Milan Men’s Fashion Week is always a celebration of masculinity, and with some tongue-in-cheek humour and typical Italian flair this season’s shows were no different. Sharp tailoring, exquisite fabrics and covetable accessories can always be expected from Milan, but there were also some exciting new trends coming to the fore. Here are the top three we spotted.
Alongside the traditional summer fabrics of cotton, linen and silk, there were also some more unusual materials in the collections this season, perhaps a response to the recent poor weather in Milan. There was innovative use of PVC at the Fendi show, with models in shiny raincoats and trousers – a stark contrast to the sand-covered catwalk – which looked more suitable for a British summer, while at Trussardi 1911 the models sweated under their many layers of leather. Jil Sander was also seemingly affected by the poor weather as she moulded leather coats into super-shiny clinical-style waterproofs.
We were transported around the world this season, as designer after designer found inspiration in far-flung places. Whether you prefer Vivienne Westwood’s posh boys in India, Etro’s sombrero-wearing Tex-Mex adventurers or Dolce & Gabbana’s home-grown Sicilian studs, next summer will see foreign influences in your wardrobe. The idea of the traveller was also one of fascination this season; Prada’s tropical yet sombre collection was a dark love letter to voyagers of the past. The East-meets-West Dsquared2 show seemed to highlight the showy glamour of Americans abroad; with a crashed airplane and fountain complete with naked models, its men were in grass skirts and jeans, with strings of souvenir stall-style beads draped round their necks.
Leather goods can always be found in abundance on the Milan catwalk, but for spring/summer 2014 there were some notable highlights, all seemingly inspired by the sporting world. Leather backpacks were the accessory of choice at Gucci, with the chest straps adding a sporty and more masculine edge to the collection. Brightly coloured cross-body bags and ruched leather gladiator sandals were an odd addition at Salvatore Ferragamo as the brand tried to move towards a more athletic look, but the crown for king of accessories, however, must go to Giorgio Armani. For spring/summer 2014 his Emporio Armani show featured models in metal goggles and transparent visors, giving them the appearance of futuristic sports stars.