The second day of Milan Fashion Week Men's continues with three big Italian fashion houses—Dolce&Gabbana, Marni and Versace—with each having something to prove. For Marni, it's to show how creative director Francesco Risso can continue to impress with his brand of off-kilter designs. After being acquired by Capri Holdings (the parent company of Michael Kors), will Versace's first collection since the acquisition amp up on the mass market appeal? And for Dolce&Gabbana, how will the fashion house bounce back from the Shanghai debacle?
Read on, folks.
When talking about Dolce&Gabbana, it's quite hard to ignore the elephant in the room—namely the fiasco that was their cancelled Shanghai fashion show. But everyone deserves a shot at redemption, and while it might take years for the brand to fully recover from it, Dolce&Gabanna's autumn/winter 2019 show was a step in the right direction.
Dolce&Gabbana created a makeshift atelier with actual tailors from the house cutting fabric for patterns, and doing fittings on models in the background of the show. The duo's intentions were clear: a renewed focus on the core of Dolce&Gabbana, which is tailoring.
With the celebration of Italian elegance as the theme, the duo did away with the over-the-top gimmicks and millennial influencers, and in its place, a master of ceremony narrated the different segments of the show, and a pure masterclass of impeccable tailoring and fabrications.
The show began with monochromatic tailored jackets and coats, paired with slouchy trousers designed with a generous break. The lack of colour and prints showed off the beautifully tailored lines, setting up for the explosion of colours and textures to come. The golden brocade coats and suits were divine, while the silk robes were inviting. The tuxedo category which featured smart tailcoats, and our favourite, a roomy double-breasted coat, brought back the notion of old-school glamour.
Velvets where presented in two forms—in a corduroy weave as well as the classic smooth finish. The purple velvet double-breasted suit with embellished lapels and cuffs were particularly stunning. The elevation of the informal knitwear with the use of sequins was clever, although they might seem a tad too precious.
Dolce&Gabbana's autumn/winter 2019 show was an effort to let the work speak for itself. And in that aspect, it was a smashing success.
Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso, always saw his collection through the perspective of a wide-eyed child. But this autumn/winter 2019 season, that vision took a slightly more grown-up approach.
Set inside a room where the walls were replaced with huge boomboxes, the show was a tour de force of outerwear and vibrant casual pieces. Risso set about proposing a new silhouette for tailoring while keeping his signature use of vibrant prints and fabrics.
The suits that opened the show were made in heavy wool and moleskin, while the jackets and trousers were enlarged to the point of satire. Rounding off the array of stunning outerwear were leather trench coats, oversized ponchos and hooded blousons. But our favourite from the collection were the leopard printed coats and jackets.
Where the collection truly shone were the slouchy knitwear—pattern-on-pattern layering of a cardigan and pullover were reminiscent of Kurt Cobain. The argyle knits, ones that your grandpa would wear, were ripped to reveal a vibrant leopard printed knit underneath; rather brilliant.
While the pieces shown weren’t exactly cohesive, where Risso shone was his knack for creating order in chaos—the choice of colour and the smart use of accessories, gave the variety of looks a sense of continuity.
For Versace's autumn/winter 2019 menswear show, Donatella Versace focused on the current definition of masculinity and the subversion of it, as well as bridging the past and the future.
Donatella went deep into the archives, and drew inspiration from her brother Gianni Versace’s bondage collection, translating it into prints on silk shirts, windbreakers, as well as open-backed tailored jackets.
Bright florescent hues also made appearances, at times subtle—interpreted as shirts worn under coats and base layer tops peeking out from the pullovers. The PVC trend remained strong in the collection, appearing on coats and trousers, as well as patch pockets on coats.
With regards to the notion of challenging the traditional idea of masculinity, Donatella paired boxer shorts with sharp tailoring, and women’s silk lace tops made for men, used as layering pieces. The sartorial Prince of Wales suits were worn with orange and pink feather necklaces.
It’s a new era for Versace, after the USD2.1 billion mega-deal that saw Capri Holdings acquiring the Italian fashion house. The question on everyone’s mind undoubtedly was how does that affect the aesthetic of the house moving forward?
Turns out not very much. But hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?