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Milanese men's fashion seeks reassurance in nostalgia and craftsmanship, from Fendi to Dolce&Gabbana

Milanese men's fashion seeks reassurance in nostalgia and craftsmanship, from Fendi to Dolce&Gabbana
Milanese men's fashion seeks reassurance in nostalgia and craftsmanship, from Fendi to Dolce&Gabbana

 


MILAN Amid ongoing wars, hardening political divisions and accelerating climate change, Milan designers played an escapist role on the second day Saturday of Milan Fashion Week, mostly clothing previews for men for spring-summer 2025.

Many have drawn inspiration from decades that now seem more reassuring, where the future was full of possibilities. That future is now, and reality has arrived. The message of climate change has penetrated style studios: men are being offered thigh-baring shorts, open-weave tops and shoes, and inventive construction that allows ventilation on demand. Despite the gravity of the situation, the fashion houses seemed to be saying: Have fun. The missing ingredient: exuberance.

Dolce & Gabbana offer summer elegance

Dolce & Gabbana's collection for next summer was as sweet as a saxophone solo on the runway soundtrack. Loose silhouettes and artisan weave are synonymous with summer ease.

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have created looks for Italy's coziest beach destinations, from the Amalfi Coast to Venetian Lido to Portofino Liguria. The designers said in notes that they were inspired by Italy's golden period of the 1950s, epitomized by Marcello Mastroianni.

The star of the show this season were the weaves: jackets, shirts and tunics in woven raffia in summery tones of beige and black, echoed in shoes and bags, which paired well with pretty scalloped crochet knits and leather weaving. The silhouette had an important supporting role, harking back to a bygone era with loose-fitting pleated pants rolled up to a relaxed cuff. Boxy tops balanced with shorter shorts. Bold diagonal stripes strike a nostalgic chord.

Clean linens and suedes maintained the calm tones of the collection, interrupted by occasional bursts of pearls and coral sequins. The nature-inspired color palette included calming juxtapositions of eggplant and wine, forest green and olive.

Models strolled down a path created by six rotating mirrored pillars offering a kaleidoscopic view of a Fendis menswear collection gone nostalgic with a mix of checks, stripes and geometric prints.

The masculine silhouette imagined by artistic director Silvia Venturini Fendi evokes a past where the shirt and tie were de rigeur, but not only that. The staples of yesteryear have been updated with oversized shirts peeking out from under lightweight bomber jackets, paired with straight-leg pants or Bermuda shorts. The clothing architectures gave an inventive touch, with asymmetrical knits buttoned on the shoulder for a hide-and-seek effect, or sleeves that opened at the elbow to go from long to short, from warm to cool.

Wide diagonal stripes on a plaid pattern recall the 1970s, while a newly invented Fendi crest is repeated for a geometric print. The calming color palette of khaki, lime and sand, with pops of peach, helped cleanse the monochrome palate of busy patterns. Leather slip-ons or paneled sneakers completed the looks, accessorized with soft tote bags or a tidy patchwork bag made from leather scraps from Fendi's workshops.

This season's show moved from the brand's intimate showroom to a new 7,000 square meter (75,000 square foot) space that, according to show notes, was recognized for its energy and environmental design. Despite the change of venue, hundreds of enthusiastic and screaming K-pop fans made the trip to greet artists like Stray Kids Bang Chan.

Emporio Armani gallops towards summer

Wild horses galloped in a video broadcast above the Emporio Armani fashion show, for a Spring-Summer 2025 collection meant to convey freedom.

Everything about the collection was organic: the colors, the soft silhouette and the natural stone necklaces worn on bare chests. Pleated pants gave movement to the looks, worn with silky jackets open to the waist, fishnet tops or belted suit jackets. Woven cowboy hats completed the vibe, along with sure-footed moccasins or boots.

This collection takes the Emporio Armani man out of his usual metropolitan habitat, the show says, taking him on horseback through sunny hills, stretches of lavender and fields of wheat stretching into the distance, imbued with a sense of overwhelming independence.

Shades of sage, wheat, mustard and ocher blend into the landscape. It is only at the end that vibrant colors appear: lavender and bougainvillea pink, combined with forest green. To close the show, Armani sent out shirtless models in leather shorts carrying bags of scented lavender, accompanied by well-heeled women in brimmed hats and flowing chiffon or silk dresses. The crowd erupted in applause.

Armani, who turns 90 next month, bowed alongside his longtime partner Leo DellOrco and his niece Silvana Armani.

MSGM projects optimism at 15

MSGM brand founder Massimo Giorgetti woke up the fashion world with loud explosions of paintballs splattering on glass walls, his way of spreading positive energy.

As his brand celebrates its 15th anniversary, Giorgetti said the new Spring-Summer 2025 collection for men, Resort 2025 for women aims to invite everyone to reflect on the present and look towards a new horizon, hoping that it will better than today.

The collection projects optimism with bold stripes, wide collars, daisy prints, intarsia knits and playful illustrations by British artist Luke Edward Hall. The looks are youthful, with loose short skirts and nautical t-shirts for her, or a knitted cardigan with a shade sail and nautical patterns worn with khakis for him. But there's also a sophistication, for example, in a long knit dress accented by a yellow wave on the side, or a bright red suit made more youthful with a glimpse of the waistband of colorful boxers.

It's not an easy time, Giorgetti said. I really hope this collection is an escape.

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