouson jacket with the brand’s zigzag pattern, only appearing at the back, was another show of strength in its sartorial reserve.
In the end, the show was truly a colorful feast for the eyes. The masterful way Missoni knows how to meld her colors was a pleasure to behold and to let wash over the fashion world in that magically finite moment in time it takes to present a new collection.
This season Miuccia Prada had a need for speed. Younger, faster, shorter – get the goods and get out. It was a message the designer hammered home via every aspect of this show. There was a set of translucent corrugated sheets of fiberglass suspended from above, which created a condensed show space and gave a slipstream focus to the catwalk. The collection’s many emoticon-esque motifs – rabbits, rockets, racing cars, red arrows – all alluded to movement and swift action. As did the silhouettes of short shorts on the men and mini dresses on the women.
Even the design details – the long pull-tab zippers on knit tops, the shimmering sequins on a car coat, or the overflowing of layers of fabric spilling out from the waistline, or the fable pools over a model’s wrists – all accelerated the idea of alacrity. As did the dissonant splice and dice motifs Prada pulled together on pleated skirts and dresses.
Models walked the runway with unkempt hair, the boys with their mussy curls and the girls with unfinished updos – no time to waste. They were in such a rush that the men’s glossy leather jackets were barely zipped onto the body, hanging off the shoulders like air-filled hunchbacks. Their silk button-up shirts also looked as if they had been thrown on at the last minute, like a nonchalant afterthought.
This show was racing head first into the future. Trying to capture what was coming, before it whizzed by in the blink of an eye, to become a distant memory.
Moncler Gamme Bleu
Moncler Gamme Bleu designer Thom Browne brought the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race to Milan, with his Spring/Summer 2016 men’s line that was centered around the world of rowing.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 crescendoed overhead and the anticipation grew, as throngs of clean-cut fellows in polo shirts and knee-high socks marched gracefully around two eight-person shells.
With this collection, Browne’s aim was to present stripes in all different ways – from seersucker to candy cane and from pinstripes to vertical B&B wallpaper-looking strokes. The result was a beach-to-evening-wear collection with ensembles that work for a beach party on Nantucket or a summer wedding in Newport Beach.
As with many Gamme Bleu shows, Browne is successful in transforming the traditional fashion show into a competitive arena and reminding the crowd of the poetry of competitive sport and battle. With a collection fit for the ultimate prepster, Browne demonstrated that his glory days are still ahead of him.
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