The youthful, creative makeover of Milan FW Men's
As Milan cedes the runway to Paris, the capital of Italian fashion can look back on a more than satisfactory scorecard. New energy infused the week of men's wear fall/winter 2017-18 collections, which closed on Tuesday with the Giorgio Armani show.
“The Week of Italian men's wear begins with Pitti Uomo and ends with Fashion Week,” Carlo Capasa, President of the National Chamber for Italian Fashion (CNMI), told FashionNetwork.com. "None of the other fashion capitals can boast such a rich program, with 1220 exhibitors in Florence and a hundred some catwalks and presentations in Milan."
“This Fashion Week was marked by a powerful energy that came from both big names and a number of new brands and young designers, both Italian and foreign, helping to offset some notable absences such as Gucci,” he said.
Like Bottega Veneta, Gucci essentially abandoned the entire men’s session, instead opting for a co-ed show during Milan women’s Fashion Week in February. Other brands like Cédric Charlier did the opposite, staging a mixed fashion show during the January Milan men’s calendar.
According to Carlo Capasa, these new shifts in the calendar correspond to specific strategies, very apparent during London, Milan and now Paris. “The houses whose distribution is primarily handled by multibrand stores unveiled their collection early, during the men's shows, because they have every incentive to speed up business upstream. However, the brands that rely on their own retail network can afford to present their men's collections later during the women’s weeks because they control their distribution,” he said.
“We are facing a big change, but it ultimately will create a more mixed Fashion Week, providing more space for young people,” he concluded. In fact, this season’s fashion weeks have already hosted shows by a dozen young talents and new brands, including designers like Federico Curradi, Miaoran, Malibu 1992 and Palm Angels.
Also noteworthy are the debuts of new artistic directors such as Lee Wood at Dirk Bikkembergs, Guillaume Meilland, now head of the men's collections at Salvatore Ferragamo, and Francesco Risso, who succeeded Consuelo Castiglioni at Marni.
At the same time, all the collections got an injection of youth through the increasingly noticeable sportswear trend, one that now has the upper hand over more formal apparel.
Designers are especially focusing on comfort with a strong element of sports that mostly seems to be a play for younger consumers, the famous Millennials. The strategy was on full display at Dolce & Gabbana, which flew in a slew of young social media stars to walk its Milan runway on Saturday.
"Glunge," the combination of grunge and glamour and rehabilitated by Dsquared2, made a big comeback on all catwalks, seen in the relaxed attitude, a seashell necklace, pendants worn at the neckline, big knit sweaters and the mandatory parka.
And all done in hyper-performance technical fabrics or a merry mash up of materials and colors. An autumnal palette dominates this season, punctuated by flashes of saturated colors like yellow or orange.
The shirt is out! Next winter, men will be wearing sweaters or turtleneck, or maybe a polo shirt, perfecting their look with jogging pants, ski pants or comfortable cords, and all wrapped up in a cushy down jacket.
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