Milan Fashion Week: Spring Summer 2018 Menswear Highlights

The fashion world is in a state of disarray, perhaps a reflection of the state of our world. And that's great (only for the style realm).

BY eugene lim | Jun 22, 2017 | Fashion

IMAXTREE/ Valentina Valdinoci

Trends are not as prevalent as they once were, so screw that. A diverse world is a more inclusive one—we've moved from the ultra sartorial age, into an era (4 seasons is an era in the fast moving pace of the fashion industry) of streetwear, to the present state that we are at now. 

Styles have never been more varied than they have been. Case in point: Pitti Uomo. The mecca of dandies now has sections dedicated to streetwear and avant-garde fashion. J.W Anderson, Off White and HUGO (Hugo Boss' more fashion focused sibling) each held a show. Hell, they even threw in a Radiohead concert which was officially listed on the Pitti Uomo schedule. 

In this chaos, we at Esquire got your back. Instead of a hoity-toity review, our associate fashion editor distills the shows down to their essence, poring over each collection on the silhouettes, styling elements, and the pieces that would actually translate into your wardrobe.

1) Ermenegildo Zegna Couture

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As the opening show for Milan Fashion Week, Alessandro Sartori sophomore collection was about all about establishing a sense of weightlessness to his signature blend of sports and tailoring. Pushing the boundaries of Zegna's fabric mill, the outcome resulted in perforated fabrics, woven knits, mesh as well as silk textiles that were translated into pullovers, suits, t-shirts and work jackets. The garments were soft and so light that you almost forget that you were wearing them. 

Our favourite piece from the collection is the work jacket from look 30. Made out of 200-gram silk, the memory of the fabric was stripped away, allowing the jacket to retain its shape and boxy pockets even after being folded.

2) Emporio Armani

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Melding Giorgio Armani's signature soft shoulder tailoring with Japanese sensibilities, Emporio Armani's SS18 collection was one that paid tribute in referencing without crossing the line of tasteless appropriation. 

Kimono collars fused into western staples, and martial arts robes were translated into quilted outerwear, tops, and trousers-skirt hybrids. In our non-outwear-friendly climate, the trousers are an alternative way to add an interesting twist to your outfits.

3) Prada

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Mrs. Prada went back to the basics with her SS18 collection for men. Knowing her, it probably won't be a literal interpretation. Exploring the uniform of men, she, together with stylist Olivier Rizzo transformed basics such a zipped jackets, button-down shirts, wide legged trousers, boiler suits cardigans, and jerseys into yet another stunning collection. 

The jackets and shirts had their sleeves pulled to the biceps, fastened with Prada Velcro tabs while the baggy trousers had similar tabs to create a tapped silhouette. Designed by artists James Jean and Ollie Schrauwen, the comic graphics were also featured on the shirts and belts. 

Why comics? Not because of the recent trend of superhero movies that sparked a revival of an interest in graphic novels, because to Mrs. Prada, they were a simple and elegant way to tell a story. 

See what we meant: Never that literal.

4) Fendi

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Silvia Fendi presented a masterclass in the deconstruction on the very idea of turning corporate wear into a statement that's both convertible and wearable. Staples like the Mac coat, tailoring, blousons, short sleeve shirts, suspenders, and ties made an appearance, but all done with a Fendi twist. 

Mixing opulence with nylon, such as the use of translucent check fabric in the normal masculine tailoring, is Silvia Fendi's way of giving corporate wear and luxurious upgrade yet doing away with stuffiness and rigidity. 

Leather brogues and oxfords were turned into sandals, while the bags were made reversible. She also collaborated with artist Sue Tilley on artworks of ordinary objects like a cup of coffee, a lamp and a banana that gave life to various pieces.