Ladies, what shall we borrow from the boys come next season? Is such a statement now utterly and completely passé, given our recent passage to a fluid approach to fashion? Or in relation to our full embrace of the pantsuit. Or really, for some of us, the conclusion that there truly is no need for distinction, no need for the word fluid, just a desire to wear a gorgeously tailored topcoat layered under a screaming-your-name puffer (which, in the past, was designated for male humans, but which in some future state of consciousness belongs to no sex). Just a thought…
Ermenegildo Zegna – Pushing sartorial classics to where they have never gone before.
Marni – A world of perfect wonder and probably our favorite show
The Fall/Winter 2019/2020 Milan men’s collections represent a playground of high intensity sartorial games. When you walk through next season’s Milanese-style park, you get a clear sense that designers came out to play. I imagine some of them in their studios sharing giddy moments with their textile designers after a trip to a fabric mill that has recently developed some geek-worthy technique to create relief patterns. Or experiencing a euphoric high when the print test came back exactly how they imagined (ok, euphoric maybe an exaggeration, maybe just an acute sense of excitement.) Whatever the case, there was a feeling of experimentation throughout the collections that freshened up the Milanese vibe.
Neil Barrett – Sartorial might infused with an endearing punk edge.
Marcelo Burlon – What you would wear while creeping through a spooky abandoned amusement park.
The looks that graced the runways were a mix of traditional tailoring, sportswear and the trend still on everyone’s mind, streetwear. The fabrications were a merry-go-round of options from classic checks, jacquards, skins (many printed), gorgeous chunky knit, faux fur, and of course technical and innovatively elaborated materials. There were compelling graphics across the board; Prada lead with Frankenstein’s head, Neil Barrett with neon signage from London’s Soho red-light district and Tokyo’s Shinjuku. Marni’s print mashup was sublime as check motifs were mixed with those inspired by Italian director Bruno Bozzetto 70s animated movie Allegro Non Troppo. And I am counting the days ‘til I can get lit in MSGM’s total flame outfit. The moods collaged punk, nautical, futuristic, revolutionary, homoerotic sensibilities, romanticism and my personal favorite: nostalgia. The animal print mega trend prevalent in women’s wear for the last few seasons carried over in a major way into the men’s collections. Contrary to first blush, the guys looked quite fine in cheetah and snake. In color, designers went bold and strong, whether on a total look or a hero accent.
Sunnei – sketches of nostalgia pave bold and colorful prints.
MSGM – Sartorial flair meets streetwear and a mashup of grami prints in between.
Prada – what can I say, I’ll take the sweetheart neckline dresses and any of these four looks.
Another point of inspiration for the collections was the styling. This season offered a slew of playful and imitable ways to wear the pieces shown in the collections. Even the most rigorous styling examples were shown in a way you would not expect, which really gave life to individual items. Some of the most straightforward include the layering of sweaters and bombers over top coats or blazers. I love this “get the maximum use out of an object” approach to dressing, especially when it involves investment pieces. It’s also a great way to get the guys in our lives to change up their style every now and then. My husband, for example, has been wearing the same look since he was 14, and some guys lack imagination when it comes to combining items from their closet. Historically it wasn’t like this (my mind goes straight to the French royal court, to the more recent English dandie or to the regal dress of African men, but somewhere along the line men’s dressing became a basic affair for the standard civilian. It’s nice to see designers playing around again with elevated style that is accessible to men across the fashion spectrum.
Numero 21 – Hints of homoerotica throughout, but the coats really stole the show. Gimme.
Pal Zieri – Extraordinary feelings for sartorial perfection.