Italy is by far my favorite country in Europe, though my choices for cities may differ, as evident here or here. However, coming to fashion weeks, the sheer dazzle and demonstration of impeccable style and flavorful scenography always leaves me spellbound. Especially when the inspiration itself is traveling through Italy!
Although I had seen Stella McCartney‘s showcase in Paris, it was a double entendre of sorts to see it back in Milan for Milan Mens Fashion Week (MMFW), for she described it as a resort outing. I interpreted this as a resort vacay to my favorite country full of candy and eye candy. Spring, in her words, conjured more than just florals and the organic farm. Which is why, off of Corso Magenta, serving Aperol Spritz with pasta and pizza, there were Italian men playing games and bowling while guests ogled in glee. The outfits were a spring twist on the classic Italian dapper, with a mix of knitwear and streetwear, and womenswear with classic feminism with silk and broderie dresses. The irony was the boyish styles on the girls, with their loose fits and shoes and sneakers and coats, and a feminine twist on the men with their fitted and vertically proportioned tailoring. The menswear was also made from eco-friendly fabrics included organic cotton tops and recycled track suits. The favorite fits were the very sharply tailored suits with contrasting shirts and shoes and tux style pinstripes. Loose fit sweaters and joggers gave it a more upscale street aesthetic.
For womenswear, there were long and short dresses with fringes and asymmetric designs, made of silk, cotton and velvet. Volume was key here, either in the hems of dresses, the swoosh of the kaftan cardigans, the pantalons in multicolored hues and the jumpsuits. Much like a nature inspired outing in the lushness of Italy.
It was a tongue-in-cheek moment of comedy when I found out that Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM collection was inspired by his memories of tacky tourists that flocked to the Italian riviera and beyond, all summer long! Precisely one of the reasons, why despite the joys of the weather, I avoid European escapades (and really, any!) over summer and indulge all year long otherwise. Deriving his sensibility from the sophisticated rendition of Ibiza, Riccione, and masking it with the international inspirations and art from tourists, he exuded an 80s and 90s vibe in the penultimate menswear collection for spring. There were so many references to other nationalities that vowed with travel that I could almost play ‘guess the country’ with the sheer quantity of comical insertions! There were a severely large quantity of looks, owing to people’s excessive travels, a trait I could definitively relate to. There were volleyball style broad shirts with typography alongside silk shirts with prints of what one would find on medicine bottles, complete in rainbow hues and duplicate fonts! Graphics were clearly a mainstay, with palms and lemon trees transitioning into full on fruits and looms, perhaps alluding to snacks or the origins of the tourists. The looks were borderline Hawaiian, with Korean cartoon drawings taking full force on loose fit tees. It was hard to see if this was an 80s and 90s vibe, or more a modern hipster one, but nonetheless the sheer quantity of pieces worked well, even the return of baggy jeans and high top sneakers. I found out later that there was a collaboration with Roger Minick who photographs real American tourists, taken into some of the graphics too. Overall, it was a much needed shot of spunk that I could completely relate to, with or without the jibe at excessive travel!
Photos courtesy of WWD.