Milan's Cool Club
While trends tend to be a thing of the past amid the changing landscape of fashion, one's spider senses can definitely start to tingle when there's a new mood or feeling being set. Sometimes it's something that’s already been there, it just needs a little more help to be put on the map and become visible. In Milan right now, that comes via a handful of brands and labels that, vibrant in aesthetic and tight in edit, are standing out and feeling fresh. Rising to the top like fashion flotsam they offer a viable answer to the inevitable editor to editor question - "What have you seen this week that you've liked?"
Now, here’s our answer:
Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo are the names behind the relatively new label Sunnei, which is out to celebrate "the Italian way of living" and for whom youth is the underpinning of their outlook. One certainly needs sunglasses to share it with them: this was a primary colourful and fun collection, but without any of the naivety or inexperience the aforementioned could potentially suggest. Following in the footsteps of MSGM is perhaps the best way to describe the feel but, as this was more in line with the artsy nature of Marni, it ultimately felt fresh, clean and contemporary.
Massimo Giorgetti has clearly caught the travel bug - as it would seem have a few other designers in Milan this season. Punchy bright shades and cool-tech jackets in boxy but cool styles - and a great jumper that was colourful by decoration of the words of colours e.g. "blue" stitched on in blue etc - made this youthful with a taste for adventure. Of course Giorgetti has long been putting the contemporary spark into the traditional Milanese scene, and his vibrant and fun aesthetic is a signature - this one hitting that nail on the head once more.
For his second menswear collection at the helm of Marni, Francesco Rossi did a good job and provided something palate-cleansing amid a week of repeats or question marks. Patchwork and mismatched cropped shirting and a slight dishevelled-ness created a character who seemed like he was attempting to turn up to an office but who was really better suited to an artist's studio. Colours clashed in the way that they should and has become de rigeur for the brand. And in its changing of hands, from founder Consuelo Castiglioni to Risso, the new designer seems to be pulling it out of the bag far more when it comes to his menswear offerings.
Oh Alessandro Dell'Acqua just how do you manage to nail that effortless thing so well? In a postcard-print and beach-vista collection, he took us to the sea for cool blue shades and sandy tones in wearable looks that wandered from utility and travel nods to looking nonchalant - one of the sweatshirts was in fact emblazoned with "nonchalance". Cap berets made for a jaunty addition and there were layered T-shirts and plaid for a hint of grunge but only a hint. This was a light and easy-breezy collection that at times echoed moments of Prada past and present too - clearly collars and clean cuts are also on the brain in Milan - but it left us with a mental shopping list, and a desire to be by the sea. Dell'Acqua knows how to do effortless in the most practical and cool and contemporary of ways.
There's always an artisanal strand that loops through the designs of Damir Doma; they feel arty and the designated wearer you know is a creative or conceptual sort. This was a whimsical collection but refined with it: not so artsy that it went twee and cliche but not so austere that it missed said point altogether. Silhouettes were amplified in sleeves and drawstring ties, draping off-piste and unexpected for something new and luxe in feel. Sportswear notes were the only thing that felt a little like they had hung around a little too long.