MILAN (AP) – Milan’s menswear designers seem to have decided the answer, but the question remains: have the pandemic lockdowns encouraged men to embrace a more feminine silhouette, including skirts, minidresses and coats?
Milan fashion week of previews for next winter and fall continued for the second day on Saturday, with guests enjoying the pandemic norm of social distancing versus previous cramped shoulder-to-shoulder seating. The calendar was streamlined after the omicron variant began its rise in Italy last month, but the fact that live shows moved on was a sign of optimism after the digital-only January 2021 Milan Fashion Week.
Impatient fans again crowded the sidewalks outside the shows, hoping for a glimpse of Italian rapper Mahmoud from Fendi, or Machine Gun Kelly and girlfriend Megan Fox from Dolce & Gabbana.
As a rule, men’s collections on the Milan runways this season have so far conservatively slammed the color palette, leaving the risk to the silhouette.
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Fendi’s collection for next fall and winter has been infused with the sartorial discipline and elegance of the fashion house, with some welcome eccentricities to lighten things up. They included a leather aviator cap in the style of a Moroccan fez.
The muted color palette in gray, black and ivory with flashes of red seemed to suggest the collection was as usual, but then Silvia Venturini Fendi launched some striking silhouettes, starting with a men’s Bermuda with the tailoring and flow of a skirt, worn with transparent knee-highs and a two-tone pointed toe Mary Jane with buckle.
Leaning on femininity, voluminous and trapezoidal outerwear with wide and fluted sleeves built in crescendo with cute layered capes in black and white or ivory checks.
Accessories have never been exaggerated, even if tripled: bucket hat, shoulder bag and night bag lined up in perfect geometry. Fendi isn’t the first to put pearls on men, their cock collars anchored. The fashion house also continued the trend of tiny bags – forget your wallet and find a pocket for your phone – which men wore with chains.
While Fendi’s womenswear was taken over by British designer Kim Jones, who launched a lively collaboration with Versace, the menswear collection still bears the signature of Silvia Venturini Fendi, representing the third generation of Fendi.
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Machine Gun Kelly was the star of Dolce & Gabbana, making at least three wardrobe changes during the show and handing his jacket to Fox in the front row before performing at the end of the show. The rapper is known for his flamboyant clothes and no doubt found a lot to buy on the runway.
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Dolce & Gabbana’s matching puffer jackets and pants make the Michelin man look slim, in bubble gum pink or scribbled with the seasonal graffiti print. The heat was thus guaranteed that at least one model wore only branded briefs. As an alternative to the cold, there were abominable shaggy furs worthy of a snowman with matching boots and earmuffs.
The seasonal jackets have exaggerated shoulders, paired with leggings and worn with visor glasses and shaped sneakers. A silver sequin dress was scene-worthy, with thin eyeglass frames perched on the nose in a more atmospheric laser-fiction way than reading glasses. A bold graffiti-embellished streetwear ensemble was completed with a high blue knit beanie that gave a Marge Simpson vibe.
While the flash is as much a part of the Dolce & Gabbana repertoire as its tailoring, what was most unexpected were the men’s skirts. A tweed midi with a gold belt was worn with a ripped DG tee and leather collar. A black kilt had a DG sweater with graffiti scribbles. A shimmery pink to gold minidress or a long tunic, depending on your touch, has been paired with matching leggings.
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Nothing about this season’s skirt silhouette on the Milan menswear runways surprises the designers of London-based brand JordanLuca, which debuted in Milan.
“I think the menswear spectrum is so broad now,” said Jordan Brown, who launched the label with Luca Marchetto four years ago. “We are so post, post, post, what is men’s and women’s clothing.”
Bespoke kilts, some with tulle panels, are a staple of the season at JordanLuca.
“The problem with the kilt is that it’s 4 or 5 meters (yards) of fabric. He’s really technical, he’s an engineered garment. Why shouldn’t a man wear it? Folding, pleating, sewing. It’s pretty hard to do, ”Brown said backstage.
The collection showed a strong desire to be in the world, freed from the restrictions of the pandemic.
“The more we go back to physical shows, the more we feel we’re returning to our physicality, to our kind of human spirit, to that kind of gut instinct,” Brown said.