Housing the upper crust of the luxury menswear space, Italy hosted one of the boldest, most conscious and gender-positive editions of Milan Menswear Fashion Week for the Spring Summer 2020 season. The Milanese runways were set alight with fashion that promised a lot more than mere garments – as inclusivity, equality and environmental consciousness were served to the audience as a part of the work of this set of aware designers.
The fashion industry of Italy thrives on numbers for the high-end space, accounting for being the leader in the luxury goods in terms of numbers of companies. As per the Luxury Market Study by Deloitte, Italy was home to the greatest number of fast-growing luxury goods companies for the third year running: there were six Italian companies in the Fastest 20 (based on the compound annual growth rate or CAGR, in luxury goods sales over a two-year period) in FY2016, the same number as in FY2015. Adding to this exemplary performance, comes the menswear space of the country, whose consumers have time and again proven to be more progressive in their taste in fashion while accepting changing trends faster than their global counterparts.
Statista.com reported the total worth of the Italian menswear space at 9.5 billion Euros in 2018, with constant annual growth expected to be 2.5 per cent for the coming years.
What made this season stand out was how, in millennial terms, “woke” the designers were about the socio-political and environmental issues that are disrupting the market led by the dynamic consumer psyche.
Inclusivity and equality were imbibed cleverly in the gender-less silhouettes, and men sported unconventional silhouettes such as skin-fit jersey pants and glossy waist-cinching overcoats. Yet, the street influence on the collections took a considerable drop as the pieces took a turn towards easy tailoring.
Tipping the aesthetics of menswear fashion over the edge of feminine conventions, the season saw several changes in the colour stories and prints. Here is our edit of the top trends spotted at Milan Fashion Week S/S’20.
Three Strikes for Utility
Setting camp on the runways for three seasons in a row was the Utility touch, as it checks the nonchalant glamour meets comfortable functionality memo. Clip buckle belts, multiple fanny pack belts and bellows were the major highlights, as Dolce & Gabbana took a jungle safari with its beige utility ranger jackets, Emporio Armani took off with hand-held cape style windbreakers with draw strings and Fendi celebrated utility with design, with multiple bellow pockets placed over floral printed jackets and vests.
Outerwear has maintained a stoic position throughout the seasons, be it winter or summer. To sweat in style, windbreakers made a resurgence for S/S’20 menswear at Milan, as the material itself was broken down into several manipulated silhouettes such as randomly placed bellows and zippers, hand-held cape variations, overcoat length with tailored collars or simple zip-ups for various collections.
Colour palettes were varied, as Bed JW Ford, Marcelo Burlon and Prada splashed their windbreaker pieces in panels of bold colours, with blue and orange being the top choice with a few specks of neon while Emporio Armani and Ermenegildo Zegna played with greys, with acid washes and shimmery finishes.
Beige is back, and back with a bang. The runways most recurring colour this season was beige and other lighter adaptations of the hue, especially on sturdy, outdoorsy silhouettes such as gabardine overcoats, sleeveless ranger jackets, three piece monochrome casual suit sets or the conventional shirt and pants pairs with contrasting prints but similar colour story.
The bigwigs of the Milan fashion space, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Versace, imposed the hue in multiple prints and styles, taking the hue up a notch with smart tailoring and mixed-media exploration, with Marni, Les Hommes, Palm Angels and DSquared2 joining the running.
The Better Halves
The Half-and-half way styles formulated a micro-trend for the latest womenswear presentations, and the Milanese runways for menswear translated the trend to become one of the macro-trends for the season.
Ensembles showing half-and-half variation in materials used, prints displayed or simply colour variations encompassed mostly tailored pieces, such as Versace’s plaid against black and leopard against brown coats, Marni’s brilliant solids against understated checks pants and coats, or DSquared2’s silk oriental florals against classic black tuxedos.
Tie Dye Tribe
The 70s hippie aesthetics were brought back to the 2020 runways as several designers plundered through their archives for iconic prints, with tie and dye emerging at the top. Versace slammed its vintage rainbow tie dye advertisements onto T-shirts, further juxtaposing the same against a print-party of plaids, acid-wash denims and animal skin prints.
Marcelo Burlon and Palm Angels went for the conventional indigo versions of the print, while Emporio Armani and Moschino took moodier tones to play and ErmenegildoZegna with MSGM showcased the trend in warm hues such as coral and pink. All in all, the classic pattern is now on the trends’ radar for the upcoming season.
Leopard on the Run
Animal skin prowled its way from womenswear to menswear, as leopard print eclipsed the other heavy patterns in the running. Snakeskin also made appearance for the trend, but as Cheetah had disrupted the market two seasons back, Leopard was the go-to for many.
Versace made it a bold leopard-themed party with half-and-half looks with glossy jackets and skin hugging jersey pants, while MSGM showed a sombre adaptation with sombre leopard prints, while Dolce and Gabbana mixed and matched the pattern with tropical and floral prints, unless their all over leopard layered ensembles took the centre-stage.
Tailoring is a mainstay, but Italian fashion houses twisted the conventional lengths to serve styles that cropped the lengths of the bottoms to Bermuda or just above-the-knee lengths. Prada men walked with Bermuda-length tailored boxy shorts with structured overcoats and jackets, Marni went for knit topwear paired against tailored Bermuda pants and John Richmond took cues from the street with neon shorts suitsets with animal skin prints. Neil Barrett added to mix the embroidered puffer blazer and shorts sets while Les Hommes and Fendi kept the summer vibe alive with deep floral and light khaki and safari patterns for the trend.
Mono Colour Pop
The colour stories for Milan broke many conventions, as they took a step forward from last year’s pastels for men to loud and bright colour options and over that, emphasised this shift of colours using monochrome looks for menswear. Emporio Armani, Ralph Lauren Purple, Pal Zileri, Emporio Armani and Giorgio Armani were among the top names to champion the trend, presenting two and three-piece sets, whether casual or formally tailored, in eccentric bold colours such as ruby red, dull rose, neon green, sunny orange, electric blue and salmon pink as well.