DA MAN - Style - - Report -

To­day, we live in the world of Instagram. At least most of us do. And a com­mon dream for mem­bers of this group— whether we ac­knowl­edge it or not—is to travel around the world and bask in the ex­cit­ing cor­nu­copia of cul­ture, fash­ion and what not. Of course, this be­ing the 21st cen­tury, this ideal doesn’t sound as far-fetched as one might imag­ine. Trav­el­ing is no longer some­thing re­served for respite, for pauses in what is con­sid­ered an or­di­nary life. It is, in­stead, a nor­mal part of life. To a cer­tain ex­tent, it is a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion of how our an­ces­tors used to roam the Earth. Now, we sim­ply travel for a more di­verse list of rea­sons—but we are con­stantly mo­bile, nev­er­the­less.

One way to man­i­fest that no­tion in fash­ion is through ap­ply­ing dis­tinc­tive eth­nic or tribal mo­tifs. Dolce & Gab­bana took this path in a rather ex­treme man­ner, hav­ing splat­tered its col­lec­tion with a va­ri­ety of Chi­nese cul­tural ref­er­ences, from pea­cocks and pago­das to white cranes, bam­boo and more. Yet, the styling was very worldly, so to speak. Think of blue silk tops and black crepe the chine pants—both em­bla­zoned with im­ages of bam­boo stalks and robins or jay­birds—paired with a ca­sual pair of stripepat­terned es­padrilles.

This sense of East-meets-West also tran­spired in Mis­soni’s of­fer­ings for the sea­son. In­sis­tent in its por­trayal of a glo­be­trot­ting Mis­soni man, mod­els wear­ing the brand’s out­fits strut­ted on a cat­walk strewn with flower petals. The col­lec­tion in­cluded a num­ber of In­dian-in­spired pieces, from eye- catch­ing Madras- checked scarves to ex­otic bead neck­laces— al­to­gether, these in­voked rec­ol­lec­tions of di­rec­tor Wes An­der­son’s “The Dar­jeel­ing Lim­ited.” The col­lec­tion’s real tour de force, how­ever, was the sar­to­rial tech­nique that made the Ikat-pat­terned suit for the open­ing look and the Madras- col­ored knit sweater pos­si­ble, not to men­tion the snug knit shoes.

Coin­ci­den­tally, Madras check also pulled the crowd’s at­ten­tion at Ermenegildo Zegna Cou­ture’s run­way. It wasn’t just the color or the plaid design that did this, but also its light­weight qual­i­ties—which cer­tainly piqued the in­ter­est of ex-head de­signer Ste­fano Pi­lati. In fact, light­ness and near weight­less­ness were among the el­e­ments that the sem­i­nal de­signer wanted to achieve in this par­tic­u­lar se­ries of cre­ations. The last part of the show un­veiled all-white out­fits, mostly de­con­structed as to dras­ti­cally re­duce the weight but not com­pro­mise the sil­hou­ette. These new “Bro­ken suits” were al­most see-through and moved with such flu­id­ity, thanks to the use of re­fined silk.

If light­ness was what Ermenegildo Zegna Cou­ture as­pired for this sea­son, wear­a­bil­ity and dura­bil­ity seemed to be Bot­tega Veneta’s theme. Ever so con­cep­tual, To­mas Maier raised the bar for sporty nu­ances in high fash­ion by craft­ing lux­ury ac­tivewear pieces. The hik­ing boots, moun­tain san­dals, weath­er­proof jack­ets and parkas— each is a trav­el­ready es­sen­tial. More­over, the Ger­man cre­ative di­rec­tor didn’t pick a cer­tain coun­try, lo­ca­tion or cul­ture for the set­ting of his col­lec­tion, but opted to de­pict na­ture in its en­tirety: It wasn’t just hills and moun­tains, as some selec­tions were per­fectly suit­able for leisure time at the coast.

The cheeky and fun Cana­dian twin de­sign­ers of Dsquared2 fol­lowed suit with their wide-rang­ing in­ter­pre­ta­tion of surf cul­ture. Board shorts were rein­vented in bright-hued leather; tank tops took on studs and fine mesh; shoes were strad­dled with thick laces, akin to hik­ing boots. A more in­trigu­ing sub­ject, though, was how the mod­els didn’t only use spray- on tans, but also wore Ja­panese tat­tooed body­suits. The fi­nale walk even had sev­eral mod­els strut in nearly see-through body­suits and scanty thongs.

The ocean as a back­ground also made an ap­pear­ance An­to­nio Mar­ras’ col­lec­tion. But what about ur­ban travel? How would one reimag­ine this par­tic­u­lar set­ting for the sea­son?

De­spite its well-guarded rep­u­ta­tion for min­i­mal­is­tic design, there was some­thing rather “ma­nip­u­la­tive” in Calvin Klein Col­lec­tion’s crafts­man­ship. The beau­ti­ful sil­hou­ettes of the suits eas­ily beguiled ob­servers into see­ing be­yond what meets the eye. The most vex­ing, and at the same time thought-pro­vok­ing, dis­play of crafts­man­ship which cre­ative di­rec­tor Italo Zuc­chelli in­fused into the col­lec­tion is the reimag­in­ing of sev­eral ma­te­ri­als. The denim was never just denim, but stone wash jacquard denim in­stead. He even did a


sweat­shirt made of this very ma­te­rial, but with a back cut re­sem­bling that of a denim jacket. There were also a num­ber of jack­ets and pants with Vel­cro strips, on which big pock­ets were slapped on—most likely a mod­ern in­car­na­tion of cargo jack­ets and pants. For this one, prac­ti­cal­ity trumped aes­thet­ics, which is in line with the ba­sic con­cept of ac­tive-wear.

If there is one ar­ti­cle of cloth­ing that has re­cently en­tered the gray area be­tween ac­tive- and lux­ury-wear, it is the biker leather jacket. This trav­el­ing es­sen­tial was ex­ten­sively re­mod­eled for the spec­tac­u­lar run­way of Philipp Plein, which fea­tured stunt bik­ers and car rac­ers along with rap­per Tyga. Brand am­bas­sador Lucky Blue Smith, wear­ing a stud­ded white jacket with black long sleeves and ripped jeans, led the pro­ces­sion of mod­els. A pro­fu­sion of leather and denim in strik­ing shades of black, red and white filled the show, be­fore it ended with a bang—a mon­ster car grind­ing a row of cars in the mid­dle of the au­di­ence.

Mi­lan Men’s Fash­ion Week spring/sum­mer 2016 had, of course, some note­wor­thy ex­cep­tions from the ris­ing ac­tive-wear trends. Etro toyed around with the idea of eggs in both shapes and pat­terns. It gave birth to the idea of but­ton-less suits and lapel-less coats with clean and smooth outer shapes—just like an egg. Gucci stayed in the gen­der-bend­ing zone, and dar­ingly bor­rowed un­trendy pussy bows, among other de­tails, that re­ally chal­lenged the no­tion of mas­cu­line styling. Last but least, Prada play­fully in­jected some boy­ish­ness to most of its looks: very short shorts with above-an­kle socks (a bit like a boy scout’s out­fit), cute white bunny and rocket graph­ics, and over­sized tank tops and big back­packs. Per­haps Mi­uc­cia Prada will be seen as a vi­sion­ary who moves away from youthori­ented fash­ion and in­stead ini­ti­ates a child-like styling move­ment. As with any­thing in fash­ion, only time will tell.

Back­stage at prada's run­way show op­po­site page clock­wise from top left ermenegildo Zegna Cou­ture's In­dian Madras coat; Dsquared2's luxury surf gear; Calvin klein Col­lec­tion's Vel­cro-ed jack­ets and pants; Mis­soni's Ikat pat­terned suit

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