There is an air of optimism and recovery about the Italian fashion industry, which after Florence Pitti Uomo, switched the fashion spotlight to the catwalks of Milan Fashion Week. The Fall/Winter season 2011-2012 event presented 87 different collections in every corner of the city, starting for the first time from the Fashion Tube of the Giureconsulti Palace and bearing witness to the desire for redemption of national and international fashion, on the wave of the positive results from the 79th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo.
Italian style lifts its head high and proudly displays its talent in terms of elegance, quality and true luxury. The desire to rediscover its own roots turns into a soul-searching experience which is never dull, but full of values. And here we are on the catwalks of Milan Fashion Week which, even with a reduced schedule, can’t possibly be missed, especially for the big names who participate: from Corneliani to Roberto Cavalli, Zegna and Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Iceberg and Carlo Pignatelli, everyone is ready to offer the worldwide press and international buyers, their own idea of the “new man” who, on the catwalk as in life, wants to convey a structured image of himself, not in the least uncertain, even when he wears sweaters.
A profound man, both technologically and in terms of values: it is a fact that fashion can not disregard technology, from the comfort of clothing inspired by the world of sports, to the jersey now used as a real fabric, all covered with a hint of irony.
The real star of this year’s edition of Milan Fashion Week was the coat: light or enveloping, knitted or made of fabric – on the catwalks of Milan it triumphed in all possible variations. The revolution, once again, lies in reinventing it as a stronghold of the male wardrobe, and, looking at the results, Ermanno Scervino did it very well, sending a hound’s-tooth coat lined with faux fur down the catwalk, or a tailored knitted coat, to become the main garment for next winter. The same philosophy prevailed on Ennio Capasa’s catwalk, the designer of Costume National, who offers a sartorial rebel image balanced between eccentricity and technological innovation: the jacket, seamless and assembled by laser, for a man who feels freer and has a more dynamic approach to life than the current formal tradition.
On the Emporio Armani catwalk, assured and refined young models parade well wrapped in slim and rigorous coats, designed to give an alternative to the jeans-jacket combination. Traditional without being conventional is Bottega Veneta’s coat, slim and in the shades of cream and rust; an eccentric dandy is Vivienne Westwood’s proposal, as British as ever in this collection, in honor of William and Kate’s wedding, while it is a graphic coat with contrasting sleeves that is proposed by Marni.
There are many versions of the most popular style, the slim, dashing figure. The only one out of sync is Miuccia Prada who offers a personal vision of the coat, exceptionally oversized, for a very free and personal fashion.
Designed for the comfort of the driver, is the “driving coat” by Fay in water-repellent fabric, with detachable gilet, vents and strategic gussets to facilitate movement. As for colors, the most popular are gray with camel, or blue and cocoa and the whole palette of greens and blues, up to the emerald of Ferragamo which combines rigor and modernity in a play of detail, contrast and combinations. Most original is the explorer of Carlo Pignatelli, where the tartan colors of the Scottish countryside reign, and men wear kilts and colorful jackets, and carry their sons on their shoulder inside a backpack, just to reaffirm every father’s rights.
However, what are the new trends in the men’s wardrobe for next winter season 2011-2012? Let’s have a look at the most important designers and fashion houses!
A man who looks less impassive and more emotional, less abstract than the world around him, and above all, dressed in gray, the symbol of manhood par excellence, never dull because it has a touch of color: that is how Giorgio Armani, who gave the closing show of Milan Fashion Week, has reinterpreted the more traditional male uniform, playing with layers and fabrics. The Armani man loves flannel, satin and velvet for fall-winter 2011-2012, he abandons the arrogant pinstripe suits of the classic style, preferring clean and simple suits, sober, modern coats, pants with double pleats and double-vent jackets that caress the body.
More ironic is the male image proposed by the twins Dean and Dan Caten for Dsquared, where the runway look is inspired by the American pioneers of the second half of the 19th century and models parade in worn-out jeans, aprons and jackets with leather inserts.
Men love very short jackets and lace-printed jeans, are daring enough to wear red damask and appreciate relaxed pants with a low crotch, rediscovering the fabric of traditional tailoring and the harmony of the pinstriped double-breast with a contemporary allure: this is the masculine style of Dolce & Gabbana, who closed their show with the vitality of a platoon of models wearing jeans and black velvet jackets with bow ties. The famous duo breathes a new aesthetic : fewer caps and more jaunty hats, big eyewear for the sexy scholar look, tank tops a little wider, and here too, lots of gray mixed with red, eggplant, bordeaux and the classic black.
Raf Simons for Jil Sander still works on colors and reaffirms himself as the artist of the minimalist parka and of the most desirable knitwear, like Frankie Morello who, to underline the hand-made artisan production, leaves the knitting needles stuck in the sweaters.
At Cavalli fashion house, Roberto makes way for his son Daniele who, following his father’s lessons, puts a very sensual man on the catwalk, with narrow-shouldered jackets and wide revers, pants which are sexy at the thigh and straight at the ankle, jersey shirts with the archival prints of the maison, camperos style boots and a lot of leather, even for suits. For the evening, a blue suit silk shirt or a black one with shiny revers and patterns. To give a touch of color, scarves and foulards in shades of burnt umber, gray scale or in the classic blue and white.
A completely different atmosphere at Donatella Versace launches man into a high tech-tailoring dimension, appealing to 3D both in the knitwear and in the leather, especially black.
On Gucci’s catwalk the style of the 1970s can be breathed, with Frida Giannini proposing men with slim suits and flared pants, pink shirts and checked ties worn with tight sweaters, even under a tailored suit in an undefined shade of brown.
This year, as never before, a great importance was placed on accessories to complement the masculine look: many hats, especially made of felt and shrunken compared to those of past years, not so many scarves but a lot of pashminas, such as those attractively proposed by Giorgio Armani, portraying two Black and White faces; few ties, and those always very narrow, replaced by the very popular bow tie, which marks the biggest come-back for the coming winter season, and then a lot of bags, as though man is always travelling.
These are some of the numerous proposals presented at Milano Moda Uomo for next Fall/Winter season 2011-2012, which will update our men’s wardrobes: What is the look or the collection that has inspired you most? Send us your feedback, we will be happy to share with you the various ideas.