Jil Sander
The return of German designer Jil Sander to her namesake label did not cause any disruptive seismic shifts on the runway. In fact, the historic aesthetic plates of this minimalist fashion label remained remarkably intact for Sander's third menswear effort for the brand. Then again, isn't that the point? The reductive suiting that Sander herself invented in the 1990s crept into the collection in the form of slim blazers with small lapels, short-sleeved cardigans, narrow flood-length trousers and sleeveless jackets layered over crisp white short-sleeved shirts. It was a remarkably wearable and commercial collection. In fact the only subversive elements on the runway were the oversized bermuda shorts, worn with socks, and the models' 14-year-old bed head hairdos

 

Jil Sander

Jil Sander

 

Jil Sander

 

Jil Sander

 

Ermenegildo Zegna

The idea of iridescent shantung silk is usually anathema to any man not strutting his way across a Broadway stage. But Ermenegildo Zegna doesn't run its hugely successful menswear business by making its clients look like fools. In this luxury brand's pragmatic hands, a camel or burgundy-coloured silk suit, shimmering like the inside of a pearl shell, looked normal enough to drink a pint in. Decoration was limited to the surface of the clothes, with polo shirts perforated with sporty holes, and houndstooth graphics appearing as micro prints on classic suiting and soft silk shirts

Ermenegildo Zegna

Ermenegildo Zegna

Ermenegildo Zegna

Ermenegildo Zegna

Burberry Prorsum

Picture this: an ice cream-coloured metallic crocodile clutch. Worn by a man. Who didn't look ridiculous. This was the scene at Burberry's Spring fashion show in Milan, conceived by Christopher Bailey, who was in a foil-tastic mood this season. Bailey opened with a severe looking navy pea coat, jazzed up with a hot metallic collar. From there on, bright splashes of metallic neon were injected into classic suiting and military-inspired sportswear. Bailey also played with the idea of inventive outerwear, a house specialty. The best one of the season was a cocoon-backed nylon bomber jacket with vertical rushed seaming down the back and a zip-on hood circling the collar

Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum

Neil Barrett

The slouchy knee-length shorts that have been the preferred uniform of NBA basketball players for the last 25 years have officially hit fashion's big time. There is no bigger proponent of the 'voluminous shorts' look than designer Neil Barrett, who personally practices what he preaches on the runway. Barrett's loosened bermudas for Spring came in every iteration possible - stiffened cottons, filmy silks, paper-thin leathers and vertical stripes. The 'slack' bottom silhouette was significantly spruced up above the waistline with monochromatic tops such as tailored jackets or body-hugging bomber jackets, a specialty from this outerwear expert

Neil Barrett

Neil Barrett

Neil Barrett

Neil Barrett

Versace

It can mean only one thing when toga robes are cinched with gilded He-Man belts and spliced open to reveal bronzed bodies and skimpy speedos: Donatella Versace is ready to rock. Her new formula for sure-fire hunks was pulled out of a family recipe first perfected in the late 1980s and early 1990s by big brother Gianni. Case in point, the Greek fret motif, sheer harem pants, hot pink vests, and fistfuls of gold medallions - not to mention the tidal wave of heat-pressed hair that look set to crash over the models' foreheads. By the time Donatella was ready to dress her phalanx of adoring men for work, she was probably too fixated on their glistening biceps to worry about jacket sleeves. In any case, the preferred business attire was a series of pastel suiting, so who’s really nit-picking about the details?

Versace
 

Versace
 

Versace
 

Versace
 

Bottega Veneta

The major news on the Bottega Veneta Spring runway was the pullover. Luckily for creative director Tomas Maier, men aren't too concerned with the possible ramifications of such a sartorial choice, like messing up one's perfectly set hair. The buttonless tops came in a bountiful array of variations: there were V-front tunics in tobacco-coloured suede; lace-front versions in silk that seemed like descendants of Robin Hood's medieval uniform; and striped ponchos that looked ripped from the mountaintops of Peru. We also loved the new wild floral prints, whose cacophony was beautifully silenced by veils of cream tulle on trousers, suits and evening button-down cardigans

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta

Salvatore Ferragamo

Prepare yourself to be blown away by juicy brights next summer, thanks to the eye-popping colours conceived at Ferragamo. Head-to-toe tangerine and aqua, or lime, lemon and mint: combinations that might at first appear better suited to a Hockney landscape all made convincing proposals for sharp tailoring and sportswear. Luckily the silhouettes stayed clean and simple, letting the colour do all the talking. And this being a footwear company first and foremost, the colour theme found its way down to the men's feet, where a lineup of trainers and running shoes were all tricked out with bright colour blocking or hot turquoise soles
 

Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo

Calvin Klein Collection

You wouldn't know it by looking at these photos, but the soundtrack to the Calvin Klein show was blasting with Guns N Roses' 'Sweet Child o' Mine', an American anthem that set a perfect pitch for this collection's roundup of iconic clothing from the good, old US of A. First there was stonewashed denim, worn tripled up in a classic five-pocket trouser, jean jacket and denim shirt formation. Then there was the white cotton T-Shirt, reconfigured for the modern Calvin man in a hefty techno-nylon. The leather biker jacket was molded to the body and jazzed up with a rubberised finish. We couldn't help notice that navy cotton suiting and bermuda shorts were covered in roses, perhaps in a subtle homage to that quintessential American rock band

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Trussardi

Umit Benan found his menswear groove at the house of Trussardi with this collection that struck the right balance between per bene luxury and free-thinking nonchalance. Working almost exclusively in a monochromatic palette that stretched from leafy and sage greens to tobaccos and caramel and finally to buttercup and crisp white, Benan crafted groovy looks for the guy whose parents have three summer houses. A pleasant surprise was the innovative accessories: everything from roll-top duffel bags and bum bags with built-in towel straps to caramel leather garment bags possessed a well thought-out purpose - as well as the expensive gloss of Made in Italy leather goods

Trussardi

Trussardi

Trussardi

Trussardi

Prada

Watching the Prada menswear show in Milan, one had to wonder if Mrs Prada had recently popped Wes Anderson's 'The Royal Tenenbaums' into her DVD player. In the careful assembly of her no-sweat sportswear looks, it was as if she had plucked the mink coat off Gwyneth Paltrow's back, the tracksuit off Ben Stiller's legs and the striped headband off Luke Wilson's forehead - and then added her own dash of Prada-ness. In short, the collection added up to sportswear redux with a few dashes of high-end eccentricity. Prada's new visual cue is on the inside of the leg. The thick vertical stripes normally found on the outside of trackpants (or, just as likely, an Italian Carabinieri's uniform) were displaced to the inner leg of tailored men's trousers, where they played a fun optical game with the colour-blocking on shirt collars and sweater trims. Though with their clunky plastic sandals, the only laps these models are going to do is around a swanky bar

Prada

Prada

Prada

Prada

Moncler Gamme Bleu

No one could ever accuse Thom Browne of turning out his Moncler models unprepared for action. They may have been 'In the Navy' this season (or so the 1940s music and squad of tap-dancing sailors later implied on stage), but these men were loaded with enough gear to withstand an all-night marathon of strip poker - or catapult off the stern of the boat like human kites. Either way, the equipment list was checked: all-white waterproof gators; nylon rain hats; regatta-striped life preservers over Prince of Wales-check suiting; capes made from sail cloth; and parachute safety pulls and harnesses all clamped together with big, technical buckles. The clever accessories, however, never fully masked the meat and potatoes of this outerwear brand, whose great-looking puffer jackets were cut and smoothed into sleek sailing variations

Moncler Gamme Bleu

Moncler Gamme Bleu

Moncler Gamme Bleu

Moncler Gamme Bleu

Emporio Armani

Giorgio Armani gets an easy 'A' for his Spring menswear effort at Emporio Armani. Remarkably cool and clean, the clothes were stripped of any unnecessary tricks and trinkets - save for one eye-popping experiment with what looked like wearable shutter blinds. The most outstanding pieces in his basics edit were the Macintosh coats, whose simple lines and waxed surfaces set the stage for a great line-up of technical jackets and outerwear. Armani relied on his preferred palette of navy blue (the designer is rarely seen without his head-to-toe dark blue uniform), and it was nice to see his personal approach to pared-back dressing exhibited on the runway for the rest of the world to enjoy
 

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani

Gucci

Apparently the Gucci man has a set of fixed silhouettes he's willing to let his bronzed body be encased by, and Frida Giannini has no plans to mess with that sure-fire formula. They are: the hip-cut snug jacket, either in double-breasted or single-lapel formats; a cropped slim trouser to show off a sock-less ankle; a knit polo; a buttonless silk tunic; a tight sporty zip-front jacket in suede or leather; and a jumper with a neck construction that highlights an ascot or a crisp coloured shirt. Of course, each season these familiar sights get jazzed up in new fabrications and colours and this time Giannini used poppy brights like grass green, raspberry, tomato red and sunny yellow to convincing effect. The new print appeared to be an abstract Art Nouveau pattern. Neat, clean, and nothing weird, it was a collection sure to please those repeat customers

Gucci

Gucci

Gucci

Gucci

Z Zegna

Given the heat that is currently turning Milan into a summer sauna, it is perhaps auspicious that Z Zegna designer Paul Surridge presented a Spring collection cut in forgiving boxy silhouettes. Tailored jackets with short sleeves, for example, stood away from the body and were given a neat elegance with the vertical darts cut into their backs. Airy too, were the oversized bermudas that became the new suit trouser.  Surridge is becoming a beautiful colourist: his use of slate with auvergne and the iridescent gleam on oversized double-breasted jackets or zip-front coloured shirts looked interesting. At times it was almost as if the designer had been let loose on a pack of printed Japanese origami paper, as a series of micro-printed shirts and suits were folded with the precision of origami craftsmanship and layered with linear v-neck jumpers

Z Zegna

Z Zegna

Z Zegna

Z Zegna

Umit Benan

Umit Benan loves the dichotomy between menswear and womenswear, especially when it comes to breaking down the traditional walls of who can wear what. That sartorial tug of war came out in his Spring collection which he cheekily titled 'I once loved a woman who loved menswear' and framed at the back of his runway with a tableau involving eight beds, each with a pair of couples recreating a morning ritual. The Benan man wore the sort of classic items a frisky girlfriend might pluck off his closet rack and wear for herself. Like a full-waisted, pleated trouser. Or a double breasted jacket. A silk trench coat. Or even a pair of wide leg bermuda shorts. The thing is, while a girl might covet them, they all look best on men - especially the kooky cast of characters Benan assembled for this season's slumber party romp
 

Umit Benan

Umit Benan

Missoni

At Missoni, the Men's suit has always been an approximate endeavour. This season offered some extremely informal versions: the knit shorts, finished with pull cords and worn with knit cardigan jackets, for example, are destined for the carefree guy whose full-time occupation could otherwise be classed as 'nomad'. Missoni's knitting machines are some of the most sophisticated in the business, and can literally construct any configuration Angela Missoni dreams up. This season, the muted zigs and zags mimicked landscapes - like the micro lines in a hunk of stratified rock, or the wind ripples spread across a valley of dessert sand. Also noteworthy were the knit running shoes, the funny fruits of a past collaboration with Converse

Missoni

Missoni

Missoni

Missoni

Giorgio Armani


If it's hot out, something in that outfit has got to go. But Giorgio Armani won't part with his beloved jackets. Which leaves the shirts to be dispensed of, just like Mickey Rourke's summer uniform in Wild Orchid. Though a buffed, bronzed chest was the perfect foil for Armani's all-white double-breasted jackets, shorts, straw hats and round sunglasses in his finale, he didn't over-exaggerate the theme. There were navy gingham shirts worn with crisp navy shorts for sailing, beautiful natural coloured linen jackets with contrasting lapels, and fabulous trousers - especially those loosened around the hips and pleated at the front, just like in the good old gigolo days
 

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani

Diesel Black Gold

Diesel does a good job of casting its men for its runway shows. Hip Asian fellow? Check. Hot African guy? Got it. Anti-establishment beard? Yes, of course. The clothes are just as mixed, though none of them are too advanced for general consumption. There was a vertical striped suit that looked good, a couple of satin baseball jackets, and the bermuda short that has made Milan's Mensweek look a lot like spring trials at the NBA. Steel lattice-lensed eyewear was a subtle match to the floral embroideries that worked their way onto tough-guy leather jackets

Diesel Black Gold

Diesel Black Gold

Diesel Black Gold

Diesel Black Gold

Jil Sander
The return of German designer Jil Sander to her namesake label did not cause any disruptive seismic shifts on the runway. In fact, the historic aesthetic plates of this minimalist fashion label remained remarkably intact for Sander's third menswear effort for the brand. Then again, isn't that the point? The reductive suiting that Sander herself invented in the 1990s crept into the collection in the form of slim blazers with small lapels, short-sleeved cardigans, narrow flood-length trousers and sleeveless jackets layered over crisp white short-sleeved shirts. It was a remarkably wearable and commercial collection. In fact the only subversive elements on the runway were the oversized bermuda shorts, worn with socks, and the models' 14-year-old bed head hairdos

 


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