Milan Menswear Fashion Week A/W '15: The Reviews

Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and more reviewed by our team in Italy

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Ermenegildo Zegna

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Stefano Pilati's A/W '15 collection for Ermenegildo Zegna Couture played on common aesthetic themes favoured by the creative director. Suit trousers, cut from flannel and cashmere in muted shades of mushroom, were floaty and tapered, finished with strap details at the hems. The nerhu jackets shown at the close of the show, short of feeling tricksy, looked elegant and sharp, nipped at the waist with belts. Highlights included chocolate brown Chelsea boots with rubber soles and detailing on the upper, which looked as fit for stomping around the countryside as stomping down Bond Street – complimented by the coated tweed and check suits which opened the show. Slightly oversized baseball caps in leather and flannel finished more traditional looks with a contemporary edge – a trick Pilati pulls off with particular panache.

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– Teo van den Broeke


Dolce & Gabbana

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana can always be relied upon to put on a good show. For Autumn / Winter '14 we were treated to a Game of Thrones inspired medieval extravaganza – knitted chainmail hooded jumpers and all. For Spring / Summer satin clad toreadors strode the runway. For Autumn / Winter '15 we were offered an insight into the pairs's respective childhoods. A hand-written, scrapbook-esque invitation hinted at the theme. The live tableaux of nonnis, mamas, papas and bambinis that provided the backdrop to the show also offered a clue. The collection, however, was not the pastiche of childhood it could have been. Rather the clothes were wearable and chic, with an unmistakable Dolce & Gabbana sheen. Velvet and jersey sweatshirts came adorned with brocade crowns, applique cartoon characters and baroque patterns. The slim wool charcoal trousers elegantly bridged the gap between track pants and suit trousers, the ponyskin bombers and peacoats in bold shades of vermillion and bottle green were fantastical and fun. Sharp tailoring in Domenico and Stefano's trademark shade of black was shown throughout, and a selection of monochrome pattern overcoats – both double and single breasted – immediately went to the top of our wishlist. Inspired by childhood this collection may have been, childish it most definitely was not.

– Teo van den Broeke


John Varvatos

If you want to look like a rock star, John Varvatos' new store on Mayfair's Conduit Street is the only place you should visit. Best known for his slim cut leather biker jackets, super skinny coated jeans and chunky rocker boots; Varvatos' irreverent style credentials were evident in today's Autumn / Winter '15 show. Described by Varvatos as being inspired by 'a dandy in New York', the collection featured every piece a rock star would need to complete his fall (no 'autumn' here) wardrobe. Deep chocolate brown and caramel shearling coats were a case in point. Other stand out pieces included a super slim single breasted suit in bruised plaid; slim caramac coloured single breasted overcoats – which perfectly matched the autumn leaves beneath the models' feet – and a close cut leather donkey jacket in black and heather.

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– Teo van den Broeke


Versace

An unexpectedly understated turn from Versace for Autumn / Winter '15. Muted single breasted suits in pastel shades came teamed with ostrich skin loafer boots in tonal shades. The devil, as ever, was in the details, with gold medusa head buttons on cuffs, chunky gold pins on ties and oversized chains worn over roll necks. The tailoring, however, soon gave way to more recogisable Versace gear. The vibe was sexy apres ski. Ribbed wool long johns were worn with oversized sweaters in neutral tones and hooded mink jackets. It was the greatcoats with sumptuous fur lapels that clinched the deal and made this one of the most covetable Versace collections in seasons.

– Teo van den Broeke


Bottega Veneta

Tomas Maier's seasonal collections for Italian leather goods brand Bottega Veneta have quickly become a highlight of Milan fashion week. Playing on themes set out in previous seasons, the silhouette for Autumn / Winter '15 was slouchy and soft. Wide leg jeans, cords and grey jersey track pants were teamed with round toed Chelsea boots (the shoe of the season), velvet hoodies in shades of dusty rose and sage, drapey cord trench coats and cropped blouson jackets. It's an easy look that's been adopted by brands across the board, and a welcome antidote to the trussed up aesthetic of seasons past.

– Teo van den Broeke


Prada

Unusually, the black sheet of nylon which constituted the invitation to Prada's Autumn / Winter '15 show hinted at the content of the collection. Unusual in the sense that last season's invitation was a square of white laminated neoprene and that collection featured mohair tailoring in jewel shades and fur-trimed black nylon harnesses. Today, Muccia Prada took the brand's menswear back to its minimal, modernist roots, showing a collection which went against every trend in menswear right now and felt all the more relevant for it. The silhouette was sharp and slim (a world away from the baggy, sportswear inspired tailoring shown in the majority of this season's collections), fabrics were crisp – nylon and mohair dominated – and the palette was limited to grey, black and camel. Key pieces included a perfectly cut camel coat with a darted back, a high shine leather brogue with chunky clear rubber sole (a Prada speciality) and a series of razor sharp four button double breasted jackets.

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– Teo van den Broeke


Etro

The safari jacket, identifiable by four bellows pockets positioned on the front, is the outer garment of the season. Berluti and Louis Vuitton championed the style for Spring / Summer '15, while Kean Etro showed the strongest takes for Autumn / Winter. Cut from chocolate brown and deep ochre needle cord, ponyskin and textured wool, these jackets were sumptuous and warm, teamed with cuffed, drapey trouser-cum-trackpants (another key garment for Autumn Winter '15) in tonal shades and matching fabrics. Barely there versions of Etro's trademark paisley could be found on most pieces - from double breasted overcoats to oversized single breasted suits (worn near exclusively with both fine guage and chunky roll necks), where the pattern seemed to peek through the fabric, as though the surface had been sanded away.

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– Teo van den Broeke


Gucci

Where Gucci's recent collections have been sultry, sexy and steadfastly commercial, the Autumn / Winter '15 show had a distinctly ephemeral vibe. Floaty shirts in soft fabrics were teamed with high rise, loose fitting trousers in Gucci's trademark tertiary palette (tree bark brown, midnight blue and moss green dominated), suits came cropped and close fitting, and overcoats were structured and sharp, cut with near military precision. A navy blue great coat with fur detailing on the lapel and cuffs felt modern and interesting, while perfectly cut astrakhan dress coats added a depth of texture to a collection whose aesthetic bedrock was interplay between fabrics.

–Teo van den Broeke


Brioni

Brendan Mullane, Brioni's loquacious creative director, chose a spectacular venue to celebrate the house's 70th anniversary: the courtyard of the famous 14th century Castello Sforzesco in central Milan. A temporary modernist structure revealed a cross shaped catwalk layout – returning to a runway format where it made the news as the first menswear house to stage a catwalk show in 1952.  Known for its luxurious menswear tailoring, Mullane has stayed true to the roots of the house with 55 classic looks riffing off the themes of the Spanish Riding school in Vienna and the Bauhaus and Art Deco. Slim fit 3 button jackets – a trend of the season – were teamed with soft tapered trousers that hinted at the riding theme. Short quilted blousons and longer belted coats in cashmere - some with varying sizes of check - were accented with suede and leather trims and oversize fur collars and the textured  knitwear - made with 24 carat  gold thread - echoed the patterns of the wrought iron metalwork of the Klimt period. Colour accents included deep reds, palomino beiges and a short electric blue blouson teamed with light dove grey pants.

– Catherine Hayward


Giorgio Armani


And so to Giorgio Armani and the austere modernist surroundings of his famous HQ on Milan's Via Bergognone. Emporio – his sportier, more casual line – was revealed the previous day; all slouchy woollen jackets with knitted trousers – more long john than track pant – which were jammed into chunky tread boots. So would there be more of this softer silhouette today? The master tailor didn't disappoint. Set to Downton Abbey's theme tune, Mr. Armani's key look here was slim and soft. Jackets were knitted and lightweight, made from double faced cashmere and vicuña. Double breasted shapes were left hanging open but most were single breasted  body skimming styles with 3 buttons. These merged with a new trouser shape: very high waisted with an exaggerated drop crotch and double pleats, creating an unusual tapered carrot silhouette. Unsurprisingly, business briefcases and slouchy weekend bags came in crocodile or fur in an urban palette of steely grey and navy.

– Catherine Hayward