Milan Men’s Fashion Week S/S 2019 Part 1

Ermenegildo Zegna Couture and Marni

Men’s fashion is going through crazy times at the moment where the worlds of tailoring, sports, outdoor, active and street wear are one big melting pot. Oh yes, let’s not forget logos are back as well and all over. Follow our coverage of the new season where a beautiful Zegna Couture show kicked off the Milan schedule. And yes, this will be a few hard days, as many of the top show slots rival with the top game times at the World Cup in Russia. As Sepp makers, we are heartbroken. As I write this, I missed the second half of the Spain – Portugal match that was a spectacular 3-3 tie where CR7 scored a hat trick. Damn!

The set of the first Menswear Fashion Show of the season – the Mondadori SpA headquarters in all its glory, designed by Brazilian’s star architect and national treasure Oscar Niemeyer

Ermenegildo Zegna Couture S/S 2019

Alessandro Sartori in his third year at Zegna is leading a remarkable turnaround. With him, the company has managed to stop declining sales and is in growth mode again. Better, Sartori is also the leader of the casualization of high fashion tailoring. Already in his first show for the house did he bring out the luxe sweatpant on his runway and with last night’s show he has perfected his canon. Shown at the breathtaking editorial headquarters of the Mondadori publishing house outside Milan built by Oscar Niemeyer in 1968 and completed in 1975, his outdoor Zegna Couture show on a warm summer night was a powerful statement in relaxed tailoring. It even seemed that Sartori who has a knack for colors picked out the shades of the sky: rich faded oranges and pinks graced the horizon as the sun went down and the models floated on a mirrored catwalk.

It’s all about definition?

Sartori redefines the notion of what a suit can be. For him a bomber jacket and pants in similar fabric count as much as suiting as the traditional pairing of pants with a tailored jacket.


Modern vision: Ermenegildo Zegna Couture challenged the perception of suits by presenting jacket-esque bomber jackets

Intelligent luxury?

It takes four meters of length and one point five meters in width to cut a size 48 suit. Sartori used the power of his Zegna mills to maximum effect by cutting each suit from individual fabric units. Each garment is different in fabric idiosyncrasy. Case in point: a color faded, striped linen suit, which looked like it was patched together.

An oversized striped blazer in combination with a matching checked loose fit pair of pants and contrasting black and yellow sandals

News in silhouette?

Also, Sartori who generally likes it mean and lean has opted for bigger volumes in his unconstructed blazers injecting freshness.

blazer oversized

The bigger the better: that is partially true and that is why Sartori went for oversized checked blazers for Spring Summer 2019

Personal touch?

Sartori went playful with his prints and introduced a series of what he calls souvenirs. All images he used like a volleying tennis player were culled from his private image archive.

Sartori souvenirs: this traditional tailored suit in mellow red caught the attention because of its tennis player print – originally from the designer’s private image archive

The cherry on the cake?

In our times of global fashion branding, a great collection is only the starting point as a show serves as precise message to the world via social media and live feeds. But Sartori managed to pull off a proper Zegna showcase tonight where the Niemeyer architecture, the fortunate weather, dreamy electro soundtrack and strong clothes all came perfectly together.

The grand finale: all models lined up on the cascade steps of the Niemeyer Mondadori SpA headquarters while the sun set

Marni S/S 2019

Francisco Risso and Lawrence Steele are determined to bring life and emotions into their Marni collections. “I could show this collection at my home if it was just about the clothes. No, it’s about having fun and being alive and only a show can transmit that” explained Risso post show. Cleverly taking the show out of its Marni home on Viale Umbria to change things up a bit and not fall into the trap that many other Milan designers with their custom-built show spaces have fallen into, Marni was pulsating with the energy of a fictional Olympic team cast of all ages and sizes. Clothes were sporty but still keeping a high fashion vibe with experimental shapes and unusual proportions.

Team diversity: age, ethnicity, sizes didn’t matter, only talent and aesthetic were requested at Marni and the Italian brand knows how it is done best

Where it all started?

Leni Riefenstahl and Egon Schiele. Well, that makes us happy at Achtung Digital since we share their language but as a show concept it sounds high minded. Not in the hands of Risso, who managed to melt Schiele’s embrace of oddity and Riefenstahl’s sense for perfection into an opposite attracts moment.

(left) a long oversized bathrobe blazer with Egon Schiele drawings, underneath a plain white shirt with matching wide pants and red trainers; (right) a baseball jersey with various different prints, underneath a partially striped shirt with a hand print on the front, loose black track pants, blue and black striped socks and white trainers

Where Marni is strong?

Risso has a knack for oversized garments that look just right. One of our favorite looks was a single-breasted, super long, yellow blazer with shorts, which looked oddly right. Also, his pleated and high waisted pants were spot on.

Oddity equals uniqueness – Marni is creatively on a roll as Risso tries out new combinations that are oddly pleasing

Why this is worth to watch?

Marni is a company with Euro 170 Million in sales approximately. Not big but not bad. Risso and Steele have undeniable design chops but it will be interesting to see if they can also turn their highly creative vision into a commercial success.

The new modern? Marni presented a flower printed multi-colored coat above an equally bloomy bomber jacket combined with jeans shorts, green, black and white striped socks and red trainers

The World Cup reference?

Nothing is more closely watched than the color of the tank top the coach is handing out for the final practice before a big match. Are you in the starting eleven or not? Risso accessorized many of his looks with these tank tops worn over elongated sweaters and vests to enhance his Olympic vibe.

Tank Top Mania: some models at Marni like German Anton Jäger (left) sported plain, yet fashionable tank tops – ultra timely

The fun factor?

Risso and Steele are inviting their guests to an after show party where they propose to have a sleepless night. Considering the thin Milan show schedule, this might just be possible for some of the industry gang who no longer have to go to a Sunday morning 9am Bottega Veneta show.