Welcome to our succinct 10-word show reviews (if you’re super short on time) plus candid audio reports (if you want to dive deeper) of the best men’s shows from Milan Fashion Week Men’s for the spring/summer 2020 season.
Insightful and honest, these podcast-like reviews are all you need to know from each of our favourite shows—recorded live in Milano—as the action unfolds. And here’s the best part: you can multi-task (go ahead, walk the dog, hit the gym or make yourself dinner) as we chat to you about our recommended looks, must-buy accessories, and other candid on-the-spot insights that you can only get from someone attending the show.
For the second day of Milan Fashion Week Men’s SS20, Emporio Armani jumped right in with parachutes; Dolce&Gabbana took us on a tropical safari; Marni lobbied for sustainability; Versace gave us leather and leopard prints; and Philipp Plein re-enacted Mad Max: Fury Road.
Click on the play button above, or ‘Listen in browser’ on your smartphones, to listen to the audio review as you scroll through the gallery of looks below.
EMPORIO ARMANI: WINDS OF CHANGE
Designer: Giorgio Armani
10-word show review: Weightless parachutes and palazzo pants for a sporty new Armani.
Favourite look: Tempted to spotlight those white parachute ensembles (looks 16, 17 and 18) that made the audience take a collective gasp but, upon further reflection, we’re throwing our support for those emerald green organza palazzo trousers (looks 50 and 51) colour-blocked with either a freckled light-blue or lemon-yellow blazer and worn with chunky trainers. Why? Although we love the fact that Mr Armani is literally leaping into new diaphanous silhouettes with those parachutes, you get the same refreshingly bold (yet still relaxed) spirit with these palazzos; of course, minus the pull back. We have places to go, son. We don’t want anything holding us back.
Favourite accessory: Those utilitarian drawstring knapsacks in metallic copper featuring flap pockets and fastenings for your umbrella. Now you’re ready for monsoon season and, as a bonus, will look Italian chic.
DOLCE&GABBANA: TROPICAL SAFARI
Designers: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana
10-word show review: Safari separates dialled up with bright jungle and animalistic prints.
Favourite look: There were a plethora of great silk and viscose camp-collared shirts emblazoned with bright tropical or exotic prints (leopard being the standout) tucked into high-waisted tailored trousers (some featuring a Gurkha style closure for old-world charm), and they are all strong and stylistically safe choices for guys wanting to fuse something classic with something fa-shun (pumped up with bedazzled brogues; this is Dolce & Gabbana after all). But we couldn’t take our eyes off that sheer chiffon and oversized trench coat in look 106 with its pastel birds of paradise and tropical prints against a seaside backdrop—it was a dreamy whipped up concoction for the daring and the discerning. Just gorgeous.
Favourite accessory: Flat caps and small leather crossbody bags are once again ruling the runway (a continuation of what we saw at Zegna yesterday) but it was the simplicity of those black rectangular frame sunglasses that had us constantly looking up. A cool final touch to sharpen up any extravagant outfit.
MARNI: GRUNGE UPCYCLING
Designer: Francesco Risso
10-word show review: An avant-garde fashion dialogue on upcycling crossing over into costume.
Favourite look: Usually the Marni show trumps the Dolce show for its esoteric and challenging take on fashion; a patchwork of cleverly styled separates in mixed and matched colours and prints. However, for SS20, we couldn’t help but think that Risso got too lost in his own head—pondering the state of fashion and plastic pollution; the runway was sheltered by a net containing thousands of empty plastic bottles—that he confused prioritising the message of his collection over creating masterful work. Although commendable for his take on upcycling, what was presented seemed more grunge and thrift shop than high fashion and covetable. The only exit we found wearable was the final red check suit.
Favourite accessory: The hand-assembled statement cardboard hats and barely constructed bags dragged along the floor were visually impactful, but too costume-y for practical daily use. Opt, instead, for the berets constructed from hand-stapled segments of panelled leather.
VERSACE: THIS SEX IS ON FIRE
Designer: Donatella Versace
10-word show review: Cranking the heat with leather, leopard print and silky separates.
Favourite look: A pink Perspex runway, bordered by pink printed ottomans, blooming pink nerium oleander flowers hanging overhead, and a black car covered in cascading pink roses. Yup, we’re at a Versace show. So, it was quite a surprise when the first model hit the runway in a high-belted black leather coat. We were expecting cool, aloof and pastels, but Donatella delivered hot, sexy and leopard prints. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not complaining. Favourite look goes to that leopard-print blazer worn over a white shirt and skinny black tie (embroidered with the words ‘Gianni Versace’) tucked into black patent leather trousers worn with black loafers that were adorned with a single silver monk strap. High shine and high impact for the badass baller.
Favourite accessory: There they are again boys, gents and scholars—small leather crossbody bags. They are literally everywhere this season. For Versace, our favourites were the upstanding cylindrical pouches in black leather (look 6) or leopard (look 23).
PHILIPP PLEIN: MONSTERS OF ROCK
Designer: Philipp Plein
10-word show review: Mad Max: Fury Road ain’t got nothing on Philipp Plein.
Favourite look: With the monster trucks, neon graffiti, electric guitars and flamethrowers, it felt like we were at a live taping of Max Max: Fury Road 2—where was Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy? So when the models appeared onto the arena, decked out in studded leather and glistening sequinned blazers, we couldn’t help but think: what, there are actually clothes at this show? Spectacle aside, our favourite from the KISS-inspired collection (with several models sporting the iconic black-and-white face paint made famous by Gene Simmons) goes to that opening men’s look of a silver blazer with sequinned red and yellow flames shooting up from the hemline. I mean, if you’re going to do Plein, you might as well go all in.
Favourite accessory: For a taste of the Plein world without scaring your neighbour, we recommend one of this season’s high top sneakers. Yes, they have neon yellow soles. Sure, they also come studded with silver spikes. But this is as tame as it gets.
Milan Fashion Week Men's SS20 Day 1: Ermenegildo Zegna XXX
Milan Fashion Week Men's SS20 Day 3: Etro, Sunnei and Palm Angels
Milan Fashion Week Men's SS20 Day 4: Fendi
Milan Fashion Week Men's SS20 Day 4: Giorgio Armani