Milan Fashion Week Men’s AW23 witnessed the A-list set, retailers and fashion editors, proving that nothing can beat the allure of catwalk shows, with its red carpet, top models and powerhouse collections from some of the best luxury fashion brands tapping into Milan’s cultural diversity and cosmopolitanism. The power-packed schedule of the men’s ready-to-wear Fall Winter 2023-24 season, including heavyweights Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Missoni, Canali, Gucci, Prada, Dolce Gabbana, Fendi, Etro, Zegna and many, many more, is one of the most anticipated menswear showings in the fashion calendar. Take a look at some of the early men’s showings making headlines at the ongoing week -:
For Milan Men’s Fashion Week, Silvia Venturini Fendi focused on a relaxed, playful vibe… and cashmere. The showing was evocative of Studio 54 with disco ball lighting and that spirit was threaded throughout the collection with leather pants, sweaters slashed across the torso, asymmetric skirting over trousers, cashmere tracksuits and much more. The audience seemed to love the one-shouldered rib knit worn under a suit, pale shearlings sprayed with dark paint to give the appearance of long-worn leather and the way Silvia layered leather over felted, fringed cashmeres. The accessories were fabulous too, particularly a shearling bag crafted to look like the baguette. Per Vogue, “This was a collection that you could inhabit as a cocooning, swaddling, comforting hug that also allowed you to inhabit the Fendi-fashioned characteristics of a 1970s creature of the night, with varying degrees of balance on the conventional masculine/feminine scale. The second aspect—the night moves—came via Fendi’s hankering to recall her days of disco…”
Gucci’s first men’s show in the post-pandemic era was also the luxury fashion brand’s first after the departure of Creative Director Alessandro Michele last November. The collection was put together by the design team, many of whom have been at the house for years, and the show notes re-iterated, “Improvisation is an act of collaboration… a reflection of the individualities represented by the multifaceted creatives and craftsmen who inhabit the house of Gucci.” As the looks came out, it was clear that the collection was packed with basics with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. The highlight was oversized tailoring, five-pocket pants, skinny stone-washed jeans, slouchy knits, wide-shouldered overcoats, sheer mohair sweaters and striped rugby shirts. Editors left the showing, with the thought that each wardrobe staple had been modified in construction. At the core of the collection was an underlying message of individuality, particularly that of the design team whose members had come together to work on this collection in the absence of a creative director.
Emporio Armani at Milan Men’s Week FW23 reconfigured the traditional runway with a map of Milan on the round-ish catwalk. While some guests were seated near Lambrate, others were near Cagnola! That said, Giorgio Armani paid homage to the aviator, evident in the the goggles and aviator caps, The collection was heavy on trench coats, double-breasted pea coats, faux-fur lined outerwear, slouchy leather pants… basically, winter wardrobe staples in classic cuts. As the showing continued, the looks became edgier, particularly the velvet dinner jackets, sheer shirts, sequinned blazers, cashmere bombers and cropped leather bombers accessorised with harnesses. Per GQ, “Armani is all about easy elegance, egalitarianism, blurring the lines between the sexes–back in the mid-1980s Armani was already proposing for Emporio pieces to be worn by men and women alike, long before the modern notion of gender fluidity had ever been conceived. His clothes are elegant, timeless, unobtrusive… His work is akin to Italian rationalism, whose practitioners set out to create logical buildings–elegant in an understated way–that found an equilibrium between florid neoclassicism and the cold, antiseptic style of futurism.”
Per the fashion brand’s Instagram account, “This Emporio Armani FW 23-24 collection is a tribute to the 1930s aviator and his world, to the sophisticated severity and adventurous precision of his style, to the metallic glints of the planes and hangars. Silhouettes are varied: coats, trench coats, double-breasted pea coats and blousons are worn with cropped trousers, complete with boots and lace-ups that boast thick soles to mark every step. The rhythm of the patterns expands into everything else: even oversized T-shirts are made in the same wool as coats and trousers. Leather and knit are essential elements that add grit and comfort.”
To be continued…
I worked with Condenast India as Digital Editor and launched Vogue India’s portal. Four years later, I turned entrepreneur and launched my luxury portal www.explosivefashion.in. Perhaps it’s my vision and exclusive content that’s placed Explosive Fashion at the forefront of luxury: reporting from fashion weeks, collaborating with luxury brands, presenting royal families’ vision, championing talent, reviewing hotels and restaurants, writing on travel, heritage. My editorial is of a storyteller, the story of the person behind the brand.