Milan Fashion Week: Men’s SS17 has come to an end but its influence will be felt around the world. From Friday, June 17th, through Tuesday, June 21st, leading designers showed a wide assortment of prints, silhouettes, and fabrics in the fashion capital. Neutrals were often seen although a few designers stuck to bright pops of primaries. In prints, florals and plaids remained but in varying scales and placement. Looks were wide ranging throughout the week but a unifying element of the collections was the political presence. While fashion is often a form of escapism, the current state of world affairs seemed to weigh heavy on designers in Milan who used the runway to comment on various current issues, including gay rights and the migrant crisis. Here are The Untitled Magazine’s picks for the top five shows of the week.
On June 17th, the twin designers behind Dsquared2 started the week with a colorful show that included some inspiration from the late David Bowie, platform boots, acid-wash denim, and an overall punk feel. Although sequins and silver gave the collection a party feel the designers also had a deeper meaning behind the show which they called an “expression of their homosexuality.” When they took their finale walk they wore rainbow scarves in solidarity for the victims of the Orlando tragedy.
On June 19th, summery prints at Prada also made for deceptively lighthearted looks. The designer returned to a more active collection this season, presenting brightly colored windbreakers, parkas, and a return to the original Prada nylon backpack. While the clothes would be perfect for the most chic of travelers, the sometimes disjointed elements of each outfit made it seem as if some of the models had to rush out of their homes in a hurry, piling on a magpie assortment of clothes. In this way, Miuccia made a plea for the refugees of the world.
On the same day as Prada’s show, Vivienne Westwood presented a show that destroyed gender boundaries. The most masculine element of her runway show was the presence of male models as most of the clothes were traditionally women’s garments. Models of both genders wore slim-fitting draped knit dresses, playsuits, and crop tops. Even the designer’s boxy suits, the only traditionally male silhouette in the collection, would look fabulous on a fashion-forward female. Westwood was another designer who politicized the runway, although she did it in a much more overt way than others by making a public statement (via video screen) encouraging the release of Julian Assange.
The traveling theme continued on June 20th in Alessandro Michele’s collection for Gucci, although his idea of transit wasn’t as literal as Prada’s. Michele explained, “You can travel in different ways, with a book, you can travel.” The collection was definitely the product of a very active imagination, in the usual Michele fashion it somehow made a multitude of influences seem cohesive. Models in Asian-inspired prints, psychedelic florals, and jewel toned solids walked a bright green-carpeted runway with a winding snake print. Donald Duck even made an appearance on a sweater vest.
On the same day Silvia Venturini explored the concept of the vagabond on the Fendi runway. Although her runway show wasn’t as much about the journey as the destination. Looks were inspired by vacation images of historical figures such as Einstein, Hockney, and Dalí. The most influential figure to the collection was Picasso. Photos of the cubist painter wearing terry cloth shorts while on holiday came through via hints of the fabric in coats, shirts, and shorts. Like Westwood, Venturini also showed boxy suits, harkening back to the 80s but with a modern update in the form of a neutral color palette.
Images courtesy of Vogue.com