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Milan Fashion Week: Flashbacks and optimistic futurism dominate preview collections

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xxx Copyright Nicola Marfisi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Nicola Marfisi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews Culture with APTN
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From Prada to Moschino to Fendi via Dolce and Gabbana, the big Italian fashion houses all had complimentary but contrasting visions of what men will be wearing next spring-summer.

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A lot has been written and said about quiet luxury. The appearance of good, well cut, well tailored yet simple lines and silhouettes is designed to be subtle but extremely stylish, so it was no surprise that Milan designers didn't make any loud 'look at me' statements over the past three days with their mostly menswear previews for Spring-Summer 2025:

Hope not rose-tinted glory was the essential theme of Prada's show, according to Miuccia Prada. “Because even if the times are bad, I feel that it was the right thing to do,’’ she said backstage at the show. “Eventually, I propose something positive, but escapism, I don’t like.”

Prada aimed for a playful blend of nostalgia and modernity with its collection
Prada aimed for a playful blend of nostalgia and modernity with its collection Luca Bruno/AP
Moschino's designs left no-one waiting for departure
Moschino's designs left no-one waiting for departureNicola Marfisi/AP Photo
Dsquared2 went toe-to-toe with the heavyweights with its fresh and fearless approach
Dsquared2 went toe-to-toe with the heavyweights with its fresh and fearless approachNicola Marfisi/AP Photo
Model struts in dazzling green shoes from the Prada Spring-Summer 2025 collection.
Model struts in dazzling green shoes from the Prada Spring-Summer 2025 collection.Luca Bruno/AP

Tops, jackets and hoodies seem shrunken, more than cropped. Overcoats have three-quarter sleeves. It’s a wardrobe somehow inherited, already lived-in. Creases are part of the construction, as technical as a pleat. Pointed shirt collars are held aloft by wires. Trousers feature faux belts, low and below the waistline. Belts also are featured as decoration on bags, as if to close them.

Miuccia Prada, co-creative director of the brand along with Raf Simons, said playing with the idea of the real vs. the fake "is very contemporary,'' calling such details “an invitation to take a closer look at the clothes, up close.”

“We wanted (the collection) to be already alive, as if clothes you already lived with,’’ Simons said backstage.

Prada models emerged from a simple white hut, descending into the showroom down a runway flanked by a white picket fence. The designers describe the setting both as essential and utopian — and youthful.

“Here youth is the hope, it’s the future,’’ Prada said. “In this moment, we thought it was relevant also to encourage youth to think about our world.''

Many took inspiration from decades that now seem more reassuring, when the future brimmed with possibility. That future is now, and reality has hit. The message of climate change has penetrated the style studios: Men are offered thigh-baring shorts, open-weave tops and shoes, and inventive construction that permits ventilation on demand.

La Dolce Vita

Dolce & Gabbana’s collection for next summer was as smooth as a saxophone solo on the runway soundtrack. Loose silhouettes and artisanal weaving spelled summer ease.

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created looks for the toniest Italian seaside destinations, from the Amalfi Coast to the Venetian Lido and Liguria’s Portofino. The designers said in notes they took inspiration from “Italy’s golden period,” of the 1950s, epitomized by Marcello Mastroianni.

Dolce & Gabbana's bold diagonal stripes hit a nostalgic chord
Dolce & Gabbana's bold diagonal stripes hit a nostalgic chordNicola Marfisi/AP

The runway star this season were the weaves: woven raffia jackets, shirts and tunics in summer shades of tan-and-black, echoed in the footwear and bags, that played well against pretty scalloped crocheted knitwear and leather weaves.

Models strut in floral inspired pieces for Dolce & Gabbana
Models strut in floral inspired pieces for Dolce & Gabbana Credit: Nicola Marfisi/AP Photo

The silhouette had a strong supporting role, harkening to a bygone era with ample pleated trousers rolled to a casual cuff. Boxy tops balanced with shorter shorts. Bold diagonal stripes hit a nostalgic chord.

Clean linens and suedes maintained the collection’s quiet tones, broken up by occasional bursts of coral beading and sequins. The nature-inspired color palette included soothing juxtapositions of eggplant and wine, forest green and olive.

That 70's show

Models strolled through a path created by six spinning mirrored pillars offering a kaleidoscopic view of a Fendi’s menswear collection that waxed nostalgic with mixed plaids, stripes and geometric prints.

The menswear silhouette by artistic director Silvia Venturini Fendi spoke to a yesteryear when shirts-and-ties were de rigueur, but not only.

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Models wear creations as part of the Fendi Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in Milan
Models wear creations as part of the Fendi Spring Summer 2025 collection, that was presented in MilanNicola Marfisi/AP

The bygone staples were updated with oversized shirts sticking out beneath light-weight bombers, paired with straight trousers or Bermuda shorts.

Models wear creations as part of the Fendi Spring Summer 2025 collection presented in Milan, 15 June 2024.
Models wear creations as part of the Fendi Spring Summer 2025 collection presented in Milan, 15 June 2024.Nicola Marfisi/AP Photo

Garment architectures gave an inventive edge, in asymmetric knitwear that buttoned down the shoulder for a peek-a-boo effect, or sleeves that slashed open at the elbow to convert from long to short, warm to cool.

Broad diagonal stripes on plaid recalled the 1970s, while a new, invented Fendi crest repeated for a geometric print. The soothing color palette of khaki, lime and sand, with pops of peach, provided monochrome palate cleansers from the busy patterns. Leather slip-on footwear or panelled sneakers finished the looks, accessorised with soft shoppers or a tidy patchwork bag made from leather cutoffs from Fendi workshops.

The world according to Moschino

In his second season as Moschino creative director, Adrian Appiolaza took the rules and literally shredded them.

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Moschino took runway fashion to new heights with an airplane-topped hat
Moschino took runway fashion to new heights with an airplane-topped hatNicola Marfisi/AP
Moschino models embrace the spirit of the Euros with football-covered designs
Moschino models embrace the spirit of the Euros with football-covered designs Nicola Marfisi/AP

The Argentine designer reads our collective minds as the summer season beckons in the northern hemisphere, tapping desires to break free from the office routine and reach dream destination.

“The idea of freedom of expression through dressing is what I want to bring to the future of Moschino, which is tied to the original DNA,’’ Appiolaza said backstage. “It is not about gender. It is not about nationality. It’s really about feeling comfortable, dressing the way you want and not the way you should.’’

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