No stranger to designs with a worldview, Gucci, from John Ray, (the house’s new menswear creative director) worked with rich textures and ethnic styles that should thrill core customers. Heavily embellished tops dangling with beads and coins, ruffled shirts, brocaded jackets, and printed chiffon djellabas set a mood that was Marrakesh meets Jaipur. At Miu Miu, Indian mirrors and psychedelic mushroom and banana motifs came applied to jackets and hats. Printed summer shirts, shorts, and beaded necklaces rounded out the carnivalesque story not rooted in any precise region. Miuccia Prada‘s influential lines spin in her special mad hatter brand of ethnic, and at Prada it was Cuban hats, unexpectedly vibrant colored shirts under shiny gray suits, (a Prada specialty and a must have for spring) and printed shirts. Etro’s Native American headdresses emphasized the ethnic story of floral and stripe patchwork shown with a slew of heat-seeking colors and prints.
Paul Smith’s “Eton gods” in slim cut pants, striped button down shirts and loosened ties sometimes shown under T-shirts could have taken style influence from a student year abroad in Afghanistan. Afghan prints decorated jackets and scarves and permeated the college uniform in embellished straps on messenger bags. And a similar duality played out at Fendi, which showed crest covered leathers, v-neck sweaters and separates, mixed in with a sea of exotic shiny fabric suits and subdued prints.
Men will have to decide if the mood is back to school or far and away when it comes to dressing next spring.