Show reviews: Highlights from MMFW fall/winter 2016 — Day 3
Milan men's fashion week
GUCCI: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
The set: The old train station of Scalo Farini was transformed from industrial brick walls and steel beams into a plush boudoir complete with red French-style architectural wall panels, crimson carpet, and velvet clad armchairs.
Purity of vision: Alessandro Michele stayed true to his new creative direction for the Gucci man — eccentrically androgynous, undeniably ornamental, and decidedly 70s — unafraid to reissue key looks from his previous collections in an attempt to create new signatures. Think: Tracksuits embroidered with lamé and offered in an array of colour ways and permutations (including bermudas) and the commercial hit of the fur lined horsebit leather slipper. While gender-fluidity continued to be a key theme — transgender American actress and model, Hari Nef, walked in a full-red crimson ensemble (look 31) — the collection was, on the whole, more 'masculine' than previous outings. Gone were the lace shirts and statement pussy bows from spring/summer 2016, and in their place, streamlined suits (only slightly flared at the ankle) worn clean on the skin, and straight-cut blue denim jeans.
Stand-out accessories: One would be remiss to not mention the knit beanies with ear flaps anchored by long plaid tassels. Patch worked and appliquéd with eyes and ears, there was a certain animalistic edge to the headgear — pulling up fantastical childhood memories of Where The Wild Things Are.
ETRO: STATE OF NATURE
The opening film: Directed by Kean Etro, a short film entitled 'State of Nature' introduced the inspiration for the show — the rustic wilderness. Wide panoramic shots of a forest ablaze in autumnal hues were spliced with close-ups of young dreamers exploring nature, all soundtracked to an enigmatic reading of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass before ending with a quote by Henry David Thoreau: "All good things are wild and free."
Quieter, not simpler: There was a perceptible shortage of the house paisley print (save for an over coat in look 19) as Kean proposed a fall collection of romantic plaids and checks offered in subdued deep blues, moss greens and earthy browns. The impeccable fabrication remained — supreme cashmeres, silky wools and iridescent jacquards — but crafted into soft-shoulder blazers and trousers with dropped crotches to suit the active adventurer, languid scarfs for a fluid new look, and thick sweaters featuring a single vertical cable knit for a rigorous new simplicity. But fret not, the wild side of the jungle was also catered for by way of leopard and tiger stripes on wool jackets and coats paired with lurid shades of purple, yellow and green suede trousers.
Killer soundtrack: Jamie N Commons & X Ambassadors' Jungle mixed with Woodkid's Run Boy Run had the models (and attendees) pulsating to its catchy high-octane back beat.
FENDI: PRIVATE LUXURY
The set: A runway and spiral staircase decadently plastered in fur (sparking fond memories of Ermenegildo Zegna Couture's show set earlier in the week) spoke of a well-suited playboy. Hollywood Hills mixed with good lashings of a rakish Bond.
Elevated loungewear: The opening look of a blue-and-grey checked fur robe paired with matching long trousers set the tone for the rest of the show: Loose and louche elevated loungewear. Trousers draped freely (breaking low on the ankle), sweaters were pulled long for a cosy homeliness, and fur reigned (this is Fendi, after all) in a plenitude of iterations that included a shaggy sheepskin coat with an easy 70s aesthetic (look 12), a luxurious mink perfecto jacket paired with grey check trousers (look 19), and a badass ivory fur coat worn with an elongated denim over-shirt (look 22).
Accessories: The commercial genius of fur backpacks bearing the new #FendiFace, oversized sheepskin tote bags paired with sheepskin bucket hats of the same hue (in the same spirit of the matching beanie and cardigan pairing seen at Missoni) and, destined to be a hit, fabulous fur slippers.
From the designer's lips: "I want the Fendi man to feel comfortable and at ease with the clothes," revealed Silvia Fendi backstage after the show. "The playful elements remind us to have a little bit of magic in everyday life — waking up and leaving your house — we all need a bit of fantasy."
For all coverage of Milan Men's Fashion Week, click here.
To revisit London Collections: Men, click here.