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Men’s Fashion Milan 2016-2017

by Bernardo van Eekhout in Lifestyle & Fashion , 17 september 2016

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar


The sales in the luxury fashion industry are booming again, but not for all labels. Many Italian fashion houses are still struggling with reduced economic growth in China, decreasing oil prices, and less tourism in Europe because of the terrorist attacks.

Especially Prada has seen the worst sales decrease in five years’ time, approximately twenty-eight percent over 2015. Prada will postpone the opening of new shops, and others will be closed. The label is troubled particularly by consumers who are now looking for more affordable labels or niche labels. The decreasing economic growth in China is also hitting Prada hard since Chinese sales represent twenty percent of its turnover.

“The problems of the global economy and changing consumer behavior are apparent for each and every one of us. I don’t see the situation change in the near future,” Carlo Mazzi, Prada’s president, notes. Burberry has also seen a fall in profit of about ten percent over the last year by decreasing spending on the Chinese market in particular and the Asian market in general, and will implement austerity measures for approximately one hundred million Pounds. Burberry will also slim down its garment collections.

Valentino is the exception, crossing the threshold of one billion Euros over 2015 - a huge increase of forty-eight percent with respect to 2014. Men’s fashion now represents ten percent of its revenue. Armani is also suffering, along with other labels, from the slowdown in China and the increased terror threat in Europe. Yet its annual sales over 2015 were 4.5 percent higher than in 2014, which saw a still explosive growth of sixteen percent. Fashion houses such as Armani highly depend on sales in exclusive boutiques in Paris, among other cities, but many tourists are avoiding this city as a result of the attacks in January and November.


Uomo-Donna

The strict separation of what is male or female is increasingly disappearing. Particularly in fashion, “gender neutral” is the new term to indicate that an item is suitable for both men and women. A number of labels are already introducing small gender neutral collections. In international catwalk presentations, this phenomenon has been going on for a while, for example with female models on the catwalk in collections for men. The newly appointed creative director Peter Dundas for the Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli is also jumping this train. With his debut collection for men, “Real Opulence,” the garments are clearly suitable for both genders. It is a mix-and-match of decadent hippie/dandy garments with an Oriental twist, inspired by rock stars such as Keith Richards, Serge Gainsbourg, and Mick Jagger.

“The starting point for me is always the cut of the blazer. Extended and narrower in the shoulders this time, and befitting the vibe of the 1960s and 1970s, the era of inspiration for this collection,” Dundas notes. This can be seen in the blazers and short jackets of patchwork leather and fur coats with leopard skin motif. Long knotted silk scarves, Lurex turtle-necks, and sporty sneakers complete the pop-glamour 1970s look.

The wine-red velvet jackets that are richly decorated with all kinds of embroidery on light blue jeans with flared legs are beautiful, and the transparent red organza shirt with silver embroidery transcends all genders. Apart from that, many garments are decorated with numerous (personal) appliques; the must have for this season. This also holds true for the pyjama-like outfits with rich Oriental prints Dundas is also trying to sell to men.

“Frankly, I just wanted to have some fun with this collection. I was honest about what I would want to wear myself and like to see my friends wear. I love working with my favorite colors and cuts. And with my favorite type of garments: embroidery, leather and also fur,” Dundas notes. This rich and bohemian collection shows many Gucci influences, but this is nothing new in the very competitive fashion world.

One of the better collections this season is by fashion house Versace, where creative director Donatella is catapulting the Versace male far into the future. Space Camp is the theme of the collection. “Sports and Space. I was thinking about the future for this collection. I want to communicate the message to look at the galaxy - not as a place to run to, but as a clean and fresh place. To make everyone aware of the importance of pleasant living in a clean and eco-friendly world. It is the ultimate way to express the future,” Donatella states. A lot of spacial white is used for bomber jacks, knitted oversized pullovers, and motor jacks with silvery fasteners - complimented by silver colored trench coats, ski pants, ties, and backpacks.

It is exit for the lavishly baroque Versace prints, but many of the garments do have various metal plates and other small decorations. The wonderful color palette gradually runs from grey to white – baby-blue – aubergine/purple, ending in black. Beautiful qua silhouette is an oversized mohair purple turtle-neck under an unfinished camel-colored men’s jacket with jagged edges and white star pattern on the sleeves. And yes, from now on, the tough Versace man is also wearing spectacles.

Over 2015, Versace’s net profit saw an increase of 8.6 percent to 645 million Euro. “I expect that this year’s growth will be slightly lower than last year’s. It will be a difficult year. The spending of local consumers in Europe is creating growth, but buyers in the Middle-East and Russia are purchasing less,” Versace’s CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris notes.


Art Inspiration

The Italian fashion duo Dolce&Gabanna are still one of the few designers working with a clear theme each season. This time, their source of inspiration is the Wild West. This theme literally can be seen as horseshoe nails on sweaters, appliquéd revolvers on classic men’s jackets, and worn down denim jackets embroidered with a profusion of roses and cacti. “It is simply our vision on the spaghetti Westerns that took place on Sicily - our very own homage to the legendary work of Sergio Leone,” Dolce&Gabbana state.

Deviating from the theme are coarsely knit sweaters big enough to live in, and the XL fur coats in Mongolian style that were also shown by Italian fashion house Fendi. Their men’s costumes are superb in terms of cut, some with embroidered pink motif in cross-stitch, and others featuring an all-over revolver print for the Man with Guts. Beautiful and timeless are the slim-cut and dark men’s suits with double white stitching, comparable to the stitching on jeans. From now on, the tailored blazer with all kinds of appliques and emblems is worn over pyjama-like outfits with richly embroidered pyjama slippers.

Dolce&Gabbana closed the fiscal year 2014-2015 with a record turnover of 1.055 billion Euros - an increase of 7.1 percent compared with the previous year. Globally, they now own 323 flagship stores and will invest seventy-four million in the expansion of their own network of stores. They will open new shops in China, the United States of America, Brussels, and Zurich.

For Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott was inspired by the works of the English-Italian artist duo Gilbert & George, who started their successful career in the 1960s with large photo works behind glass and photo montages in bright colors.

“I was inspired by their work.  When I was in London, I called Gilbert & George to have tea with them. I told them about my ideas for my men’s collection, and they generously offered me the use of their archives. My idea was to use colors in such a way that on garments, they look like shadows. I wanted to do something with supersaturated clothing, and their work has so many beautiful elements I could use,” Scott notes.

The black splodges on costumes, quilted coats, and striped sweaters look like shadows and creases, but are optical illusions. As is the light blue denim which has undergone a spray paint job with optical folding and white stitching. The must have bomber jacks are covered with colorful crucifix appliques or have a 1960s daisy print with matching backpack. The colorful sweaters with images of homoerotic boy’s faces are fantastic and very characteristic of Gilbert & George. In harmony with the color palette of the garments, the male models have patches of brightly colored paint in hair and ears. With Jeremy Scott, Moschino is clearly as booming and hot as it was in the successful 1980s.

Its sales saw an increase of sixteen percent in the first quarter of 2015, and sales are ten times higher since Jeremy’s appointment in 2013. A-list stars, such as Kate Perry and Madonna, are Moschino’s biggest fans at the moment. “It is my job to bring more fun into fashion. The fashion world often is too serious. I want to push a bit further each time,” Scott says.


Moda Revival

Another Italian fashion label that has lived to see a revival after appointing a new creative director is Gucci. The new Gucci image is very androgynous with a high mix&match factor of 1970s / bohemian / vintage / glamrock, allowing for the combination of all styles. The Gucci male is not afraid of showing his sensitive and feminine side. With sixty individual looks this time, in which men and women walk the catwalk together in harmony for the “Poetic Reactivation” collection. Each garment is unique and distinctive, and the person wearing it makes his or her personal statement with each outfit.

There are light-blue David Bowie costumes with red buttons forming a heart motive at chest height. Other suits and menswear are cut from old floral fabrics that were also used for upholstery. For the sensitive Gucci man, there are knitted vests with teddy bear prints, or t-shirts with Snoopy/Woodstock print. Black denim jackets are embroidered with flowers and angels with matching bow blouses that look very feminine, with large chains, knitted caps with monster face, and large 1970s spectacle frames.

“I love clothing and animals,” creative director Alessandro Michele notes. “I like the idea that there is certain energy in everything you do, as well as in each garment you put in a collection. Everything is equally valuable.” Gucci’s romantic renaissance fashion clearly pays off, as sales increased by thirteen percent in the last quarter of 2015 after two years of decreasing sales figures. Michele’s collections now represent seventy percent of Gucci’s turnover, and on the long term it is Gucci’s ambition to lift that amount to six billion Euros. As of 2017, Gucci will also present the collections for women and men in one show, yet both collections will only be released after a waiting period of six months.
 



 







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In the New Issue of Gay News, 316, December 2017

















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