The Milan Menswear Fashion Week a/w ’12 collections delivered refreshing new trends and a variety of masculine themes. Incarnations of nostalgic fashion as well as heterogeneous interpretations of the modern gentleman dominated the overall look and feel of the presentation.
Prada’s dapper designs managed to overshadow the presentations—thanks in added part to the slew of celebrities featured both off and on the catwalk. Actors Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Tim Roth, Adrien Brody and Gary Oldman modeled ‘30s-style long coats with wide fur lapels and double-breasted cummerbunds with brooch accents. The combination of these iconic male figures and designs lent a timeless glamour and masculinity to the overall collection.
At Burberry Prosum, Christopher Baily’s collection had all the excitement of a British period drama—right down to the accessories. Tweed caps and striped umbrellas with silver dogs head handles accented the quintessentially anglo collection, which featured updates on the corduroy suit as well as polka-dot shirts and ties, cropped quilted jackets and cow-neck knit jumpers. Jil Sander was also inspired by animals, albeit of the more outlandish variety. Amid the professional suits and black leather, Sander’s collection included dinosaurs and whales on a few knits.
Nothing short of opulent, Giorgio Armani’s collection was lavished with velvet jackets, lush snoods and theatrical hats reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance. Similar in its approach to luxury, Dolce & Gabbana’s catwalk collection featured a series of wool suits adorned with thick capes and silk bowties, then slowly progressed into ensembles fit for royalty (silk pajamas made in the signature D&G print, dinner jackets embroidered with gold details).
Designers upstaged this season’s fine fabrics with new textiles and prints. Etro featured layered feathered jumpers with Native American printed blazers, while Missoni showed similar designs that merged the classic Missoni pattern with ethnic weaves. Missoni also included brown and red plaid trousers for a/w ’12, which was a trend also seen in DSquared2’s blue plaid scarves and button-down shirts. Denim also proved to be a popular textile, as seen at DSquared2 and, most strikingly, in a denim jacket at Valentino.
Making his menswear debut, Jonathan Saunders set out to distinguish himself from the fierce competition by using a fall/winter palette eclipsed by pastels and intricate pale prints on stunning two-piece suits. His collection was a mix of tailored pieces in baby blue, soft red and yellow knitwear as well as the occasional plum red or navy separate. At Moschino, Bill Shapiro showed equal enthusiasm for color with his orange brick print three-piece look, while Marc Jacobs opted for bright lime and yellow in a skater-inspired jacket with matching trousers and Trussardi designed retro houndstooth suits and suede blazers in rich blues and orange.