MILAN: By now, the two Milan Fashion Weeks dedicated to menswear have transformed themselves into platforms for co-ed shows and up-and-coming brands beyond the menswear stalwarts.
The little more than three days of previews for next fall and winter that launched Friday evening include 52 collections in 27 runway shows and 25 presentations. Eleven brands are showing mixed men’s and women’s collections during the less hectic week dedicated to male apparel.
While menswear tends to create less of a spectacle than the womenswear shows, the lines still carry bottom-line weight. Italian menswear registered a turnover of 9.5 billion euros last year, a 1.5 percent increase over 2017.
The Gianni Versace fashion house has changed ownership, but not style. Donatella Versace explored bondage in the fashion house’s latest collection, the first since being bought by the US fashion group Capri Holding Limited.
The opening look had a bondage image printed cheekily on the front of a shirt, worn over dark trousers and with a leather overcoat. Repeated as a motif, bondage became as banal as a bandana print on a blouson. Then, there was winter bondage for her, underneath puffer jackets, and office bondage for him and her, with the back of suit jackets held together with O-rings, showing off colorful satiny prints.
The looks also veered toward cozy, with warm scarves and fuzzy sweaters bearing a new Versace logo, a V encircled by a G. But the Versace man also is not afraid of feminine touches, like colorful boas peeking out of suit jackets, bejeweled broches, crystal encrusted jeans and least of all, colorful embroidered silken boxers with a prominent Versace label peeking out of trousers, or on their own with a sober black suit jacket and button-up dress shirt.
Versace said in her notes that the image of masculinity has evolved since the 1990s “when there was a specific idea of ‘A’ man.”
“What I wanted to show in this collection are the different faces of a man, who... has gained the courage that he didn’t have before. If I had to find a word that defines today’s men, it would be daring,” she said.
Versace also previewed a collaboration with US carmaker Ford, including the oval-shaped blue Ford logo on leather jackets, trousers, sneakers, hoodies and button-down shirts. The latter was layered kinkily with a silky lace top and a leopard-print fur coat. For good measure, the model’s hair was colored in leopard print.
Underlining some of the feminine touches, Versace sent out women’s looks worn by top models Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Vittoria Ceretti and Emily Ratajkowski. Actor Luke Evans and Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta were in the front row, along with fellow rapper Fedez and his wife, fashion blogger and influencer, Chiara Ferragni.