Esquire's Report From Milan Fashion Week SS14

Most Popular

Prada
Against a Rem Koolhaas designed set- depicting war helicopters hovering over a tropical paradise of palm trees and sunsets - Miuccia Prada explored the theme of nostalgia and its dark underbelly; the joy and excitement of foreign travel which, she said, is often tinged with sadness. 

Young men wore 40s style pinstriped, double breasted, peak lapelled jackets over silky shirts that bore the floral emblems of tropical islands such as Hawaii and Tahiti. Densely patterned short-sleeved sweaters were layered over contrasting patterned shirts in an artful clash.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Silk print bomber jackets were worn with wider, looser military trousers and thick-soled galosh style sneakers.  In a show of 48 looks, 12 were female - young, fresh faced - and wearing embellished flirty frocks of prints of the palm leaves, water lilies and hibiscus petals prevalent throughout the menswear.

Whether Miuccia was alluding to a doomed wartime romance in an early 40s Pearl Harbour or a 70s Saigon, all the models carried similar vintage style luggage.  Again, these depicted the swirling patterns of the flora and fauna of the tropics or saucy Polynesian nudes in grass skirts, complete with colourful swing tags and travel stickers.
By Catherine Hayward

Most Popular

Dolce & Gabbana
One week after revealing their slick new London tailoring collection at LC:M, Dolce and Gabbana's appearance at their Metropol HQ in Milan was a more subdued affair.

Eager not to stray too far from their roots, the pair continued their journey around Sicily, this time drawing inspiration from the mythology of the region.

To the sound of Ennio Morricone's Nuovo Cinema Paradiso- rearranged by Giuseppe Tornatore- the amphitheaters of Taormina and Syracuse appeared in graphic print form on basic boxy T- shirts and jackets. Softer, silkier shirts and jackets bore the image of the antique coins of Sicily's main towns.

Amongst the black, white and red stretch tailoring came loosely woven linen t- shirts, wide shorts and Greek- God sandals that gave the show an upbeat, high summer vibe.

Post finale, a kerfuffle on the runway revealed rather too much of an over-exuberant streaker. Esquire cover star Leo Messi, sat in the front row, seemed unimpressed.
By Catherine Hayward

Bottega Veneta
Tasteful refinement was the order of the day on day 2 of the menswear shows, with Bottega Veneta sending down an elegant collection that concentrated on soft tailoring with a focus on slope shoulder jackets and narrow cuff trousers.

'The collection is more about contrast than anything else” said Tomas Maier as he sent perfectly groomed men down in shirts worn as jackets and jackets as shirts.

A series of lightweight cottons & gabardines in a palette of rich aubergine, admiral blue & military green came with fine chalk stripe markings around seams.

Not one to shy away from texture & pattern Maier offered up distinct patterns with a painterly quality in broken checks. The paper-thin suede plum blouson was a particular Esquire favourite.
By Gareth Scourfield

Moncler
The runway of freshly cut grass & backdrop of pristine white cricket balls were all the clues we needed to see where Thom Browne had drawn his inspiration from for SS ’14.

Browne's shtick is all about mixing the sporting heritage of Moncler with his own tailoring sensibility. Cricket gear inspired jackets and trousers that with quilted padding on the elbows, shoulders and knees.

There were the expected crisp white cable knit cricket sweaters and blazers trimmed in red & blue topped off with peaked cricket caps.

Cotton piqué, cotton jersey and lightweight cashmere mixed with the more technically inclined light corduroy and nylons rip stop to give this collection a spin unique to Browne.
By Gareth Scourfield

Jil Sander
Although Jil Sander has long been an advocate of stark minimalism, she showed a more playful and sporty side on Saturday’s SS’14 show.

Playing with proportions Sander flipped from laser cut slim long line coats in soft putty and pebble greys to boxy bomber jackets in high tech fabrics and full wide cuffed shorts - an emerging trend for SS’14.

The flashes of neon piping and scratched geometrics across her knitwear gave this collection a sense of modernity. Weightless coats floating over sleek tropical mohair tailoring and sporty, boxy short sleeve shirts were highlights.
By Gareth Scourfield

Versace
Milan is the home of two very different schools of design. Cool, calm neutrals on one side. Over the top, wild and colourful on the other. Versace falls very firmly into the second camp (camp being the operative word here). 

Creative director David Bradshaw said last week at LC:M that he was having 'a lot of fun' with his boss Donatella and this sentiment was clear at the Versace HQ on Milan's famous via Gesu.

No streakers here: no need - as bronzed and buff models strode purposefully along the runway in very small trunks with fluro pops of bonded plastic stuck to their muscular legs.

The famous Medusa print appeared in jump suit format unbuttoned to below the naval and rolled up ripped jeans and long duster coats were spray printed with fluoro colours.

Yet amongst the hype and the craziness came the tailoring; you had to look for it but it was there- considered, sharp and surprisingly  wearable.
By Catherine Hayward

Ermenegildo Zegna
Ermenegildo Zegna kicked off Milan menswear on Saturday with new head of design (formerly of Yves Saint Laurent) Stefano Pilati's debut collection.

He paid close attention to the brand’s strong tailoring sensibility, producing beautifully crafted pieces in fabrics such as kid mohair, wool jacquard canvas and pure silk, whilst injecting a sense of modernity with sports-led pieces such as soft shouldered caban jackets and sporty short bombers in teal & olive.

The long sweeping coats in light technical fabrics might have been more suited to the British weather than the 28 degrees blazing outside the show space.

Nonetheless the intricate fabrication and lightness of palette made this a refreshingly light summer collection, and a strong start for Pilati.   
By Gareth Scourfield