DOLCE & GABBANA: SICILIAN WESTERN
The set: Which one of these is not like the other: A backdrop of cacti and tumble weeds, a runway of desert sand and gravel, or an iPad installation mounted on steel scaffolding? Such was the playful irony of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's FW16 menswear show.
Let's get digital: Held at the Metropol in Milan — and entitled 'Sicilian Western' — it was a collection for the digital age as models strutted out with iPads in hand; ever so casually taking video selfies with the crowd which was then live-streamed on large screens positioned about the audience à la Dolce & Gabbana's SS16 womenswear show last September.
The collection: Inspired by iconic "Spaghetti Westerns" directed by Sergio Leone in the 1960s — movies that brought Italian cinema to an international audience — the collection was Western apparel as interpreted through Sicilian eyes. Western references came through in the form of double-denim ensembles appliquéd with red roses and cowboys on bucking horses, black double-breasted coats sequined with revolvers and horse-shoes, and silk square scarves nonchalantly tied around necks. Sicily? Flat caps paired with loafers, svelte three-piece suits, and the closing procession of 79 male models (mostly Italian) wearing silk pyjamas. All-in-all, the silhouette was still identifiably Dolce & Gabbana (slick and tailored), but augmented with a Wild West twist.
Overheard from the front row: "Chewbacca is now a style icon" — in reference to the statement full-length fur coats and shearling trousers.
MARNI: DECONSTRUCTED EASE
The collection: Favouring a design aesthetic that prioritised movement and ease over rigidity and ostentation, designer Consuelo Castiglioni sent out refreshed classics that flowed loosely around the body with minimum interventions. Iconic pieces took the form of a gathered-neck white shirt with red floral motifs and buttons that closed on the back (look 3); a burgundy V-neck blouson with two large patch pockets worn over an ochre floral shirt and tucked into black trousers (look 8); and that decadent Astrakhan fur coat paired with a castorino fur stole (look 27).
Investment pieces: The cavalcade of covetable coats. In particular, our eyes were drawn to the concrete grey number loosely fastened at the hip (look 2); the blue single-breasted iteration simply adorned with two chest pockets (look 5); and that striking double-breasted pinstriped coat cut with a vertical drape (look 16).
I spy: Let's talk about those leather sneakers. Deliciously available in ruby red, ivory and caramel, we recommend the high-tops that come with a broad fabric mesh strap styled over the rubber cap-toe. #Want.
Something you might have missed: The gentle contour created by single-pleat trousers neatly gathered at the ankle with a button.
VERSACE: FUTURISTIC SPORT
Lights, camera, action: Housed in the futuristic Mico Milano Congressi — the largest convention centre in Europe — the show started with models running around the angular catwalk in glow-in-the-dark active wear; setting the stage for a fast-paced collection marked by the liberal use of metallics, skull-tight beanies and slicked back hair.
Buro Loves: Donatella Versace's colour palette progression. Full looks started in grey before transitioning to crisp white, baby blue, navy and deep plum, followed by pink-lilac with accents of camel, before ending in ebony. It was a visual narrative that held together a diverse (and generally athletic) collection that ranged from classic single-breasted suits and oversized roll-necks to fur-trimmed metallic bombers and a white trucker jacket adorned with industrial buttons and parts.
Favourite look: The rebellious, yet sartorial, swag as embodied by the wide-lapel double-breasted coat in look 44 (dissected with a pink-lilac upper contrasted against a dark plum lower) worn with a cable-knit sweater, purple beanie, and anchored with chocolate-brown leather trousers and sneakers.
One-to-watch: The growing popularity of infusing technology with apparel to record the runway from the model's perspective. For Versace, this took the form of GoPros strapped to the front of the model's torso like a bold accessory; inadvertently creating both a fashion and social statement about the state of our digitally connected society.
For all coverage of Milan Men's Fashion Week, click here.
To revisit London Collections: Men, click here.