June – a month full of fresh, exciting and inspirational men’s fashion. What more could you ask for? This month sees some of the most established and celebrated designers showcase their collections at Fashion Weeks dedicated to menswear in both Milan and Paris. With Milan Menswear Fashion Week now over, here’s a round up of some of the week’s hottest shows as well as a brief outline on some of the trends we’ll be seeing for Spring/Summer 2011.
After some of fashion’s biggest names showcased their collections during the first two days of Milan Fashion Week, we could have been easy deceived into thinking the best was behind us. However, with gorgeous garments from the likes of Gucci, Etro and Giorgio Armani, the last two days of the week featured the same consistently high level of quality and design talent, ensuring the week went out with a bang.
A varied offering from Gucci designer Frida Giannini this season, the collection consisted of somewhat simplistic garments brought to life with a more interesting use of styling and accessories. With both a nostalgic nod to the past as well as a safari feel, the collection ranged from safari jackets, white trousers and holdalls to leather jackets, brown blazers and suede front jumpers.
Although the collection was definitely appealing, it was slightly disappointing that the more interesting prints [top right] were not featured more heavily in the collection as I felt they added a bit more life to the overall aesthetic and were particularly suited to Spring/Summer. Accessories ranged from holdalls and small shoulder bags (in both canvas and leather) to belts bearing the classic Gucci emblem. Perhaps my favourite accessories of the collections were the printed neck scarves which added a flash of colour and excitement to an otherwise tame look. Footwear came in the form of classic Gucci loafers made in a variety of different materials ranging from fabric to snakeskin.
As models walked down a catwalk of grass, against a naturist backdrop, it was clear that Etro had this season drawn it’s inspiration from mother earth. Initially, it appeared that head designer Kane Etro had toned down the famous bright colour flashes and kaleidoscopic prints synonymous with the Etro brand, in favour of a more muted palette of neutral colours such as olive and grey. However, as the collection progressed it was clear that Etro’s heritage was far from forgotten as some bright colour flashes and wilder prints still remained.
Sheer fabrics were featured heavily throughout, showing that this is a trend with the potential to continue through to next year. Meanwhile, the collection as a whole also reflected a much lighter approach with a looser, more airy silhouette. Loafers were again the footwear of choice, this time featuring tassel fringing, whilst accessories were limited to simplistic canvas bags.
A classic collection with a few unexpected twists, Armani mixed his renowned tailoring with casual tops and loose fitting trousers for a more laid back and relaxed look. Often blazers were replaced in favour of round neck jumpers, leather jackets or casual waistcoats.
Although using a generally muted palette, Armani injected flashes of bright colour in the form of yellow shoes, pocket squares and glasses, a reflection on the collection’s title ‘Sun and the City’. Accessories consisted of circular sunglasses, and silk pocket squares while footwear was a varied mixture of bright suede shoes amongst leather loafers and brogues.
With American Gigolo protagonist Julian Kaye as their inspiration, brothers Dan and Dean Caten showcased a slightly more reserved collection than previous years but nevertheless it was still very much fresh and exciting. A combination of casual looks with a preppy feel, the collection featured plunging necklines and tailored shorts prominently.
With bold colour flashes throughout the collection was far from dull as models stormed down the runway bare chest and looking like they’ve been hibernating in the gym since last fashion week. Simple chain necklaces brought further emphasis to low necklaces whilst often contrasting belts adorned trousers and shorts.
So, as a week of intensive shows and exceptional design came to an end one thing was certain, Spring/Summer 2011 will definitely be a season to look forward to.
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