Milan Fashion Week SS14 - The Report Part Two

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Salvatore Ferragamo

Designer Massimiliano Giornetti continued to develop his aesthetic of functional luxury for Salvatore Ferragamo with a bright collection for next summer. The Florence-based design house gave the sober suit an injection of energy with an edge of sportswear. 

Giornetti’s use of vibrant colour packed the collection with punch. The palette of cobalt, cactus green and vibrant red was offset by subtle chalky whites and light blue across both slim cotton tailoring and boxy sporty outerwear – often pulled-in with drawstrings and asymmetric fastenings. Giornetti's talents as a colourist gave life to an otherwise minimal collection, where fussy details were replaced with performance-led practicality, like hidden fly-front fastenings and folded hems. Dry-to-touch fabrics like paper-thin cottons and wool with technical finishes reinforced the bold athleticism of the collection.

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Belstaff

Milan may be the home to many long-established brands, but not all can claim such rich heritage as Belstaff, who chose to stage a more intimate show on Monday.

The line up of models dressed in ubiquitous leathers stood opposite a static line of mannequins, each displaying an iconic archive piece. The Belstaff library, numbering hundreds of pieces, serves as a constant source of inspiration for its CCO Martin Cooper. He delivered a strong, wearable collection that mixed light and shade – dark, heavy leathers with lighter techy nylons.

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“It’s a balance between authenticity and adventure – the two pillars of the Belstaff brand,” explained Cooper, who was keen to show how these iconic pieces should fit in a modern man’s wardrobe. Highlights included a hand-painted camouflage jacket (which gave a firm nod to Belstaff's past involvement supplying the British military), alongside a carbon-hued suede work shirt, topped with a light nylon anorak in punchy orange.

While the signature waxed cotton material ran throughout this rugged masculine collection, it was the dusty pewter leather-racing suit that caught Esquire's attention. This belted onesie oozed authenticity; you could virtually smell the motor oil.

Giorgio Armani

On the closing day of Milan menswear, it fell to Italian fashion titan Giorgio Armani to sum up the menswear message for next summer: the power of contrast.

Although Mr. Armani stayed away from pairing his body-skimming suits with softer floral prints, he did use sportswear to present his persuasive tailoring in lighter, more technical fabrics. The soft-shouldered double-breasted jackets and slimmer-than-usual trousers were layered with sporty hooded zip jackets and boxy neoprene coats – all rounded-off with neat backpacks.

Armani used the element of contrast right down to his fabrics and colour, mixing traditional summer cotton and canvas with silks and lightweight nylons. The palette was typical Armani, as though it were lifted straight from a Milanese Gelati shop: mint greens, caramel, vanilla and toffee, complimented by a generous helping of Armani’s signature midnight blue. 
Particular highlights were the jacquard textures, and an oversized cable knit print that ran across formal jackets, casual hooded pieces and tapered trousers.

Calvin Klein Collection
Although the guest of honour Michael Pitt  was dressed head to toe in black, the overriding theme of Italo Zucchelli's show this season was blue: Royal blue, sky blue, klein blue and cobalt in oversize padded bomber form and cotton twill snap front jackets with textured crocodile biker jackets and vests thrown into the mix to add to the sports luxe theme.

Striped blousons were thrown over fitted striped shirts while trousers were narrow and worn with heavy soled brothel creeper style lace-ups. Short-sleeved 80s style sweatshirts using sunset and cloud photo prints formed the bulk of the finale.

Gucci

What to expect from Gucci this season? Über-smart tailoring in deluxe fabrics with acres of exotic skins?

Designer Frida Giannini's show didn't disappoint, although this time her attention was focused on a sportier male. So, out went the three-piece suits and the velvet evening jackets. On their place came a far more casual take on raincoats, t-shirts and hoodies.

These were no ordinary weekend clothes, mind you. The humble hoody was given the Gucci treatment as it strutted along the runway in extra soft, supple, caramel leather – lustrous under the spotlights. Giannini teamed this with a jodhpur – or as she called it, a riding pant – in a nod to the equestrian tradition of the house.

These skinny pants in techno-stretch jersey came with suede or leather contrast inserts and emphasised the volume of the new style outerwear they were partnered with. And, in keeping with the season's flora and fauna obsession, an entire section of the show was dedicated to florals. Within, Giannini championed printed silk jackets and roomy shirt jackets – another season trend – in grey, pink and coral floral print.

Read Part One of our Milan Report here.

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