Best shows from MMFW FW18: Diesel Black Gold, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni and Versace

Best shows from MMFW FW18: Diesel Black Gold, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni and Versace

Milan Men's Fashion Week

Text: Norman Tan

Diesel Black Gold does Navajo, Dolce & Gabbana elevates eveningwear, Marni celebrates the beauty in chaos, and Versace rocks sexy excess

Norman Tan reports direct from Milan Men's Fashion Week with daily audio reviews of his favourite collections. Simply click play and listen to him provide his fresh take of all the runway action — from emerging trends, hottest looks, to candid moments that can only be caught by a person attending the shows. Enjoy!

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Designer: Andreas Melbostad
Synopsis: A Navajo print heavy collection that drew inspiration from the Aztecs. Models sporting thin hair braids accessorized with beads — with a fake facial tattoo here and there — strutted out in woolen hooded ponchos worn over black leather trousers, shearling camel coats matched with fringed suede moccasins (which had us thinking of Visvim), and my personal favourite, leather motorcycle jackets emblazoned with geometric Navajo embroidery or appliqued with white and turquoise beading. Question: When is cultural appropriation okay? When is it going too far? Either way, a great 'styling show' for the directional offshoot of the mainline Diesel brand. 

Designer: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana
Synopsis: It was another #DigitalMillenial runway in the Metropol — we're talking digital influencers the likes of Cameron Dallas, Rafferty Law, Oliver Cheshire et al — but this time marched out under a baroque backdrop with the word's 'KING'S ANGELS' inscribed above the central gate. Straight off the bat, with Rihanna's soulful track 'Stay' setting the pace, it was a more melancholic Dolce & Gabbana than we have seen in recent seasons. And this mood translated into elevated eveningwear on the runway — but with the Dolce & Gabbana twist for the ostentatious. Highlights include velvet suits with bedazzled shawl lapels, brilliant baroque brocades slathered on coats and jackets (many in romantic floral motifs), and silk robes crafted into suits and finished with velvet slippers. With the show lasting over 20 minutes (most shows are usually half that duration) it was a large collection. When the models finally came out for the finale, they had to stand on the stairs leading into the audience in order to accommodate everyone, thereby effectively blocking the fashion media from leaving the premises.

Designer: Francesco Risso
Synopsis: It's said that there is a thin line between genius and madness. Francesco Risso explored this precarious relationship between brilliance and being plain old bonkers by using homelessness as his vehicle to deliver a crazy beautiful collection marked by the seemingly random fusion of exploded check duffle coats with colourful zipped gum boots, multi-patterned rainbow blankets pulled over shoulders like capes, and patch pocket safari suits with painted monkey and squirrel motifs. All this played out on a concrete pebble runway with seats haphazardly constructed from objects found in a junk yard: Wooden boxes, speakers, even a discarded toy giraffe. It was as if Risso was saying, "Anything can be fashion". The homeless reference was given the extra push with models scattered around the venue, slouching on designated front row seats with the audience, before taking to the runway when the show began. What a refreshing and grounded take on fashion in an industry that is often aloof and exclusive.

Designer: Donatella Versace
Synopsis: The rumour mill will have you believe that Riccardo Tisci (of Givenchy fame) is secretly designing for Versace menswear. And, if you consider the statement sneakers, bold studded boots (with the Versace Medusa motif cutout in the heel), and golden ropes used as belts on the black evening ensembles that closed the show, there are definitely arguments in favour of the theory. But, on the other hand, consider the neon bright baroque tops and trousers, collegiate slogan scarves festooned around the neck, and the sexy use of plaid (how about that mini skirt?), then you realise it's still very much Donatella. The soundtrack was a visceral remix of 'Versace on the floor' by Bruno Mars as a pop counterpoint to INXS's 'You're Unbelievable', which in essence, really summed up the collection: Sexy excess.

Listen to all our audio reviews of the best menswear shows from Milan Men's Fashion Week fall/winter 2018.