MSGM and K-Way: From sporting club wear to arty active sportswear
Saturday’s runway action in the Milan menswear, the second day of the season, began and ended with MSGM and K-Way, from sporting club work to arty active sportswear.
MSGM: University of dreamers
One designer and brand very much on an upward trajectory are Massimo Giornetti and MSGM, which has developed into a great new Italian marque in the past decade-and-a-half.
Massimo’s brand building continued Saturday morning at a sprightly show held amid the iron girder Italianate brutalism of an urban architecture college in northeast Milan.
Giornetti’s concept this season: 'Dreamers' University', a fashionable ode to a fictional college and the kids who form MSGM’s hard core fans.
The designer even quotes John Keats from the Dead Poets Society: “We don’t write poetry because it is cute. We write poetry because we are members of the human race… Medicine, law, business, architecture, there are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
The result was a set of clothes bearing jumbled up statement graphics - Gothic Dreamers University logos; heraldic emblems; two headed dogs; and spaniel head prints.
Giornetti is not a stay-at-home designer, and he really gets how young kids today want to dress. He can cut a great pant too – from tinselly chalk stripe trousers to volume cargo pants. And in a city that has made the puffer into de rigueur in any wardrobe, a series of absurdist down blousons.
Keats pal Shelly was famed for calling poets the unacknowledged arbiters of the universe. Turns out that today that is the role of the fashion designer, including Massimo Giornetti.
K-Way: Café de la Paix in Milano
Full marks to the Italian family of Boglione for the revival of K-Way, and to this season’s first-rate show, a homage to the brand’s founder Léon-Claude Duhamel.
Back in 1965, the Frenchman dreamed up the concept of cool, easy nylon dressing on a wet day while sitting at Café de la Paix beside the Paris Opera, watching people struggle with umbrellas. This Saturday in Milan, K-Way creating a terrace scene for the show with wicker chairs, round faux-marble tables and that café’s iconic green awnings.
“I never imagined that the idea would grow into such a long-lasting brand or that we’d all be here today celebrating. It’s magic,” commented Duhamel, pre-show.
His utilitarian concept was based on the question, “à quoi sert,” meaning what use is all this extra gear when you have nylon. Quoi, morphed into K, pronounced Ka in French, and after an American Way the brand grew to be K-Way.
These days K-Way’s orange and yellow stripe zips are ubiquitous on rainy days in all European capitals, as the brand enjoys mega rapid growth. This fall/winter collection took the label somewhere new – with a whole plethora of dashing winter separates.
From matellasé minis and shorts or gargantuan puffers to massive, padded cocoon coats all were tremendously eye catching.
Mountainous mode orange puffer blousons cut like military maneuver gear; down jackets finished with a new K monogram; and bags shaped like parachute packs.
An admirable casting – from a black beauty with loosened and kinked cornrows to a K-pop star lookalike in a natty scrunched up ivory flight jacket. Hints of Issey Miyake and Y-3 about the collection, though always refined through a K-Way concept.
“It’s not that easy to create a runway show for a specific brand like ours. So, if you do one it has to look special,” commented Lorenzo Boglione, who for the past several years has staged an annual unisex K-Way show during each Milan menswear season in January.
A show that ended with a winter sports bride, in a crinoline and a huge train made of a score of acid hued nylon jerkins.
No one took a bow at the end of the show, staged in Isola, the recently revived industrial area of northeast Milan. But the design team deserved a bow and the applause after this impressive performance.
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