In Milan, Magliano honours Italy, Reshake celebrates China
The Milanese catwalks witnessed a menswear collision this week. On one side, the classic wardrobe inspired by Italian elegance, refreshed with brio by Luca Magliano. On the other, Reshake’s pop-style streetwear, featuring powerful graphic designs inspired by Chinese culture.
Constantly searching for authenticity, creating characters rich in colour and intimately connected with a profoundly Italian style, Magliano chose a Milanese billiard hall to present its Fall/Winter 2020-21 menswear collection on Monday. The models stroll through the back room of a popular bar, amidst green billiard tables, sporting a mobster bad-boy allure with suit-and-tie ensembles seemingly too big for them.
“This venue represents both working-class Milan and a darker side of the city, with its underprivileged outsiders. It's ideal for this season's theme, hovering between real life and the kingdom of the dead,” said Bologna-born Luca Magliano, who searched for inspiration in films by Fellini and Almodovar.
The underworld reference is clear from the immaculate white ensembles, mirroring the pallid, ghost-like complexion of some of the models. Or from a wrinkled satin gilet seemingly straight out of a casket’s upholstery. Elsewhere, a masculine shadow, cigarette hanging from the mouth, is outlined on the back of a suit, or sketched on some of the shirts’ prints.
Three-piece suits in tweed, wool and other subdued fabrics feature destructured cuts and a palette of dark, dusty colours like maroon, mauve, grey, brown and sage green. The pleated trousers are so large that the belt cinching them at the waist sometimes leaves a section free. Ample overcoats settle smoothly over the body like bathrobes.
For the evening, the Magliano boys turn their jackets inside out, buttoning them on the back and showing off their colourful, shimmering silk lining. This season, the label introduced more fluid materials like polyester cady and viscose crepe. Knitwear, one of Magliano’s strengths, is also present in abundance, with ultra-fine sheer sweaters allowing a glimpse of the underskirt beneath, or with shirt-jackets in striped retro patterns. A pair of gloves is suspended from a chain hanging from the model's neck.
Different continent, different vision. Reshake was keen to make an impression with its first Milanese show, introducing impressive looks bursting with energy. The label was launched in Shanghai in 2013. It is owned by Chinese apparel giant Mark Fairwhale and already operates over 130 stores in China.
The collection was inspired by China’s space programme, more precisely by the first satellite launched by the Asian country in 1970. Dong Fang Hong I was a propaganda satellite, equipped with a radio transmitter that was continuously broadcasting China's national anthem, ‘The East Is Red’. A thematic choice that speaks volumes about Reshake's ambition to extend the reach of Chinese fashion worldwide.
Reshake’s designer Jonny Fu creates distinctive high-end streetwear, relying heavily on printed graphics and illustrations borrowed from both traditional Chinese iconography and national propaganda images from the 1970s. For example, a satellite streaks red rays in the centre of a sweater, while the outline of the space craft and its trajectory are sketched in black and red on the white background of a puffer jacket and of sportswear sets, almost like a graffiti artist’s tags.
Other images, with their infant-like characters, seem to come straight from the world of Japanese manga. The illustrations are featured like wallpaper on a jacket-and-trousers set in translucent plastic, as well as on the colourful patches decorating a black overcoat and a down cape. The back of a washed denim jacket is instead emblazoned with an oversize fabric flag.
The style is masculine, the silhouettes imposingly extra-large. The models flaunt a warrior attitude, with chains around their necks and waists, hoods covering their heads. Others are bare-chested and clad in large shorts, happy to unveil their tattooed bodies. Generously cut nylon trousers with maxi pockets evoke a samurai look.
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