Image and Video Credit Milan Fashion Week, Featured Designers, Vogue and Acielle/Style Du Monde
An intoxicating week of titanic continental menswear collections commenced in the Italian fashion capitol Milan mid-June 2022, hot on the heels of its fashionable British counterpart, London Menswear Fashion Week. Milan saw a strong – and what feels like a long overdue – return to runway shows, these were laced with the inevitable sprinkling of the digital. Big guns Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci, Emporio Armani, Missoni, Etro, JW Anderson, Prada and Moschino all rolled out collections that often seemed to be drawing heavily on their signature tried-and-tested magic (and why not?), but every so often a refreshing nonchalant new hot summer trend made its quirky appearance. Who more suitable than the kooky Dsquared2 to kick off the shows on Friday? From that point onwards it was a tightly-filled, jam-packed rollercoaster of delicious fashion that kept delivering, show after show.
Many designers had a soft spot for skin-revealing, light and airy pieces in tune with the Spring Summer sentiment, shorts in all their shapes and sizes were a key item and so were classic loose pleated trousers. Inevitably sandals in many guises featured in the collections, as did exotic crocodile leather loafers and the ever-present stalwart footwear classic, sneakers. It was undeniable that collections exhibited a lighthearted, renewed joyfulness and exuberance, a playful and maverick take on the classics as we finally seem to be moving on from the gloomy lockdown years. Colour is king, strongly influenced by the emerging metaverse, showcasing surreal and futuristic shades, most notably so space-age cobalt blue and sunshine yellow.
And talking about sunshine, apply your sunscreen and drink in the HOT offerings from Italy’s most fashionable city while sipping your latte! And if you can’t physically get to the action, sit back and feast your eyes on our hand-picked selection of the best of the first few days at Milan Menswear Spring Summer 2023.
It was a refreshing mixture of surf culture and Bob Marley’ Jamaica with some biker gear thrown into the cocktail for good measure, at what was arguably one of the quirkiest collections at the week. Grungy ensembles of multi-coloured and patterned surfer prints, quirky crocheted pieces and eclectic knits rubbed shoulders with floaty, casually-draped sarongs and Nehru-jackets, all creating an eccentric mix of oddities that work incredibly well together. Stripes and flowers, plaids and tartan, tailoring and biker-fashion (iconic Honda motorcycles collaborated with Dsquared2) were anchored in vibrant, sturdy ‘futuristic’ sandals and sneakers. Layers of nylon, logo-ed hoodies, beach-inspired tote bags and patchwork flares – complete with appliqued marijuana leaves, of course! All declared an anthem of 70s ‘peace and ‘love’.
Moschino’s creative director Jeremy Scott isn’t one for shying away from the boldest of crayon-bright shades, and this Spring Summer 2023 menswear collection has seen him continuing on that trajectory, this time a full-blown tribute to the genius of the late Tony Viramontes, whose iconic fashion illustrations illuminated the pages of all the glossy fashion mags in the 80s. Just like Viramontes’ signature scribbles over photographs in the 80s, Jeremy Scott’s Menswear Spring Summer 2023 squiggles and scribbles capture the essence of a range that is, above all, quintessentially Moschino. Cobalt blue, lavender and other neon-bright accents transformed classic suits, trench coats, shirts, hats and ties while distressed acid-dyed denim, pinstripes, leather kilts, bomber jackets and biker gear looked contemporary and utterly trendy. This is Moschino the brand in action, doing what it does best: fun, contemporary, tongue-in-cheek tailoring.
Watch Moschino’s show here:
Dolce & Gabbana
If it ain’t broke, why fix it? We saw Dolce & Gabbana’s iconic tried-and-tested trademark details all over this collection: the hand-crafted Sicilian embroidery and lace, the roses, the crucifixes, the quintessential southern Italian brocade, the exotic animal prints … all those bits of endearing déjà vu magic that we’ve experienced from the D&G stables since the 80s. This is a wonderful, nostalgic unearthing of the archives that saw old classics re-emerge, sometimes in an almost identical guise from decades ago, and at other times slightly updated and modified. The leopard and zebra printed dressing gowns worn over classic D&G logo-ed undies, for example, have a decidedly mid-80s feel to them – the era in which this Italian fashion institution was but a mere startup … and the rest, as they say, is history! David Beckham, a long-standing inspiration to the design due, inspired various looks, most notably so the range of ripped denim, the head bands and diamond studs. An interesting diversion is the camping-inspired trousers with their asymmetrical ‘flaps’.
Watch Dolce & Gabbana’s show here:
This was a collection reminiscent of all the trademark Versace paraphernalia that we’ve come to know and love over the decades, together with the injection of a few on-trend shades like cobalt blue, sunshine yellow and an endearing salmon pink. Only, instead of bags, models were clutching various pieces of Versace homewear like urns and vases, in a celebration of and collaboration with the brand’s fabulous interior design strand. Donatella, like counterparts Dolce & Gabbana, evidently dug deep into the rich archives of the company this season and unearthed signature elements – like their ever-fashionable, forever glamorous vibrant python print, regal stripes, the quintessential gold Medusa printed emblyms, the brand’s signature shades of gold, lime yellow and shocking pink, and threw it all into what can only be described as a heady cocktail of what Donatella cooks up best: inimitable, sexy Italian fashion.
Watch Versace’s show here:
Leather, latex, denim and knits in bright shades ranging from pillar box red to sunshine yellow, ‘Mary Janes’ for men … Jonathan Anderson pushed the boat out in his first ‘live’ Milan appearance. Bar codes, CDs and scribbled pencil-drawn portraits were printed onto garments, stripes, cutout circles and even latex gloves created fascinating silhouettes and were alternated with knitwear slashed to accessorize destroyed skateboards and BMX bicycle handlebars, his narrative cheeky and thought-provoking, his palette deliciously contemporary and vibrant. This is menswear that doesn’t take itself too seriously, its playful narrative runs through the collection, offering a refreshing alternative fashion experience.
Watch JW Anderson’s show here:
Heavyweights Miuccia Prada and collaborative creative director Raf Simon at design superpower Prada aptly titled their Spring Summer Menswear collection ‘Choice.’ And a clear case of choice it was! Kinky, teensy black zippered lederhosen were worn against the skin – these were weirdly peculiar in their kooky sexiness and at the same time, old-school retro-ness. They were followed by striped rib knits, a selection of surprisingly cheerful gingham plaids in primary shades (in what may be best described as traditional Italian tablecloth or shopping bag fabrics), tartans and space-age roll-necked striped ‘Star Trek’-esque knits. The new-age theme continued bizarrely in some home-sewn, crafty zig zag embellished triangular motifs. Mondrian-like red, blue, black and yellow primary shades were sported in the shape of knitted tops while double denim – washed out and with a decidedly vintage-feel – saw jackets tucked into trousers or shorts, all added to the ‘Choice’-factor of this collection! Cuban-heeled, pointy boots grounded the looks. Bare knees in miniscule shorts, peeking out from under coats appeared gratefully anchored in their boots and black ankle sock. Table cloth, shopping bag or lederhosen … this is most certainly a collection for the ultimate Prada convert, perhaps not for your everyday Joe.
Watch Prada’s show here: