N°21: Designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua looked to the ocean and surfing culture for inspiration this season, in a light and airy collection that was perfect for summer. Pyjama style shirts and trousers were printed with blown up blooms reminiscent of Hawaiian flora, while pictures of rolling waves and surfers on their boards where graphically placed on crisp white shirts and baggy bermudas. Thick sole sneakers and pool shoes completed the look.
Neil Barrett: Completing his trilogy of collections inspired by his youth, Neil Barrett looked to the minimalism of the mid-1990s. The focus was the modern man's wardrobe, reimagined in its purist form. A denim-style jacket appeared devoid of detail and in lightweight nylon, while a generously cut tailored jacket was teamed with narrow cropped trousers in linen to create an all-white uniform. The brand's new headquarters with its bold angular shapes and expanses of concrete, inspired by the work of artist Donald Judd, served as the perfect modernist backdrop. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Church's: Stepping out at Church's this season is the new 'Barnby', a deconstructed derby made of the softest leather, making it fully flexible. Another style making its debut is the 'Fisherman', a women's sandal that has now been given a men's makeover. The classic 'Pembrey' penny loafer gets an update in multicoloured suede and is available for the first time on a 'see now, buy now' basis.
Edhèn Milano: Designers Filippo Fiora and Filippo Cirulli continued to put their own youthful spin on classic Italian footwear. A series of brightly coloured slippers came with playful motifs emblazoned on the front, while a two buckle monk shoe came in heavy duty canvas, with its strap decorated in flat sliver studs. Elsewhere, satin added a decadent touch to a backless loafer.
Kiton: Neapolitan tailoring masters Kiton continued to push the possibilities of fabric development with the launch of their 'Summer Vicuña' collection. Handcrafted in the brands Naples factory, the suits are made from a unique 97% Vicuña and 3% silk fabric making them extremely light and luxurious.
Myar: After several seasons of successfully taking vintage military garments and customising them using artisanal techniques, Andrea Rosso's debut collection featured dead stock camouflage fabrics from different countries, reworked into a series of tailored pieces inspired by combat wear. Highlights included an oversized, square cut field jacket and a trench coat with rounded pockets. A new footwear collection with Superga provided high and low-top sneakers.
Arthur Arbesser: ‘I finally wanted to wear some of my designs!’ says the Vienna-born, Milan-based designer on his debut menswear collection for YOOX. The burgeoning womenswear name, who founded his eponymous line in 2013, launched the collection during Milan Fashion Week, in a presentation space that celebrated graphic lines, abstraction and temporal suspension. Patterns in the collection, which were inspired by a range of influences, from Neapolitan artist Lucio Del Pezzo to Vienna's Carl Otto Czeschka, were projected onto weightless houses in block hues. The overall effect recalled a hyperreal video game. We can’t wait to don our uniforms and play.
Pal Zileri: This season Pal Zileri delved into their fabric archive for inspiration. Guests at the presentation were greeted by the brand's entire back catalogue, housed in huge folders that could be flicked through and studied up close. A series of checks were clashed together to optical effect in a collection of tailored and knitted pieces. Elsewhere bright linens were used in a line up of unstructured suits with patch pockets, giving them a relaxed elegance.
Ralph Lauren: There was new air of ease to Ralph Lauren's S/S 2018 collection. Suit jackets were softly tailored and lightweight, and matched with loosely cut trousers. A classic Purple Label tuxedo was given a casual makeover with safari patch pockets and worn with espadrilles. Elsewhere, Lauren looked to the Tour de France cycle race for inspiration, with knitted biking tops and slim trousers with racing stripes running down the side.
Sunnei: Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo held their S/S 2018 show in the corridors of a Milan art school. Murals by the students covered the walls and guests sat on mismatched chairs. Fabric and silhouette were key: jackets appeared in denim laminated with clear plastic, others came in a crumpled silver and bronze metallic fabric. A lightweight belted trench had a languid fluidity, while generously cut trousers and shorts pumped up the volume. The look was grounded with backless sneakers with thick bumper car soles. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Tod's: Set in the grounds of the grand Villa Necchi Campiglio, menswear creative director Andrea Incontri presented a collection of fine menswear staples, giving each a luxury makeover. Highlights included a collection of trompe-l'oeil leather jackets and shirts, printed to look like faded denim, and a cloudflage print that drifted across a weekend bag and satchel. The brand also offered a number of new footwear propositions, including a derby and loafer with a raised bubble sole and a series of feather weight sneakers. It also celebrated the launch of its Tod's x Mr Porter collaboration with a pool party. Tod's signature Gommino loafer floated inside beach balls, which bobbed on the surface of Villa Necchi Campiglio's shimmering swimming pool.
Giuseppe Zanotti: Designer Giuseppe Zanotti looked to opposites for inspiration this season, with a collection of clashing footwear styles and fabrications. Standouts included a neoprene sneaker with moulded rubber sole and fully flocked high-tops.
Caruso: Italian tailoring brand Caruso continued to forge forward with its concept of 'The Good Italian' way of dressing for S/S 2018. The collection consisted of reimagined wardrobe staples: a seersucker suit came with a completely unlined jacket, while a classic polo shirt came in 100% crepe jersey. A new 'Caruso Travel Capsule' collection also made its debut. Made from a uniquely developed in-house fabric that the brand christened 'Houdini' after the famous illusionist, the collection consists of four none crease pieces that add lightness and easy to a man's travel wardrobe.
Fratelli Rossetti: Artisan shoe brand Fratelli Rossetti based its entire S/S 2018 collection around the technique of weaving. Completely handcrafted by a team of craftsman, the collection embraced three different types of weave, each used on three styles of shoe: an airy perforated pattern on slippers, a zig-zag design on the brand's classic 'Brera' loafers, and a micro weave on 'Oxford' shoes. As always colour was key, this time shoes were completely dip dyed to create an all over effect.
Santoni: Shoe brand Santoni held its SS 2018 presentation at Bar Tiptoe inside the Royal Palace of Milan. Guests were invited to have breakfast as shoes from the collection were humourlessly served up on trays by waiters. The classic Santoni monk shoe came with both single and double buckles, appearing in tightly woven leather and a patchwork of exotic skins. Elsewhere a slender lace-up and loafer in sleek patent leather catered for evening elegance.
Dirk Bikkembergs: Designer Lee Wood's second collection for Dirk Bikkembergs was staged in a disused warehouse on the outskirts of Milan. The industrial space set off the slick tailoring sent out in block colour uniforms of navy, cream and black, all worn with classic Bikkembergs motorcycle boots. Boxy double breasted jackets appeared with large patch pockets placed at a right angle, straight cut trousers had deep turn ups, some looked as if they'd been turned inside out with there seams and pocket linings exposed. A jolt of vivid green came at the end worn head-to-toe or as a accent.
Marcelo Burton County of Milan: For S/S 2018 Marcelo Burlo intertwined fragmentary traveller narratives, his tattooed models part surfer, part skater, part whoever they wanted to be. Shirts and bomber jackets featured tropical palm prints, leather tracksuit trousers and parkas were embroidered with world flag details, and jewellery- from belly chains to single earrings- had tribal overtones. Whoever Burlon’s traveller- they’ll be sure to be wearing his collaboration with sportswear label Kappa, which also featured in the collection.
GCDS: Hosting its first fashion show in Milan, GCDS- a label flaunted by Instagram’s fashion industry power players- took inspiration from the nautical world for S/S 2018. The collection, entirely made in Italy, featured nautical striped hoodies, tuna prints and maritime details inspired by the Gulf of Naples. Touching on the logo mania that appeared on the Versace and MSGM catwalks in Milan, every item in the collection, be it a denim jacket or a bum bag, was boldly branded.
Christian Pellizzari: For S/S 2018, the designer took inspiration from the city of Venice, but not just the gondola swarming tourists hotspots of the city, but also the decadent world of its secret nightlife. Pellizzari nodded particularly to the sixties and seventies, using bold brocade fabrics and jacquards as the starting point to his vibrant collection. The varied men’s and women’s offering included cocktail dresses, bomber jackets, bermuda shorts and tennis-inspired jackets.
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