Men’s fashion has slowly, but surely, taken itself out of the dark ages. Leaving the world of simple suits and trousers behind and pushing into newer, more fashionable territory. The days of simple hyper-masculine silhouettes seem to finally be a thing of the past, with modern Italian menswear moving towards a broader and more unisex look. This season, Milan’s menswear designers sprung into action and created collections that take conventional masculine silhouettes and inject an organic feminity to each garment. Leaving their designs looking undoubtedly masculine, yet satisfyingly feminine all at once.
Marni has taken a very drastic turn in terms of looks since founder Consuelo Castiglioni, stepped down as creative head last year. The new Marni, now headed by Francesco Risso, Marni has evolved into a fashion house focused on the grey areas of boundary-pushing design. Much of the house’s DNA is still very evident within Francesco’s designs, which is always a great thing to see, however, Marni’s codes now have a cacophonous freshness that’s relevant with today’s luxury fashion trends. For fall 2018, it looks as if Marni was about playing with chaos. Pattern, volume, silhouettes, colour, and texture all came crashing into one another to create a modern vagabond chic aesthetic. Some of the most whimsical and likeable pieces have to be the suiting and plaids which were decorated with splashes of cartoon illustrations of keys, foxes, and beakers. Giving the collection a wonderfully light-hearted look.
What can be said about Miuccia Prada that hasn’t already been said before? The woman is a genius of her craft. Often overshadowed by gimmicky designers and their smoke and mirrors, yet never shaken enough by their presence to change her designs. Miuccia has become the underlying foundation of industry hellbent to spitting out trend after trend. This season, Prada once again sends out a stunning collection rooted deeply in design and style, rather than quick trend. For her fall show, Miuccia took one of her brand’s most defining materials (nylon) and reinterpreted it into just about everything the models wore on the runway. One design aesthetic that stuck out during the show was how relatively tame it was in terms of patterns for a modern Prada show. Within the last few years, Miuccia has really spearheaded the pattern mix aesthetic that many designers are basing their entire brands on now. However, that didn’t mean the collection lacked any fun deconstructed patterns. If anything the placement of patterned and graphic ensembles at various intervals of the show, allowing it to stay fresh and electric. Yet even with fun beach-inspired patterns and prints, the real highlights of the show were the looks that combined 60s London mod silhouettes with the sportiness of today. A big part that was possible by the use of Prada’s signature nylon. Fusing today’s millennial obsession with athleisure and Prada’s razor-sharp high fashion go-to’s.
The Caten twins have a true talent in the field of reimagination. While other designers take design go-to’s and fail at reimagining the design trope in fresh and relevant ways, Dean and Dan Caten manage to inject new life into their influences. Take this season’s western theme for instance, while other designers would fail in making a collection that differences from the dozens of western inspired collections of fashion’s past. The twins at Dsqaured2 manage to create a fun a fresh take on western clothing. As usual, their always evident hint of rock and roll fuses perfectly with their reinvented idea of western glam. One stand out a little feast for the eyes was the small additions of feminine glam like a little peekaboo sequin sleeve, delicate floral trims, and silk ribbon bowties help navigate the collection from overtly masculine to modern androgyny.
When thinking of the all American ivy league fashionista, they of Ralph Lauren. Always cool, calm, and collected. Lauren collections always stay firmly rooted in old fashion Americana. Which isn’t a bad thing because it works! However, this season at Ralph Lauren Purple Label, a distinctly European flair was injected into the hardcore Americana tropes littered throughout the collection. There were navy and sailor ensembles that had European silhouettes, with their nipped in waists and widened shoulders. There were aviator ensembles that paired delicate velvets with the masculine idea of military dressing. But the true show stoppers were the elegant formalwear, which took plaids and monochrome black ensembles and infused them with a balance of modern touches and a distinctly European silhouette. Allowing for a fresh take on your tradtitional Ivy League boy.
Next season’s accessories came with a fun surprise! Colours, patterns, and textures dominated the accessories game on the runway. Differing from the norm, accessories told their own story this season. You could almost say that this season’s group of bags, jewels, hats, and shoe could easily be stand-alone collections in and of themselves. Able to carry out a cohesive and impressive story all on their own.
The Printed Pop Bag
Printed bags had the biggest impact on the runway for Spring. Prints, florals, and plaids all came crashing onto many of the worlds biggest brand’s accessories. Transforming the functional bag into an outstanding showpiece that could pump up any outfit in your closet. Milan seemed to take the trend to the most extreme by putting jarring patterns on simplistic bags. Giving a graphic edge to standard silhouettes. At Prada, bags were strewn with graphic comic strip style prints that took gave each bag its own unique story. Adding a special element to each purse that walked the runway. Over at Marni, adorable square bags were splashed with bright plaids. Creating an interesting, almost vintage take on the modern box bag. Paris seemed to prefer a more subtle take on the printed bag. Opting for more elegantly and less graphic prints than Milan did. At Valentino, models walked the runway in the brand’s staple rockstud bags. However, the bag seemed to be painted with gorgeous floral motifs. Giving the bag a double identity, soft vs hard, elegant, yet edgy.
The Peek-a-boo See-through Shoe
This season’s footwear took a surprisingly fun turn for spring. Last season’s love for the chunky heel continued as expected, however, this season’s chunky heel came with an unexpected translucent friend. For Spring, Parisian fashion houses Chanel and Balmain both put their models in interesting and super clear cap toes PVC boots. The boots themselves have an air rain time high fashion chic about them, but they’re grounded with the strong pops of neutral black and white. Giving the boots a more elegant, rather than childish look. Over in New York, Prabal Gurung sported an interesting pair of mules that used a sheer mesh and clear heel combo, rather than using PVC. Giving the shoe a more reasonable and breathable appeal for the summer.
The Epic Chandelier Earring
Chandelier earrings may have become passe in the last decade. However, the glimmering throwbacks are back in a big way! In Paris and Milan, oversized earrings packed a very big punch. At Saint Laurent, giant jewelled chandeliers took on a mod feel with big rectangular sparklers, making the earing look more like bedazzled frames ready to frame a royal masterpiece. Over in Milan, both Dolce & Gabanna and Gucci used pearls, gold, and gems to create a modern take on Renaissance royalty, giving Elizabeth the 1st a run for her money.
The Theatrical Straw Hat
This season’s straw summer hat get an exciting upgrade. What started with Gucci’s huge sunhat and Jacquemus Provencal hats has grown into one of the biggest and most interesting accessory trends of the season. At Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, the straw hat took a more vagabond like look aesthetic. Resembling something more cartoonish, which fits in perfectly with the outlandish and forward thinking appeal that’s been associated with Westwood for years. At Jacquemus, the straw sunhat took on its most extreme form yet. With proportions resembling something straight out of a French romance movie. The romantic movement of the hat perfectly mirrored the sensual feel of the collection. Over in Milano, Missoni caught wind of the trend and added its 0wn interesting flair. Creating a more windswept and cutting-edge sunhat that screams Missoni.
Milan Menswear has just wrapped up and the Italian fashion capital has once again taught the fashion world what stylish menswear truly is. Unlike its contemporary fashion capital counterparts, Milan has a long history of adding a Mediterranean freshness and zest to men’s fashion that really isn’t seen anywhere else in the world. However, adding hints of bright Mediterranean colour to many collections doesn’t mean the clothing comes off as childish or irreverent. Rather, the collections remain as stylish and elegant as they always have in Milan.
Now, colour isn’t the only highlight one should expect from Milan fashion week. Recently, designers in Milan have opted to recreate what a dapper European man should look like. The cuts are still rather traditional, yet they carry a sense of youth that isn’t traditionally associated with the iconic Milan design houses. With that said, Novella has highlighted some of the most inspiring and all around picture perfect collections at Milan menswear week 2017.
Starting off the list is Miuccia Prada and her astounding take on the 1970s university “it” crowd fashion, Models stormed the runway in a sea of heavy jewel tone pieces in colours ranging from oxblood to turquoise. These simple, yet direct nods to the 1970s conjured up images of must have mustard and maroon items which swept the fashion industry at the time.
Another vintage staple showcased heavily throughout the show was corduroy, which Miuccia tirelessly splashed throughout the collection. Almost every look in the collection incorporated the use of corduroy in some way shape or form. Whether it was pants or even a jacket, Miuccia managed to take one of the most hated materials in the world and make it a fashion must have for the upcoming fall season. Which truly is a feat in and of itself.
When Ports debuted their latest collection, it was almost too surreal to be taken all in. Here was a house who was never really associated with following trends or releasing a collection that perfectly mirrors what is going on in today’s fashion world.
In terms of the collection, all the current staples are there; he slight slouchiness of androgynous menswear; the bold colour choices; the shirting. All of the ingredients to make a wonderful menswear label are there. The true winners of the collection have to be the half-in-half-out striped shirts that we’ve been seeing everywhere during men’s and women’s fashion weeks, as well as the brightly coloured puffer jackets that have been seen everywhere from Balenciaga to Raf Simons. All in all, it’s lovely to see an iconic house like Ports 1961 embracing the changes in menswear and taking the time to understand what a newer clientele is looking for in a brand, while still maintaining a sense of European class.
Fall 2o17 is the first collection to debut at Marni since Consuelo sadly took her final bow at last season’s iconic womenswear show. Now, most would assume the worst. After many years of watching a designer steer a fashion house through the decades, most would be hesitant to embrace whoever is hired to fill the shoes of the original designer. Fortunately, that isn’t the case at Marni. New creative head Francesco Risso has managed to create a collection that translates Marni’s offbeat spunkiness into something inarguably his, while still managing to keep the collection in quintessential Marni territory.
Like Prada, Marni‘s collection conjures up visions of 70’s and 80’s twentysomething’s that walk around oozing popularity. The wonderfully campy prints paired with the bold colour choices and crisp whites really create a sense of modern freshness, a sense of not taking oneself very serious and dressing how you’d like, rather than dressing for those around you. The real focal points of the collection must be the wonderfully belted pantsuits that adds a slight safari touch to a collection, yet still keeps the collection grounded in its central theme.
Marcelo Burlon County of Milan
It’s always refreshing to see a rarely mentioned brand come out of the blue and present a collection that is truly one of the best for its season. This was the case for Marcelo Burlon County of Milan‘s fw 17 collection, which featured its menswear collection alongside its womenswear pre-fall collection. But that wasn’t what set the collection apart from the best at Milan this season. It seems as if designer Marcelo Burlon was aiming to express his take on the new normal in fashion. Everywhere you looked it seemed as if the lines between menswear and womenswear were crossed. Nothing seemed entirely feminine and nothing seemed entirely masculine. Both his male and female models seemed to melt into one another in a sea of red, black, and olive green cowboy inspired looks.
However, the beauty of this collection doesn’t end with its androgynous influences. The true glue that holds this collection together is the sheer mastery of cut and trend. Not only does Marcelo showcase the ever growing and important oversized trend in his collection, he manages to mesh it together with crisp pinstriped suiting, pajama style two pieces, and clear streetwear influences that have become so successful in recent years.
Scrolling through Instagram for the past little while, I’ve noticed so much sameness and it seems that fashion industry has too. For SS17, the focus is to differentiate yourself, let your fashion freak flag fly if you will.
In a similar way as the SS17 clothing trends, accessories for next spring all rely on intention. None of the trending accessories are absolutely necessary for function, instead they frivolous additions. We are finally moving away from the era of practicality and monotony in fashion. This season, designers have brought everything back to getting dressed. We are here to create outfits, to stand out, to pay attention to the details, and to have fun. Does Iris Apfelneed twelve bangles per wrist? No, but that’s not the point. We are moving away from comfort–forget hoodies and sneakers–this spring’s accessories might be unpractical but they are beautiful.
A controversial shoe to be sure, the kitten heel has seemingly made its way back into the fashion industry’s hearts and runways. It is a step up (quite literally) from the flats trend and is a nod to the elegance of the 40s. Reminding street style stars how to wear heels again will be a journey after the dominance of sneakers, so perhaps kitten heels are acting as training wheels to the former glory of 9″ stilettos.
Do blue sunglasses do that much to shade your eyes from the sun? Maybe not. But they are fun! Especially when you match them with your cobalt, flare trousers and you incorporate them into the colour blocking trend.
Perhaps you are tired of necklaces, rings, earrings and anklets. Why not give the latest jewelry trend a go? Brooches. Take a note from your granny and place one in the chest area. Or why not think outside the box and pin a brooch anywhere else on your body, like your hip or pant leg?
Nothing is more fun and less practical than a teeny handbag. Perhaps designers are trying to move the world toward tech-free living, as there is clearly no space for phones with this trend. If you feel silly about microbags, perhaps I should tell you that all impractically-sized bags are trending. Because the following sized bag (half the height of the modes’ bodies) was nearly as common as the microbag:
Extreme options to be sure, but options none the less.
Matching your earrings? Boring! This trend alleviates one more decision from the endless decisions we make every day. Enough is enough, care less and mix up your earrings a bit.
Because wearing flat sandals is too easy and wearing heeled sandals can feel silly, flatforms are the dream shoe for SS17. You can go for the fancy Teva, or try a gorgeously leather pair to up your game.
As someone who tries to maintain a minimalist wardrobe, I feel as though frivolity has a perfect place among accessories. Nothing radical need happen, yet a new pair of sunglasses can change your entire feeling about the day. A crazy handbag, same thing. All without having to change your essentials. So next season, try a silly addition to your accessory and shoe collections, it’ll be harmless.
Once New York and London wrap up their fashion weeks, the list of new names and talent seem to get smaller and smaller. This isn’t because there is a lack of up and coming talent in Milan and Paris, rather, this simply stems from the fact that both these European fashion powerhouse cities have had long histories in focusing on the big players in fashion. Milan and Paris have always been the canvases where the biggest names in fashion showcase their creative ideas. This creates extremely high expectations for newcomers. They’re are faced with not only breaking into two of the biggest fashion scenes in the world, but they also must compete with the biggest fashion dynasties in the world. This ultimately leads to smaller brands either being pushed out of the spots they’ve earned or they simply just fade into obscurity. This makes it a little bit difficult to discover and start conversations about new designers. Yet some lesser known designers are able to fight their way to the top and shine right alongside some of their biggest names in fashion, and that’s something to be excited about. Seeing the new bloom alongside the old. Here are some of the best collections presented at Milan Fashion Week.
Alessandro Michele has done what many designers have failed to do throughout their respective careers. Alessandro has turned a brand that was on the verge of becoming culturally irrelevant, and brought it back from the brink of death. As Gucci’s current saint and saviour, Alessandro has been pumping out a slew of successful collections and accessories that have allowed the brand to do a complete 180 in both sales and style. This change has catapulted Alessandro and Gucci to the top of the must-have list among fashion aficionados around the world. Gucci’s current claim to fame is thrusting the magpie – vagabond prince and princess look onto the fashion scene. Alessandro’s quirky take on mix and match clothing has been an industry leader in creating new trends that have influenced today’s top designers as well as top retailers like Forever 21 and H&M. For his latest show at Gucci, Michele took his usual 70’s vagabond look and infused a hint of 80’s glamour and 90’s grunge to create a hodge podge of style excess that somehow manages to break every rule in the fashion book while still looking like the most tasteful and fashion forward collection Milan has to offer. His stunning use of silks and heavy fabrics to create a mismatched wardrobe that contradicts itself every step of the way, while magically complementing itself, is a testament to how well Alessandro knows how to make clothes. Michele has also incorporated some of fashion’s hottest trends into his collection by making them his own, especially the broad shoulder, floral embroidery, poetic ruffles, and statement prints. Another wonderful aspects to Michele’s show are how wearable everything is. If picked apart, the majority of these pieces can be worn without the help of Gucci’s signature styling; they’re stand alone pieces that don’t need an entire singular look to make sense, they just do.
Now, it can be a real challenge when it comes to picking key pieces from Gucci’s SS2017 collection, since each outfit is outstanding in its own right. However, a few pieces did manage to stand out among the crowd. Top scores go to a beautiful translucent flower print dress and matching cape, a gold 70’s cut tuxedo with floral embroidery, a broad shouldered denim tuxedo suit, a tiered sleeve gown in beige chiffon, and a cream cropped leg pant suit that sports a flamingo pink trim; to name a few.
Giambattista Valli has quickly become one of the new kings of haute couture, with seasonal couture collections that stun and transport their viewer to a world of opulence, elegance, and… ruffles! Giambattista’s rise to popularity has led to his designs becoming more in demand than before. However, not everyone can afford a $30 000 gown, even on their best days. This led Valli to create a splinter line for the “everyday” woman who’d like to experience what it’s like to wear one of Valli’s creations for themselves. Fast forward to the birth of Giamba, a brand dedicated to supplying young, well-to-do women with clothing that screams raw innocence and youth, while still remaining luxurious and high fashion. This season, Valli created a wonderland of 70’s western inspiration. All of today’s biggest go-to trends were there. Sheer, ruffles, embroidery, denim, and Victorian influences were all evident in the collection, which does exactly what it’s supposed to. Sell high fashion trends to young women who want feel fresh, on trend, and expensive. The collection doesn’t deviate much from its predecessors, keeping its fun and flirty baby doll centric designs front and center, but it still manages to press forward in terms of style and trend. What it comes down to is Giambattista’s ability to create a collection for Giamba that is completely different from what he’s done at his namesake ready-to-wear house and couture house. This versatility allows him to stay relevant and in demand in today’s “fast fashion” world. This is also what keeps Giamba relevant. No matter how much fashion changes, Giamba can still hang on to a trend like no one’s business, while still holding on to its personal aesthetic beautifully.
Like Gucci, Giamba’s collection is completely wearable, regardless of your personal style. Each outfit can be worn as a stand alone piece or be integrated into an outfit without taking away from the garment’s beauty. Key pieces in the collection include a sheer knit dress in white with ruffled bib and pie crust collar, a tart yellow mini dress with rose appliques and crop-top printed with a picture of the dessert worn overtop, a flouncy blush pink mini dress adorned with fan pleats and floral applique, a beautiful pair of printed flared leg trousers combined with a blush pink embroidered bomber jacket, and long sleeved romper covered in champagne pink sequins topped off with an embroidered denim vest worn overtop.
Au Jour Le Jour
Don’t be fooled, this brand may have a french name but designers Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez have made Au Jour Le Jour an Italian staple in only 2 years! The brand is known for its somewhat outlandish take on fashion, but that’s the beauty of it. Au Jour Le Jour doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. It’s outlandish fashion for outlandish people. It’s fashion created for all the eccentrics out there who aren’t afraid to wear something that may be deemed tacky to others. This season, Au Jour Le Jour created a ruffle and sequin paradise. A feast of excess for the eyes. The jarring florals, the stark whites, metallic sequins, bold citrus colours, gingham, and deep blacks all come colliding toward one another in the most glorious cacophony of colour and texture. Now this collection may not be a hit in everyone’s book, but if one looks closely and pulls apart the collection, they’ll find that every piece in the collection is beautifully wearable. Even if the styling and pairing of the garments may seem completely ludicrous, if worn individually, the collection takes on a simple and elegant persona that it otherwise wouldn’t have if worn straight off of the runway. Another wonderful trick designers Mirko and Diego have up their sleeves this season is the understanding of this year’s trends. The collection boasts some of the smartest and most tasteful uses of Victorian-influenced silhouettes and urban sportswear we’ve seen throughout fashion month. The layering is also sneakingly on trend, but it isn’t the first thing you’d notice when looking at this collection.
Through all of its loud colour and boisterous styling, Au Jour Le Jour is another collection at MFW that somehow manages to create outfits that are absolutely perfect the way they are and absolutely perfect when pulled apart. Standout looks in the collection are a ruffled sleeve gingham mini dress, a floral patterned shirt dress worn with a lemon yellow skirt underneath, a spaghetti strap floral blouse worn atop a white button down shirt and ombre green sequined skirt, a light-as-air bell sleeve mini with floral embroidery, a denim spaghetti strap dress worn over an oversized white crew neck and black maxi skirt, and a wonderfully catastrophic red windbreaker worn over a mustard yellow and bubblegum pink shirt dress.
Who said you couldn’t mix Hansel and Gretel, Sailor Jerry, beatnik poets, and the Sugar Plum Fairy into one collection? This season, Vivetta Ponti created a collection that mixes some of the most unusual inspirations with this year’s fashion trends. On one hand we saw the delicate innocence of fairytale embroidery on almost every outfit (a la Hansel and Gretel) while on the other we saw nautical influences via the sailor caps, the simple and sweet silhouette of 50’s and 60’s poetess, topped off with sugary pastels and light as air ruffles that would make any prima ballerina jealous. Now most designers wouldn’t dream of basing their collections off of so many themes, but Ponti doesn’t seem to mind. Her effortless silhouettes make the models look right at home in her outfits. The additions of modern touches, like leather jackets and cutouts ground the entire collection, making it relevant to what a modern fashion forward woman would want.
Unlike some of the other collections on the list, Vivetta does have a few outfits that would probably be better off left as a conversation piece rather than an outfit, but the majority of the collection does have a strong level of wearability. The overall best looks from the show were a see through white frock adorned with floral applique and topped off with a beautifully embroidered black leather motorcycle jacket, a ¾ length – bell sleeved mini dress in floral pink, a dainty black slip dress worn over a white shirt, a pair of lime green culottes paired with a forest green leather jacket, and an embroidered red leather jacket worn over a white pie crust collar shirt and powder blue midi skirt.
If someone told you panniers would come back into fashion, would you believe them? This season at Marni, Consuelo Castiglioni created an interesting statement. Consuelo added oversized pockets onto a variety of garments for her ss2017 collection. This created a silhouette that puffed out at the sides, almost like modern day panniers. However, unlike their useless predecessors, Castiglioni’s pockets create a stylistic rhythm that works well with the utilitarian theme of the collection. The transition from stark white to black creates an aesthetically pleasing flow that allows the viewer to see the collection transition from one idea to another. Marni has always been at the forefront of contemporary Italian design, but recently Consuelo has taken her brand far beyond what many of her peers in the fashion industry are doing. Rather than creating her own personal spin on a trend, Consuelo is now able to conjure up her own. Her collections at Marni are the stepping stones for things to come in contemporary and minimalist fashion. Her use of volume creates a silhouette that hasn’t been seen on the runway as of yet (or at least in a very long time) However, Castiglioni doesn’t rely solely on her strangely alluring pockets to create a standout collection. The entirety of the collection presents a sense of understated and militaristic glamour. There isn’t any need to add jarring colour combinations or excessive add-ons in design. Consuelo understands what her collection is, she understands what her client wants. She understands that any more than what’s already been done would be a waste in her clientele’s eyes and anything less would be a gross injustice to her loyal audience. One of the most interesting aspects of the collection is how effortless everything appeared to be. It didn’t matter if a coat had elongated sleeves or pannier pockets, or if a knit dress had a knot of fabric at the waist. Every outfit seemed to carry the same weight as the last. Nothing felt suffocating or overpowering. And it was this strange sense of lightness that helped tie the entire collection together. However, Castiglioni’s collection was the only collection on this list that would be difficult to wear if pulled apart. And that isn’t because the pieces are unattractive to look at when separated. It merely comes down to the fact that everything was designed to fit perfectly into one another. Each piece was carefully designed to complement one another and create a unified story. But that doesn’t mean the collection can’t be mix and matched or paired with pieces from another brand’s collection. It just means a little more thought has to be put in when wearing Marni’s designs; you can’t just throw them on and run out of the door. There’s a science to what Castiglioni does.
Marni had many glorious moments for its spring 2017 collection. Many of the looks and silhouettes are definitely going to be seen in collections to come from other designers for fall. Apart from the success of the collection as a whole, the best looks on the Marni runway had to be a white coat dress with exaggerated side pockets worn over a pair of white trousers, a cherry red jacket with exaggerated side pockets worn over a matching skirt, a patterned knit dress in khaki, red, and white, a black and white striped coat dress with oversized pockets, and a printed long sleeve dress in hues of brown, black, white, and coral.