Milan: Feels like Ladies’ Day again in the Italian menswear capital
It’s going to be the most female-inflected season in recent memory at Milan Fashion Week Men’s, the four-day Italian menswear runway which kicks off this Friday evening, with a co-ed presentation by Stella McCartney; features an Italian debut by French hipster Isabel Marant, and a high-octane soirée courtesy of Miuccia Prada.
In a busy moment for fashionable feminists; Donatella Versace – fresh from conquering the Met Gala with her classily campy pink carpet display – will unveil her latest take on men’s style on Saturday night. While on Monday morning Silvia Fendi will take her bow for Fendi’s menswear show. That will mark her first menswear ovation since the passing of Fendi creative director Karl Lagerfeld on February 19.
Chronologically speaking, McCartney will take the first step on Friday evening, when she stages a co-ed presentation featuring both her men’s and women’s spring 2020 collections.
McCartney debuted her menswear in Paris with a mixed show in March 2018, just before she bought back full control of her house from luxury group Kering. She subsequently took both men’s and women’s collections to Milan in June last year, though the choice of her latest venue suggests she is keen to up the commercial ante; marking a firmer commitment to her menswear division. However, in a surprise move, her long-time CEO Frederick Lukoff quit the London fashion house to helm a less happening brand – Scotch & Soda.
On Friday, McCartney will be personally present for her Milan event, to be staged in the cloisters of an ancient Romanesque building just south of the city’s stock market.
It looks to be a battle of parties, with Marant throwing a bash named “Isabel in Town!” within a storied city center Renaissance palazzo on Saturday, boasting not one but two DJs, respectively Futuro Tropicale and Velardi.
Not to be outdone, Miuccia Prada intends on having a mega fête on Friday, an evening entitled “I Want to Like You but I Find it Difficult.” Heralded as “Un Evento Musicale” starring Italian electro punk rocker Andrea Belfi; tech house spin-master Craig Richards; deep house specialist Biosphere and experimental techno Object Blue, it should rock her art space, Fondazione Prada.
Hence the parties of Philipp Plein; DSquared2 and Marcelo Burlon already feel slightly like afterthoughts.
Donatella Versace – who wowed the fashion planet at the Met Gala with her “Divine” acid-dyed crinoline over a crystal-encrusted bodysuit – returns home to her palazzo on via Gesu. While, recent tradition will be maintained, with the first major show of the season, Ermenegildo Zegna, which under the subtle hand of designer Alessandro Sartori has turned into one of the industry’s top 10 shows and collections.
Being as Milan is Italy’s haute fashion shopping center, a slew of brands will also celebrate the opening of new stores: Slam Jam, Persol. Canali plans a rooftop cocktail; Caruso is feting the opening of a new inner-city showroom; Gucci is in conversation with Harmony Korine as well as unspooling a new film, “Trash Humpers.”
Two major houses will stage two separate shows. Notably Giorgio Armani, due to unveil Emporio Armani Saturday morning, and then in a change of time and place his signature collection on Monday evening in his historic home on via Borgonuovo. A move generally regarded as a gesture by Armani to the Camera della Moda, Italian fashion’s governing body, to encourage more editors and buyers to stay through the whole working day. Previously, when Giorgio Armani was held on Monday mornings, scores of visitors had promptly jumped in their limos and headed to Linate airport as soon as the last model exited the great designer’s catwalk.
Separately, Dolce & Gabbana will also stage two shows. Their signature line at its time honored slot of 2 p.m. on Saturday; followed on Sunday evening by one of their bespoke Sartoria shows at the same location – their show-space on viale Piave, a cleverly converted cinema.
Finally, in the ongoing attempt to create a new generation of talent – a project where Milan still lags behind London or Paris – the Camera della Moda has gone into overdrive in supporting not one but nine houses, including M1992, Magliano, Bed J.W. Ford, Danilo Paura, Rolf Ekroth & Terinit, Youser, United Standard, Edithmarcel and David Catalan. Youser of South Korea is also a guy-and-girl duo of designers – Moo-Yeol Lee and Minhee Kim.
Cannot fault the Camera for effort, can one?
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