Milan Men's Fashion Week S/S '15: The Highlights

Italy's finest designers are showing their latest collections. Esquire's fashion team reports

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1 | Ermenegildo Zegna Couture

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A typically elegant third collection from Stefano Pilati at Ermenegildo Zegna Couture. The roomy tailoring seen in the Autumn Winter '14 collection was developed, with billowing double-faced belted overcoats (not dissimilar to super-luxurious dressing gowns) wide-legged trousers with ample turn-ups and a generous taper, and silk-wool crepe suiting.

Layers were key, with subtle high neck cardigans worn over silk seersucker shirts and beneath simple wool suits, while footwear was casual: sneakers and loafers were worn exclusively. Pin stripes were prevalent and the palette was muted, dominated by midnight blue, plum and forest green.

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- Teo van den Broeke


2 | John Varvatos 

Spring was in the air at John Varvatos. Linen morning jackets, suits and waistcoats came in a palette of stone, buff and washed moss green, lifted by the addition of paper flower lapel pins.

If the trousers hadn't been so slim and the feet of the models not clad in Varvatos' trademark rocker and biker boots, it could almost be said that the collection had something of Byron about it. Layering was key, with light topcoats worn over waistcoats, grandad collar undershirts and looks finished off with light summer scarves in tonal shades.

- Teo van den Broeke


3  | Z Zegna

For the past years the Ermenegildo Zegna group has consisted of three key lines, Ermenegildo Zegna, for high end tailoring; Z Zegna for directional sartorial wear and Zegna Sport for more casual pieces. Last night in Florence's cavernous Stazione Leopolda, the brand unveiled it's new concept for the Z Zegna brand, marrying the old Z Zegna with Zegna Sport for the first time and shrinking the brand's main output into two key lines – Ermenegildo Zegna couture, overseen by Stefano Pilati, and Z Zegna overseen by Paul Surridge and Murray Scallon.

A synthesis of the brand's age old sartorial sensibility with a sportier aesthetic, the first collection from the new Z Zegna line featured slim cut single breasted suits in technical wools worn with super light weight parkas and the brand's new brightly coloured Techmerino trainer (the sneaker trend, it would seem, is here to stay). Other highlights included superbly cut check shirts teamed with matching ties and ergonomic T-shirts in shades of lemon and slate.

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- Teo van den Broeke


4 | Dolce & Gabbana

 

The Spanish domination of Sicily from the 16th century was the source of inspiration for this collections from the Italian design duo. As castanets clicked on the soundtrack, models parading as toreadors were sent down the blood red carpet runway. Braided brocade in black was used extensively throughout on cropped bolero style jackets, both as swirling pattern and finer trims on the three piece tailoring.

The oversized, square cut, silk t-shirt that has become a stalwart for Dolce & Gabbana in recent season's came adorned with prints of bulls and old Spanish tile motifs. Despite the heavily themed execution, there were the classic slim suits, crisp white shirts and skinny ties that epitomises the Dolce & Gabbana style. The Flamenco's dancer polka dots offered a more commercial point of view and appeared on light silky shirts, shorts & wool tailoring with trousers remaining narrow and cropped. The finale saw an army of models dressed in an array of Pantone coloured red silk evening suits.

- Gareth Scourfield


5 | Prada 

As a perennial highlight of men's fashion week, expectations were high for Muiccia Prada's Spring Summer '15 show. Set in a water-logged iteration of the brand's constantly transforming show space, the collection developed on the early-seventies, Soviet white collar worker vibe seen in previous seasons. Mrs Prada has the remarkable ability to take something which should, ostensibly, be incredibly ugly and transform it into something creative, exciting and sexy. This season, for instance, was all about prominent stitching on seams.

Contrasting white tracks of thread traced their way down the joins of wide mohair trousers in shades of forest green and midnight blue, and along the seams of suit jackets, giving them a more casual, denim-esque feel. Sounds tricky right? Somehow it wasn't.

Lustrous leather macs and dense wool coats featured taped seams in warm shades of caramel, while layers felt surprisingly wintry for a summer collection, with fair isle knits and textured roll necks littered throughout. The chunky sandals with cubic rubber detailing – which came worn with pretty much everything – will no doubt be next summer's essential shoe.

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- Teo van den Broeke


6 | Ferragamo

A confident showing at Salvatore Ferragamo on Sunday, where designer Massimilano Giornetti is striking the right balance of combining relaxed tailoring with a youthful sportswear aesthetic. Asymmetric zip front shirts were boxy, untucked and worn with double pleat trousers.

The soft colours of caramel, ochre, peppermint and toffee ran across fine textured tailoring. The subtle herringbone print and basket weave surface textures looked particularly strong. The fine lightweight coat which is becoming a trend led piece here in Milan was dotted throughout as was the double pleat pegged trousers.

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Low-cut fine slub T-shirts, which could have looked too casual, looked refined with silk print foulards nearly tucked inside. The short sleeve shirt with its elasticated hems and deep pleated fine wool shorts helped fuse the sportier elements of the show. The broken Giraffe print on shirts , scarfs and turned up cuffs felt well placed and subtle. 

- Gareth Scourfield

 

7 | Versace 

There is no denying Donatella Versace knows how to rock a good fashion show, and this Saturday night she didn't let us down. The show notes indicated that it was the sultry heat and music of Cuba that got her creative juices going this time, and the colours certainly rang true with long line tailored jackets in dusty pink, mint and soft blues.

The sporty side to the show offered stone silk bombers and denim cut jackets. Simple T-shirts took on toga style details gathered at the shoulders and falling full and wide. These were worn with double pleat trousers or roomy knee length shorts. The sexed-up theatre that we've come to expect from brand Versace came in the form of gold and rope chunky chain necklaces over bare torsos, and Medusa pattern towels wrapped artfully round the body.

Further Cuban influence came through on calypso dancing figurative prints and appliqué palm leaves on leather blouson jackets, which bought a street wear element to this upbeat show.

- Gareth Scourfield

 

8 | Gucci

Gucci took it leads from the starch white uniform of naval officers for its Spring 2015 offering. The formality of the crisp naval uniform, made famous by Richard Gere's  1983 film, Officer & A Gentleman, was however more deconstructed & technical. For outerwear, the peacoat and the mackintosh were garnished with gilt buttons, while neoprene, washed leather and two-toned canvas fabrics, many laser cut, helped give the collection a modernity.

Trousers remained ankle-length and slim and were paired with Nehru collared jackets boasting contrasting details on the sleeves and on the trim.

Ribbed knitwear came with wide boat neckline & adorned with a nautical crest.

Navy and white striping recurred throughout the collection and emphasised clean graphic lines. Alongside the boating sneaker & ever present horse-bit loafer in white-washed crocodile were a series of oversized drawstring sailor style duffle bags.

Gareth Scourfield


9 | Fendi

A distinct lack of pelts in Roman fur brand Fendi's Spring Summer '15 collection, unless of course you count the occasional leather-paneled trench coat or fur covered backpack. Low slung trousers with wide (but not too wide) legs were worn with an array of perfectly-formed, chunky-soled leather sandals in both traditional shades of brown and black and more dynamic hues of yolk yellow, crimson and lime.

Alongside the super-soft leather bombers (bombers are still big news), cropped suit jackets and soft knitwear, it was the luggage that stood out - with lemon yellow shoppers, caramel totes and black crocodile backpacks among the strongest pieces.

Teo van den Broeke


10 | Giorgio Armani

There is something to be said for a designer that remains true to themselves. This was clearly evident in Giorgio Armani's show this morning as he closed Milan fashion week. Offering a well edited collection of soft shouldered tailoring that was mixed & matched with double pleat tapered trousers- a firm trend for next spring- showed a confident easiness in masculine dressing.

Armani's favourite Nehru collared shirts worn under feather light jackets & leather zip blouson jackets feel totally right for now. With the continued thrust for less formality, this collection embodied the move towards sports inspired pieces, yet Armani  pitched the smart/casual dressing conundrum perfectly. Seersucker tailoring in sage greens & Armani's particular midnight blue appeared assured, teaming them with  baseball style shirting in stripes & micro pattern.

A strong section in finely cut navy leathers on zip blousons & paper-thin shirts many with laser cut edges were devoid of fussy details.

Gareth Scourfield


What was your favourite look of the shows? Let us know in the comments below.

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