“Courage is being scared to death – and saddling up anyway!”
Trust Milan Fashion Week (MFW, or rather MMFW to denote Men’s) to bring back a flood of childhood memories about horses and cowboys, a passion while growing up and showcased in vogue before.
Antonio Marras’ show started off with the dancing cowboys, a frolicking array of dapper men showing their moves and creating a hoot in the wild against haystacks in the backdrop. Clad in rather American jeans but with truly European spirits, it had but a hint of what I’d seen at NYFWM last season. Of Sardinian roots, the atmosphere was described as “Spaghetti Western”. For when Italian movies needed to show the retro, machismo cowboys of the Midwest equivalent, they would shoot in Sardinia, San Giovanni di Sinnis.
The collection itself was not just plaids and denim. Marras juxtaposed embellishments with tartan, stripes with camo prints, denim with fur, and used my favorite floral motif in velvet and lace textures atop dark hued jackets and trousers, creating an almost Tim Burton style look.
I particularly liked the embroidered patchwork shirts, much more so than the comeback of the dungaree. Given that it was fall, dominant colors were dark red, military green, silvery greys and dark yellows. Similar to J Lindeberg of NYFWM, the handkerchief and pocket square or hat additions created effortless statements that could transcend mainstream fairly quickly. For the quirky men, accessories and male veils were revealed too.
My favorite theme was that of juxtaposition: plaid with checkered, patchwork denim and blazers with mismatched cardigans and shirts. Almost like a rebellious Desigual in ways! I loved the peak of my favorite leopard print with oxymoronic plaid, almost like a modern age Toy Story.
Showing a quirky side, Marras also chucked in Scottish kilts, oversized coats and eternity scarves. The collection thus grew much beyond the traditional cowboy look and became one which modern men could pull together from disparate and juxtaposed outfit pieces to create something unique.
On disparate notes, Missoni’s runway was no less Americano in its very setting.
One look at Missoni’s runway setting in the University area was an indication of fall. With gorgeous golden yellow leaves glittering through a Gothic hallway was the ambiance that transformed into a runway.
Missoni’s creative director Angela Missoni took inspiration from nature, focusing on the collaboration of art and nature. Labeling the collection as an ode to a trek in the Himalayas, it was laced with more American, western hues of orange, rust, reds, and the general eye candy that warmed you up.
In contrast, there were darker color schemes too, contrasted with the dark and indigo hues of the sky. As the models trampled through the dry leaves with slick custom made boots in Missoni designs, leaving a discerning and real crunch behind, attendees snuck beneath treasured blankets that accompanied the clever wooden seating arrangement.
The looks encompassed mostly knitwear with excessive details, gratifying the Delhi Fashion Week bling hangover and craving in me. From heavy sweaters with fringes and sways, sweeping capes and blanket coats, tassels, mirrors and patchwork embroidery, the look was a generally loose fit one, that looked immensely comfortable.
Almost a contrast to the rather casual ambiance, it was easy though to notice the details: silver embroidery on blue, golden on red, and a terrific array of tassels and ruffles, elevating the collection much beyond its collegiate Americano seeming visual. My favorites were the detailed studded, ruffled, tasseled, patchworked horizontal striped sweaters.
In terms of accessories, garment bags and backpacks were by Porter of Japan, blending into the hiking theme, and reminiscent of my own adventurous, akin to glamorous hiking escapades.
Who knew that a trip to Italia would remind me of my own American vibes? Thankfully, amplified in the glamorous quotient and far from the overrated “simple” trend, I enjoyed the details, and have yet to spot out several of them. Thanks to Catwalk YourselfCatwalk Yourself and Essential Homme for visual too.
Cheers to Milan, a staple of inspiration in Italian fashion.
What’s next for this cowboy?
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