The fashion juggernaut that is Milan once again showcased its iconic Fashion Week, or Milano Moda Uomo, from the 19th-23rd June, very aptly set in the epicentre of luxury fashion craftsmanship. The world’s fashion insiders flocked to see the birth of spring/summer 2016’s key trends courtesy of the businesses most prestigious design houses including Gucci, Versace, Prada & Giorgio Armani to name but a few, in more than 100 fashion shows attracting over 1000 journalists and a lucrative total of just under 10,000 buyers.
The male models strutting down the runway weren’t the only ones garnering the attention of the world’s media, as a respectable list of film industry stars united with the fashion community to view the latest from fashion’s elite. Sitting front row at Prada was Willem Dafoe, most recognizable for his performance in Spiderman, and next to him Gary Oldman; both of whom have previously starred in Prada’s ad campaigns. Over at Armani, the guest list was graced by none other than Robert De Niro, and NBA star and firm fashion favourite Russell Westbrook, who was Vanity Fair’s chosen correspondent for the week. And we cannot go without mentioning front-row staple and street style legend that is Anna Dello Russo, acting editor-at-large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan, who never fails to attract attention in her fearless approach to vibrant prints and daring ensembles.
A focal point of the week was Gucci’s youthful revolution, which finally strayed from the tired time-honoured tradition of staid, caramel luxury the brand had become known for. But after a radical six months under Alessandro Michele’s creative direction, rejuvenation is alive and kicking, and the first order of business was changing the traditional location of two decades to a disused railway shed in north-west Milan: a simple manoeuvre which drew attention to the bold new order.
Evidence of signature Gucci accents remained strong amongst the revolutionary march of contemporary flared tracksuits emblazoned in floral prints reminiscent of 70s sitcoms, and Lurex blouses accented with pie crust collars and large lapels. Michele gave a distinct nod to Fleetwood Mac in the showcase of pussy bow blouses and pink lace shorts, alongside embroidered silk dressing gowns with fur sleeves which followed men sporting Jarvis Cocker glasses and Robert Peston hair. Male models wore hairclips and carried handbags in the premium parade which achieved success in its challenging of masculinity. In a breezy statement, Michele said that masculinity was about beauty and that you could interpret it how you wanted. His take was not only noteworthy in its beauty but also in its long-awaited rebellion from Gucci tradition.
In a twist of irony, modesty seemed to be the order of the week in an era of boldness and self-promotion over at Bottega Veneta, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and, most notably, Prada. Silky comfort was the trend emerging from these prestigious shows, with offerings of silken pajama-inspired looks, down to the classic stripe, for the next warm weather season. The outfits were versatile, occasionally taking the form of suits, transforming into a new office wardrobe choice for the style-minded.
Miuccia Prada said the show aimed to analyse modesty and humanity in contrast with “the necessity of being bold, aggressive and loud.” Modesty in gender choices also followed, with the use of both male and female models – a progressive and unconventional choice from Prada. The men’s looks had a slouchy feel; featuring silken shirts open to the belt and haplessly tucked in alongside stiff leather-hooded jackets worn as if they could fall off. Laid-back looks were paired with trousers with contrasting pockets or loose-fitting short shorts. Women’s outfits were neater with pleated skirts in contrasting panels and striped sweaters with pointy shoes. Accents like sequins and button holes were purposely exaggerated in graphic style. Hair was left purposely curly to convey humanity, normalness, the designer said.