Milan celebrated… Paris shone… and the man won with elegant designs

Milan celebrated… Paris shone… and the man won with elegant designs
Milan celebrated… Paris shone… and the man won with elegant designs
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Rationality and avoidance of shock prevailed in the men’s fashion weeks for fall-winter 2023-2024.

Finally, the fashion industry breathed a sigh of relief. Everyone is optimistic about the future of men’s fashion, especially after two difficult years that shook the pillars of this sector and changed some of its convictions. Even the Ukrainian war, which aroused some concern at its inception because of the possible consequences of crises on the supply chain, production, and others, did not affect it as much as the fashion makers feared. On the contrary, Italian fashion in 2022 recorded an increase in revenues by 16 percent, to reach 96.6 billion euros. Fashion houses such as “Saint Laurent”, “Gucci” and “Givenchy” also recorded significant revenues in the field of men’s fashion, more than those recorded in the field of women’s fashion. This recovery was confirmed by the recent fashion shows that took place in Milan and Paris for the fall-winter of 2023.

From the “Gucci” show (Reuters)

The most important thing that caught the eye is that it has returned to its former state: alive, focused and in large numbers. The funny thing is that the recent winds of change, which were characterized by a strong return to travel and the organization of dazzling shows after two years of virtual and digital shows, were welcomed. It did not occur to any of the followers that officials from the fashion industry would be held accountable for not fulfilling the promises they made during the years of the pandemic, such as reducing the number of shows, and not traveling to distant places. In order to preserve the environment, and similar humanitarian promises. At a time when accountability for the simplest things seems to be the one applied on social media platforms and others, the desire to return to life as we were accustomed to it before was stronger than principles and convictions. What was confirmed by the pandemic period is that nothing compensates for the experience of live performances and the accompanying enthusiasm, anticipation, lights, music, and other elements that tickle the senses and stir up feelings. Paris Week, for example, witnessed no less than fifty live performances, including the “Saint Laurent” show, which opened the week last Tuesday evening, knowing that it is the first men’s fashion show for the French house in Paris since the Belgian Anthony Vaccarello assumed the position of artistic director in 2016. Where he preferred to show in other world capitals so that the scene would be free for him. The House of “Givenchy” also dispensed with the “Haute Couture” line in favor of a men’s line currently supervised by American designer Matthew Williams, who presented on Wednesday a set of looks in which he played on the concept of multiple layers, combining tailored jackets, hooded sweaters, and wide and short pants.

From the “Saint Laurent” show (exclusive)

In Milan, Gucci also performed live after a three-year absence. Behind this absence was a decision taken by its former artistic designer, Alessandro Michele, when he declared almost two years ago that it was not necessary to adhere to the official program for fashion weeks. In return, he decided to travel to new places to perform. The house’s offer was simple and far from the blatant style, with contrasting colors and contrasting engravings, that Michele created. Gucci said she celebrates “spontaneous beauty” in it. Classicism was the dominant feature, without the bold touch being completely absent. The latter appeared in the mix of materials and metallic colors, and between faded jeans and sequined shirts, and shoes inspired by the fashion of the seventies. The collection also included embroidered long coats that were coordinated with wide trousers. It was clear that the house wanted to gradually get rid of the previous style so as not to shock its young fans.

From the “Givenchy” show in Paris (Reuters)

This classic characterizes almost all of Milan and Paris shows, as it was characterized by rationality and avoidance of complexities, inclination towards madness, or the exaggerated femininity of men. The reason is explained by the designer, Miuccia Prada, by saying: “In difficult times, one of us must work seriously and responsibly. There is no place for unnecessary superfluousness. As for innovation, it acquires its creative concept and its real status only when it is associated with the discovery of new things.

From the suggestions of “Tod’s” (private)

Indeed, in times of crisis, we can expect anything in the creative fields. The cuff may tend to a frantic desire to prove oneself and launch new waves, albeit surreal, or to a desire for calm until the storm passes peacefully. What was clear during the last two weeks in Milan and Paris was that the second hand was more likely. The pandemic had a positive impact on the wardrobe of the common man, which was embodied in elegant fashion far from seasonal trends. It can be said: Most of the collections that were presented were classic in detail, colors, simplicity in details, and diversity that made them address most tastes. Some may think that it is commercial and lacks the new in its revolutionary concept, but what helps it is that its classicism was grafted with touches of youthful youth, eager to restore the man to his masculine form. Even the softness that prevailed in some shows was in lighter doses than in recent seasons. Detailed suits and elegant coats, along with other separate pieces that serve the man, whatever his whims, inclinations, and occasions, are the ones that stole the heroic roles. In the “Prada” show, for example, the image was very modern and simple. There was nothing new about it, and yet it was refreshing to look at, well-balanced in size. In Paris, the story and stories did not differ from what was presented in Milan. British designer Grace Wells Bonner, 31, opened the men’s week with her first show within the event. Bonner, who is nominated by some to succeed Virgil Abloh at the “Louis Vuitton” house, mixes in her designs the techniques of Savile Row tailors in London with African and Caribbean touches. Born to a British mother and a Jamaican father, the designer has won several awards for the inspirations of black symbols and colonial history in her designs, as well as the comfort of her clothes.

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From the “Prada” show in Milan (EPA)

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At the Hotel Evreux, located on the famous Place Vendôme, I presented a show that included silk tuxedos, tweed coats and velvet shorts. After the show, the designer explained that she was inspired by two figures who influenced black culture, writer James Badwin and dancer Josephine Baker, who both lived in Paris in the 20th century. She explained her choice by saying that “the freedom of expression that Paris provided to them is what interested me the most.” Saint Laurent

On the same day, Saint Laurent presented a show dominated by evening and evening designs, dominated by dark coats with prominent shoulders and white shirts, some of which are muslin, wrapped around the neck in the form of bows, in addition to open shirts that show part of the chest. It was clear that their main purpose was to bring out the fine details on every side. The same can be said about knitted jackets and long coats. What is credited to Vaccarello in this collection is that he remained faithful to the style of the house, which is characterized by graceful designs at the waist and chest, which can address both women and men, while adding his own mark represented in adopting the streamlined style with some engineering that was embodied in highlighting the shoulders by pulling them upwards. .

From the “Fendi” show (special)

Fendi

Designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi, the collection was warm and elegant, with some glamor playing on optical illusions created by master craftsmen at its Rome headquarters. The house says that it wanted here to “explore the hustle and bustle of the city and the lights that illuminate and sparkle after dark, which was embodied in the fading of the strict lines that characterized traditional men’s fashion to give the new designs an attractiveness with a different flavor.” In the same vein, asymmetry in volumes gave a distinctive geometric movement to deconstructed shirts and cashmere-knit capes, as well as to drop-shoulder jackets. Pants that flow like draped skirts may be the most daring, but double-breasted coats with satin pleats and fringed edges make them look modern and modern. The predominant materials in the collection were reversible cashmere, engineered leather and jacquard silk interspersed with bright colors that formed a palette that undulates between shades of elegant grey, oatmeal, burnt yellow, mocha, violet and blue in different shades.

TOD’S

Tod’s was among the few fashion houses that chose an exhibition rather than a grand show. What she didn’t give up was her Italian flair that we’re so used to. It is part of her personality and genes, but what she did for the fall and winter of 2023 is that she focused on youthful language in which she wanted to address a man who had just met her. It took him on a journey of discovering the essence of Italian style through a collection of classic and practical outfits at the same time, using a palette of warm tones, varying between brown, caramel and beige, intersecting between one piece and another in gray and white. The show was held in Villa Necchi, where tradition and modernity meet in architecture and decorations, which was reflected in designs characterized by sporty and modern touches in which the basics remained classic, especially in the “Bash” jacket, which “was created in Tod’s laboratories from processed fabrics and details manufactured Handcrafted with craftsmanship and techniques of wax that give it a three-dimensional shine and look, ”according to the house. However, this wasn’t the only jacket that caught the eye. There was an equally elegant collection of nappa and deer leather, reminding us that Tod’s was founded on adapting leather mainly, and that it launched as a house specializing in the shoe industry. This desire to remind us of this history was evident in the various men’s shoes that accompanied the fashion.

“Zenia” zegna

Like most Milanese fashion houses keen to return to their roots, Zegna has focused on its strength: cashmere. From this perspective, she took her guests on a journey to discover the most important stage in the process of making men’s suits, which is the production of this luxurious material before it is spun and woven into elegant pieces. She called the group “A Cashmere Oasis” and decorated an entire hall with the fibers of this material in its white color. House designer Alessandro Sartori explained this interest that since joining Zegna: “I have had an unprecedented opportunity to create fabrics from scratch, from weaving to finishing, which represents a great challenge for the manufacturers we deal with and an incentive that pushes them to explore the unknown.” ». The result, he says, is: “integrated and modern designs that speak to the soul.” What distinguishes this collection most are short and somewhat puffy jackets, and others with light knitting that are more like an open sweater than a tailored jacket. There was a collection of slim-fitting raincoats and raincoats. However, what is noticeable, despite the title of the collection “Cashmere Oasis”, is the presence of other materials; Such as premium reversible Melton jacquard, coated and uncoated bouclé, crinkle jacquard, felt, jersey and alpaca, corduroy cotton blend, twill and brushed wool.

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