Burberry Prorsum finale at Milan Menswear week
Burberry Prorsum finale at Milan Menswear week

21 Jan. 2013

Milan Menswear: The future plays with contrasts

High-tech or cleanly bourgeois? Macro prints or plain blues, blacks or greys? Wearing tartan skirts or lace underwear under a blazer? Creativity has no limits even if - we hope – every person will opt for what suits them best.

Milan Menswear week held between 12 and 15 January showed the collection previews for F/W 2013/2014. The atmosphere was quiet because many Italian retailers were absent due to looking after their businesses, and managing the ongoing sales season. Techno-fabrics, fur and fur-details, coated coats, bright mohair knitwear, some reinvented classics and a few eccentric oddities will dominate the F/W 2013/2014 season.

Neoprene and neoprene effects featured heavily for coats and outer jackets. Coated knitwear or leather-like fabrics are a new must for Emporio Armani, Calvin Klein, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta and John Varvatos. Burberry offered translucent rubber coats in burgundy, camel or white. Leather or leather-like black details like sleeves, patches or collars characterised many collections. Furs often mixed with fluorescent elements characterised Dirk Bikkembers collection. An astrakan tuxedo version was seen at Gucci, long mutton coats characterised the Giorgio Armani collection. Other fur cots were at Etro whose main mood was - as he called it - “neo-primimitivist".

Etro F/W 13
Etro F/W 13
Macro prints and motifs are another must men will never do without.
Dolce & Gabbana opted for sacred macro images, often printed on shirts and tops, as well as incorporating tapestry like elements for jackets and scarves. Etro chose macro checks and paisleys for its coat linings. Moncler preferred regimental striped down vests and tartans mixed in different hues. Burberry offered animalier printed calf coats. Frankie Morello opted for home-inspired prints and decors often recreating wooden floor parquet motifs, as well as home-decor inspired. MSGN focused on geometric fluorescent prints, while Versace presented giraffe-fur-like macro prints and baroque patterns, within their silk and denim ranges.

Blue is the new black in menswear since so many blue outfits - for day and night - are the real must have. Blue can be worn from morning until night in most different materials - be it velvet, wool or nylon- as a new a modern urban twist trying to wake the market up from the usual uniform of black. As well as blue and black, often mixed int he same item at Varvatos, other must-have shades included burgundies and similar shades of red, and mixed these with grey. Also hot were ochre, oranges acid greens and light blue. These colours were especially popular for coats and mohair pullovers (as seen, for instance, at Gucci). Iceberg opted, instead for bold primary colour graphics in conjunction with a black or white base - be it in knitwear, belted blazers or reinterpreted futuristic styles.

Moncler F/W 13
Moncler F/W 13
Trousers received an edgier image with low-crotches and short ankles as seen at Costume National, often playing with lucid black surface materials, or as seen at Marni that mixes streetwear-inspired boxy silhouettes with technical material mixes of nylons and thick knits with fur details. Shirts were worn outside of trousers, micro-designs often mixed with Shetland pullovers and clean red, green or light blue coats and blazers, redesign a new bourgeois menswear as seen at Prada. Jewel buttons characterised a Gucci double breasted military-inspired Bordeaux coat while graphic lines and patterns characterise Alessandro Dell'Acqua's new licensed collection. Jet Set, the recently revamped upmarket sportswear brand opts for reinventing some of its historical motifs in new thick knitwear and functional jackets with printed silk inner linings. “Feminine" touches are around - either as leather pleated skirts or “pencil-like" skirts decorated with studs as seen at John Richmond, or as mixed tartan kilts of different lengths as seen at Moncler. A world apart is Versace's transparent black or white stretch lace underwear worn with blazers and knee-length coats.

Maria Cristina Pavarini

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