Slick suiting is not the only thing on offer at Milan Fashion Week, axiomatic, of course at Gucci, but seen across the board. MSGM’s Massimo Giorgetti – and now creative director at Emilio Pucci – is responsible for showing off its youthful and fun side: two words that, it’s fair to say, haven’t always been associated with the fashion capital.
Backstage at the MSGM menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Milan, by Anna Palermo for NOWFASHION
Today he was living it large, techno-style, for a “beach disco” of a collection that riffed on teenage dressing circa the late Eighties and early Nineties and championed wearing wallets clipped like bags to one’s person (a similar thing came later at Fendi, too). If men had “it” bags, these would be them. It was cool and clubby, a little bit wonderfully teenage awkward in its styling: oversized T-shirts over long-sleeved T-shirts, all tucked into stone-washed jeans. The MTV generation (do millennials even know what that is?!), Beastie Boys and Pet Shop Boys, and digital distortion were all flagged as references, a blend that could have gone awry but Giorgetti does have a knack for making a mash-up work.
Backstage at the Giorgio Armani menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Milan, by Anna Palermo for NOWFASHION
He wasn’t the only one to take the effects of digital into consideration: style stalwart Mr Armani looking to “the digital imprint” for his Emporio line. And so a thumb print materialised on a big screen, like the one you create when you smoosh it into your iPhone, and then transpired out onto T-shirts, as prints and embroideries. It was all very smart as you expect and there was quite the hat selection on show; ankles, too, were out in force, but infused with that younger Emporio angle. What can often be overlooked with an Armani collection is that, broadly speaking, men get a little scared by fashion and this plays to that strength. It reassures them. Men want fashion they can trust and that they will always find in Mr Armani.
Backstage at the Etro menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Milan, by Anna Palermo for NOWFASHION
They can also find it at Etro. Because the brand today showed off its Spring/Summer 2017 wares on “real” people. OK, so they were, in fact, Italy’s finest – an architect, a gypsy poet, actor, classical dancer, and tattoo artist among them (and Pulp's "Common People" blaring out perhaps didn't relay the point quite as eloquently as intended!). But the point was that the clothes work beyond the catwalk, which is often the ongoing issue: does it work in real life? Clearly it did for this cohort of guys, the show seemingly turning into one big bromance of hugs and high-fives. The clothes? Didn’t so much notice them, but then – like good accompanying or background music – you shouldn't necessarily notice it all that much. It should just work, slot in. That’s when you know it’s a success – or made the jump from catwalk to real life.
Backstage at the Fendi menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Milan, by Anna Palermo for NOWFASHION
Topic-shifting back to the beach vibes with Fendi. Huge big bags with huge big smiley faces in that Fendi critter manner, they came with each look – most of which was comprised of stripes and sliders and cool workwear jackets, of which we've seen loads in Milan. Sometimes varsity, sometime bomber, sometimes with a smart addition of a collar but always with this hybrid of Americana preppy and an I'm-off-to-work aesthetic. It was a cheerful, slick, and cool collection – literally with a pool planted in the middle of the catwalk. These were also the best beach bags we've seen.