Milan Men’s Fashion Week F/W 2018 Part 1

Men’s wear is the growth engine of the fashion industry now. We have a close look at the Milan season, which kicks off the fashion year 2018.

Ermenegildo Zegna Couture F/W 2018

Final line-up at Zegna Couture

Third time’s a charm. This was very true for Alessandro Sartori at Ermenegildo Zegna Couture last night. Sartori opened the Milan men’s season with a master class in tailoring and fabric research which had a youthful elan. This designer is known to be a hard worker and his line-up of single-breasted, extremely tailored suits and leather outerwear continued his march into leisure luxury land for Zegna’s top line. In fact, he very much owns the category with his cashmere sweatpants and distressed white denim cargo pants. This is the way young men with means want to dress and Sartori is clearly getting close to working out how to sell suits to an ever more casual customer.

(left) Sartori’s new 1.5 jacket worn closed; (right) as well as worn open

What stood out?

Sartori created an entirely new jacket, which he calls the 1.5 meaning single breasted and double-breasted at the same time. Let’s be clear, only a master tailor can find a solution to place the buttons and cut the pattern in a way that the jacket can be worn closed like a skinny double-breasted number and worn open like a classy single-breasted version.

A classic black Zegna Couture signature look

Sartori signature?

In his quest to casualize tailoring, most jackets had angled pockets like a bomber jacket. This allows for more storage and easier handling of the garment.

New vision: a diverse cast of models

What we nearly liked best?

The show’s casting impressed as if Sartori had watched a dozen Yves Saint Laurent shows to find his inspiration. The French master always used a lot of models of color and the Zegna Couture runway was full of beautiful black boys. “I changed my casting director to represent a more timely idea of male beauty, one of ethnic diversity,” beamed a happy Sartori post show.

Zegna Couture’s faux winter wonderland

The set?

To illustrate that he wants to leave a mark with his designs, he sent his models through a faux winter wonderland with lots of snow where every footstep of the models left a mark. Very clever.

Marni  F/W 2018

Marni’s new collection: colorful, vibrant, daring

Francesco Risso is having fun and that’s probably the secret of his success at Marni at the moment. Of course, you can only have it when you have skills and you know what you are doing. Prada-trained Risso clearly has the design chops and no longer has to follow orders. So his Marni is the new fashion deal.

(left) a pyjama shirt with chinoise stitching, underneath a striped long sleeve and a pair of wide burgundy trousers; (right) a shrunken knitted vest combined with a striped shirt, tie and a hazelnut brown suit

What was the best?

Risso has a deft hand at injecting volume into his clothes to an extreme level. But at the same time he tempers his maxi clothes with shrunken garments. Case in point, this maxi suit with a shrunken vest underneath.

(left) checks all over; (right) a black oversized suit with abstract monkey print

The show as message?

You know someone is going the extra mile when the stage for the show or better the set is different every time. He took that out of the Prada playbook. This time there were fun park scooters in the first row as well as old TV sets which served as chairs and the whole Marni headquarter was filled with gravel stone.

Englishmen in Milan: raincoats galore, fishermen gear and plastic boots

What about the water?

Risso seems obsessed with raincoats, swimsuits, fisherman’s gear and plastic boots. Nearly every collection has some reference to the rain which makes the collection veer into British territory and adds a lot of fun.

Cheers, Marni: Risso’s male models drink champagne before the show to get into the mood

Secret of success?

Marni serves a shot of champagne to its models before the show and not after. Models downed long glasses of Ruinart right before hitting the catwalk to ensure a loose and happy mood.