Running themes throughout many of the shows this week in Milan have been projections of the old clashed with the new. This was most prominently seen on Prada’s runway. Throughout the collection, there were iconic prints from deep within houses archives (all of which are available on Prada’s website). From the graphic banana print (SS11) emblazoned at the hems with fire (SS12), to stripes adorned with a retro 70’s style box print (SS96). Most of which, casually styled on top of dimly coloured sweaters. It was a marvellous juxtaposition of the old and new and explored ways in which history and the present day can unite (to produce eccentric fashion garments). At MSGM, smart striped shirts were layered with gingham coach jackets to a more relaxed look consisting of an Aztec printed woollen jacket over a striped shirt and loud brown/blue/red checked trousers. At Versace, my favourite mash-up was the reassembled denim jacket which was a sewn-up of a variety of tartans and block colour pieces. Donatella also created a classic knitted sweater transfused with the new vintage logo jumper: a truly authentic item.
The trend set to be bigger than ever in 2018 is athleisure. From polyester to nylon, the cult-like trend of athleisure dominated the runways in Milan. Starting from the more formal styles at Giorgio Armani, whose models sported cotton blazers and trousers with cuffed ankles, giving the usual business attire a much more relaxed feel. At MSGM, jogging bottoms were partnered with same-colours satin shirts with ‘MSGM’ plastered on the back. All Italian brand Sunnei took a more casual approach still, featuring an olive corduroy anorak styled jacket and loose fitting trousers. The aesthetic at Marceo Burlon Country of Milan was of a much edgy-er tone as tattoo coated models displayed their take on athleisure that, worn, would be sure to earn you place in the lens of street style photographers.
Geopolitical and social influences stormed the catwalks of many shows. At Prada some of the models wore name tags and security cards, whilst the first part of the show was a mood of black nylon, the latter had a more colourful input. Models strode down in work inspired ensembles, insinuating the overbearing force corporations and industry have over our lives. A similar overcast mood was conveyed at Les Hommes who took a destructive approach to their apparel. Trousers layered with pieces of fabric that mirrored ‘tassets’ (the skirt-like part of classic Medieval armour). Long leather gloves with excessive adjustments and horizontally quilted jackets, shorts, coat linings and vests, nodded towards chainmail. Whilst their arrow suit gave the impression of uncertainty, indefinitely a point towards the discordant times in which we live. The idea of coming undone came into play in two different ways at Moschino. Sadist vibes adorned the catwalk as men and women alike took to the stage in provocative, barely-there costumes of seduction. Destructed suit jackets held in place with suspender straps and coats masked with newspaper cut-outs of explicit words, assertive to current affairs and scandals.
As well as current issues being explored, they could also be the result of military-influenced tailoring. These cuts were seen striding down the runway of Giorgio Armani, where loose fitting trousers were tucked into high top military styled boots and topped with a camouflaged jacket. The show was awash in khaki’s, beiges, blues and greys emanating a smart, yet callous feel. Whilst at Dsquared2, cowboy motifs came into play. From the traditional lined denim shirts embroidered with leafs and leather fringed pants. To a new, more curious take on cowboy-ism: super sequined leggings and tops as the first layer (of many) of the ensembles. Heads were sure to turn at this contemporary take on an American classic.