If someone said to you we need a show to really kick Milan Mens Fashion Week off, one brand comes straight to mind. Now throw into the mix that this said brand are celebrating 20 years in the Fashion business and you could expect fireworks and good on those pesky Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared, they didn’t disappoint ! Offering up almost a Greatest Hits of a retrospective of their best work the twins send a host of ridiculously beautiful models down the catwalk including a bevy of Victoria’s Secret Angels to delight the crowd clad in allsorts of Hunter, Biker, Redneck attire, all of course with that Caten Canadian spin. Now if that wasn’t enough, acting as the finale to the proceedings a certain diva in the shapely form of Ms Mary J. Blige belted out U2’s “One“, without Bono, Thank God.
What a hard act to follow and talk about going to the other end of the Style spectrum, next up is Jil Sander, debuting Rodolfo Paglialunga first menswear collection for the label, his voluminous trousers might not have been everyone’s cup of cappuccino, but there is no disputing his mastery in Outerwear and offering a coat to suit everyman.
Onto an award winning American designer in Michael Bastian choosing to show his signature collection in Milan, which was quintessentially US Preppy Chic at its best. One could almost say a rival in the court of Ralph Lauren himself.
Next up a fellow Yank, more known for his Rock Star edge then Ivy League, John Varvatos channelled his inner Doris Stokes to summon up incarnations of Bob Dylan. This was a sterling collection for Varvatos offering a highly wearable but in no way boring look in a completely autumnal, sorry Fall like, colour palette.
Onwards to Bally then and WOW! Designer Pablo Coppola, looked to one of my favourite films for inspiration in Wes Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums” and did not disappoint. Far from being a literally take on the film, not one headband in sight, OK the occasional tennis shoes, Coppola used this reference as a starting block for his collection and then built upon it, in a truly LUXE manner.
As sure as the Italians love Pasta, so to do Dolce & Gabbana love dipping into Italian culture for reference points. Last season it was the Spanish influence on Sicily, which for them was pretty damn loose, but this season the duo drank long and hard from the cup of vino and focused their attention on Il Famiglia. From the Holy Family to the traditional portrait of an extended Italian Family with Mama and Papa.
Flying the flag for the British contingent is the grand Dame herself Vivienne Westwood, who took a rather unusual muse, for her punk heritage ways, in the shape of HRH The Prince of Wales. The show started off rather tamely enough, in what could be described as Westwood’s take on Savile Row Tailoring and how in her mind she would probably dress Prince Charles if he was a regular customer of the Queen of Punk. However as the show developed, it became less the Princely figure we all know and more a character in Dame Viv’s reality of the world, including this brilliant suit complete in Pound note print. Gawd Bless her !
And from Viv we pass the mantle onto Italy’s very own Grand Dame, Miuccia Prada, who I never knew was a fan of the early 90’s Manchester Music scene as her male models looked highly reminiscent of Bez, Ian Brown, even an Ian Curtis for good measure was present. Like the fashions of this time where we saw lads and lassies wearing a unisex uniform, Prada showed not only her Menswear collection but her Womans Pre-Fall together. No not a pair of Joe Blogs Flares or tie dyed hooded top in sight but reference aplenty to Prada’s Nylon period of the 90’s.
Lastly, we have Marc Jacobs, no longer preoccupied with his Louis Vuitton duties, Jacobs can now plough all his energies into his own brand and for this Autumn/Winter 15 and he was very much in a dress down Friday sorta mood. For this season, even in the most formal of look he managed to give them a casual feel the most moody of teenagers would be proud of.