BOTTEGA VENETA: ASSURED ELEGANCE
A new vision: "It is very calm, very assured," said Tomas Maier of his fall/winter 2016 menswear collection. "This man knows what he's doing. There are no tricks, nothing ostentatious. It is very discreet, but if you look closely, it is very special." And what ensued laid claim to that focused vision: Streamlined ensembles with an unwavering eye for cut and proportion.
The collection: Maier started his show with chic monochromatic ensembles — a black knit T-neck smartly layered under a double-breasted jacket in Nero cashmere (look 1), a sinuous black scarf trailing from a fluttering silk Crepe de Chine shirt (look 4) — before transitioning to petrol blue leather coats (one worn by the incongruously handsome Clement Chabernaud) and needle-punched checked wool blazers in moss green, grey and mustard. The leitmotif? Long and lean lines by way of elongated trousers and shin-grazing coats.
Buro loves: All the leather trenches and trilbies. And when those two worlds collided, as it did in look 13, with the trench collar flicked up at the neck and the hat worn low on the brow, it conjured up an alluring masculine elegance.
Accessories: Favourites were, hands-down, the lightweight matte calfskin tote bags supple enough to be sealed with a zip, and the document holders upgraded in crocodile.
CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION: HIGH SHINE
Madness and mayhem: It's an interesting time in fashion with brands tapping into the star power of digital influencers to generate hype and attention for their collections. Flown in just to attend the Calvin Klein show, teenage social media star, Cameron Dallas (with 9.1 million followers on Vine and 9.5 million on Instagram) was causing a bona fide Beatles-esque ruckus outside the show as thousands of screaming teenage girls crowded the entrance and chanted, "We love you Cam-er-on! We love you Cam-er-on!" Crushed bodies, pubescent tears, and a nightmare for attendees trying to enter and leave the venue.
On the runway: Italo Zucchelli presented his latest vision of the Calvin Klein man — that is, opening looks of white and camel denim; oversized parkas and coats energised with the high shine of silver, gold or rose-gold metallic foil; and a closing procession of male and female models (including the likes of Mariacarla Boscono and Gemma Ward) decked out in an arsenal of black suits worn clean on the skin (sans shirt).
Something you might have missed: Gold earrings and necklaces modeled after industrial screws and bolts designed to elevate the masculine sensuality that permeates every Calvin Klein offering.
MISSONI: ESCAPE TO THE HIMALAYAS
Set location and design: Held in the open courtyard of The University of Milan, with the sun quickly dipping towards the horizon, it was a cold and blustery golden hour that welcomed the Missoni show. The autumn leaves that lined the runway swirled with each gust of wind, but prudently, each guest was provided with a Missoni blanket to stave off the chills.
The inspiration and collection: The remote and mountainous territory of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. Designed for the stylish adventurer, Angela Missoni applied the famous house zig-zag knit onto hiking boots and backpacks, sent out suits with a degradé coloured weave, and reissued the ubiquitous field bomber and jacket in a plush ochre suede. However, the item on everyone's lips? The knit sweaters intricately embellished with ornamental coins and fringe detailing.
I spy: The stylish twin-set of a matching chunky knit cardigan and beanie — aquamarine and cobalt blue (look 22) and ochre and tangerine (look 33).
SALVATORE FERRAGAMO: GEOMETRIC PATTERN PLAY
Inspiration: Creative director Massimiliano Giornetti cited a pair of Andy Warhol's paint-splattered brogues as the starting point for his collection, drawing from the mix of formality and nonchalant artistry found in the shoes to develop a wardrobe that played on emotion and experience.
The collection: Creative pattern mixing and a kaleidoscopic explosion of colour. Continuing with the same decidedly 70s vibe of his previous SS16 offering, Giornetti sent out multi-geometric knit sweaters in orange and teal (look 18); paired a bright yellow duffle coat with paint-dripped chestnut Oxfords (look 11); and, our favourite look, dreamt up a grey-and-black fur coat complemented with a knit sweater sporting the same kinetic chevron pattern (look 7).
Take-home styling tip: It was all about framing the face with bold pattern play layered at the neck. Consider the dressed up dandy proposed in look 26 — a herringbone turtle neck worn under a silk shirt and tie (both in the same check print) layered under a double-breasted suit in a Prince of Wales check.
PRADA: ALL AT SEA
The theme: High fashion on the high seas. Trust Miuccia Prada to present a collection that, thematically and stylistically, stood head-and-shoulders above the existing crop of menswear brands at #mmfw by virtue of its originality. Sailor caps with anoraks, capes and overcoats? Why not!
Style and substance: As with every Prada show, the way that the clothes were styled and presented was just as important as the clothes themselves. For spring/summer 2016, it was the punk-laced spirit of knit sweaters tucked into the front of trousers and leather blousons pulled off shoulders. But for fall/winter 2016, it was the tilt of a sailor cap, oversized shirting loosely held together with a wayward placket and, most strikingly, the contrast of mismatching (and layering) hoods and collars of different patterns, textures and fabrications (including fur) against the base material of the main garment; be it a blazer or a blouson. For example, the wide peak lapel collar in tan fur worn as a detachable collar-cum-necklace over a check Mackintosh in look 23, and the exaggerated white shirt collar hanging over the back of a double-breasted black pea coat in look 30. Brilliant.
The soundtrack: Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave's seminal ballad, Where the Wild Roses Grow, hauntingly remixed to capture the collection's undercurrent of wistful longing.
Overheard from the front row: "We loved it as always," said Miroslava Duma backstage, while an equally enthused Lena Perminova nodded silently in agreement. "Mrs Prada is a genius."
For all coverage of Milan Men's Fashion Week, click here.
To revisit London Collections: Men, click here.