What to expect from Milan men's fashion week?
The number of runway shows may have dipped slightly, but the city seems primed for a busy weekend of novel events, from a mega celebration of Rick Owens path-breaking exhibition called Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman to Condé Nast Italia’s latest big bash, a GQ Italia late-night fete in the Navigli. Invitations to Owens' Saturday party read that it will last from 11PM to 6AM. So one presumes a late Bacchanalian night.
All eyes will be on the opening show from Ermenegildo Zegna, which kicks off the season in a university. Last season it was in the Cattolica; this time in Bocconi, Italy’s leading business school. Under the expect guidance of Alessandro Sartori, the Zegna runway has grown into a major bellwether show. Indeed the homepage of the Camera della Moda, Italian’s fashion’s governing body, bears an image of the last Zegna show with the entire cast posed on mirrored boxes on red earth inside a Renaissance cloister.
That said, the season has been stripped of several major brands, which have amalgamated their menswear into joint women’s and men’s wear shows. Most notably Bottega Veneta, which will present its menswear and women’s fashion together next month. And Gucci, Italy’s fastest growing luxury fashion marque, which has also united the two sexes on the catwalk. Gucci, though, was busy this week in Florence, with its latest product development, a restaurant that opened during Pitti in the city’s main square under chef Massimo Bottura. His own highly acclaimed restaurant Osteria Francescana is in Modena, which also happens to be the hometown of Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri.
However, expect an injection of youth this season in Milan. The Camera is providing free space for four younger marques to stage runway shows on via Tortona, some inside the well-organized White trade fair.
In particular, Miao Ran, the Chinese designer from Shanxi, who was chosen by Giorgio Armani last year to make his Milan debut inside the Armani Theater. With a résumé of work in the worlds of art and theatre and the Missoni style department, Miao Ran designs for men and women with a functional yet poetic aesthetic.
On Sunday afternoon, attention will focus on Sulvam. Especially since its designer Teppei Fujita was once short-listed for the LVMH Prize.
“I think we need to consider a new way of presenting men’s fashion. It should no longer be either a show or a presentation. That’s why we changed the calendar to a more open one. There are so many ways of showing fashion, especially menswear. Take Etro, they won’t be doing a show, but instead a real happening, as you shall see,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera.
The Camera honcho is also very excited about Sabato Russo, the creative director of Sartorial Monk, which is on the calendar for the first time. Like Sulvam he will present inside Padiglione Visconti, a Camera-supported space also on via Tortona, in the south Milan district that is the nerve center of the Milan menswear season.
“He’s not so young, but he has a really unique style. Developed from working for various brands and also form spending time in Asia. His style is very deconstructed Japanese,” added Capasa.
A key obsession with the Camera is growing the number of young Italian talents – and this season sees the debut Neapolitan talent Isabel Benenato, also in via Tortona. Seeing as her name, Benenato, means Born Well, the auspices seem good.
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