(L-R) Prada, Marni, Jil Sander, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Versace.



Get Up To Speed On Milan Men's Fashion Week

Today we said “ciao” to the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week, and “bongiourno” to capes for guys, tights worn as pants, and a whole new panoply of Gucci goodies that few humans can afford. Snoopy made a cameo; I got over my fear of capsizing (you’ll see what I mean); and by God, cheekbones were sharp. Lucky (Blue Smith) for you, we rounded up the highlights from some of our favorite shows here.

As one might expect, designers experimented and flirted with gender fluidity. At Marni, Consuelo Castiglioni offered up some alternatives to the classic button-down—ones that, like some women’s clothes (and as Castiglioni noted to the New York Times), men could not button themselves. All in all, the designer called it a nod to “dry romanticism,” and a strong display of outerwear.

Marni fall/winter ’16.

Then there’s Gucci, which, again, shattered the limits of possibility. With 60 looks in total, each one seemingly more multitudinous than the next, Gucci has redefined the luxury market—removing its cloak of inaccessibility and bringing it into the mass-market realm. Each collection seems to build on the next, taking all of its precursors with it. In addition to the requisite gender-bending display of boldly printed suits, pajama inspired silhouettes, frills, and ornate yet youthful embroidery, Alessandro Michele added some new elements: fringe details, Snoopy prints, playful cat ear angora knit hats, and trainers—dubbed the “Ace” sneakers. Perhaps most noteworthy were the new and improved plaid and jacquard versions of everyone’s favorite kangaroo fur Gucci slippers—inevitable fashion editor bait.

Gucci FW16.

As for Jil Sander, designer Rodolfo Paglialunga experimented with MA-1 jackets, which extended into jumpsuits and were reinterpreted as ski-friendly pants. The collection was largely awash in black, with matte black leathers in clean jackets, suits, and vests. There was something very androgynous about the totes, the fanny pack, the military references, and the vests—the latter of which were paired with sleeveless turtlenecks and revealed bare arms.

Jil Sander FW16.

On the other end of the spectrum were the hyper-masculine Versace and Calvin Klein collections. The Calvin Klein show—most memorable for the reams of charged-up adolescents that gathered outside for Internet star extraordinaire Cameron Dallas—remained firmly within the confines of conventional gender norms. The suit figured prominently—in assiduously tailored cuts, over bare skin, on a handful of commanding women, who also wore long underwear inspired bottoms featuring the classic Calvin Klein underwear waistband. Silver, gold, and rose gold foiled nylon showed up as thick waistbands, long undercoats, and coating flight jackets. The male models were as husky and strapping as ever, much like the ones that littered the Versace show, which was also conspicuously lacking in gender fluid designs. And yet, permeating this collection was a distinct futuristic, Blade Runner-meets-Iceman from Top Gun vibes, incorporating fiber optics as well as elements of both sportswear and classic suiting. Donatella Versace, according to the Times, called this collection “the essential of tomorrow,” and the man she was designing for a “pioneer.”

Versace FW16.

And finally, Prada. Always a tour de force of sartorial and design skill, Miuccia Prada engages with today’s world, imbuing her collections with topical urgency and thought-provoking modernity. The overall look was lackadaisical sailor—some, with the help of their torn, deconstructed shirts, looked as if they had languidly fallen off of a boat and somehow emerged looking impeccably tousled. In true Prada form, the collection was a nod to the world we live in and the people who inhabit it.

Prada FW16.

Artist Christophe Chemin was responsible for the ornate, detailed prints, some of which resembled impressionist, still life paintings, while others looked fit for a fine piece of china. Prada gathered references from the past in order to navigate the world today—with sailors readily available in case anyone got lost. “Immigration, famine, assassination, [and] pessimism” she said backstage, were among some of the issues she intended to tackle—just your average, everyday collection, really.

Stay tuned to Milk for more men’s fashion week coverage.

Images via Vogue Runway. Collage by Kathryn Chadason.

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