MILAN — Italian men’s wear designers toned down their collections for spring with more casual, lived-in looks — and hit just the right notes with buyers.
“This was not a ho-hum season,” said Tom Kalenderian of Barneys New York. “I think the designers did an excellent job taking chances. They’re very serious about stimulating business. And creativity is king, because you have to create desire that says ‘I have to have it,’ regardless of price.”
“Everyone was in a positive mood. We just talked about the future, how we can change the way we do business and what products we need to change the business. And all the designers offered that, just by showing much more sportswear, and just with more ease in the fit,” said Tommy Fazio from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.
Prints and classic men’s wear patterns like Prince of Wales or houndstooth made a strong return, while bold reds and deep blues accented an otherwise predominantly gray color palette.
The short double-breasted blazer and trenchcoat were staples in many collections and tailored clothing in general was wrinkled, underlining the relaxed out-of-the-office mood. Trousers were easy-fit, some with tapered legs or more pleats, while mesh and open-weave knits played to transparency and sporty technical fabrications breathed new life into sportswear separates.
In general, retailers frowned upon anything that stepped outside the casual-chic vibe.
“When designers went too bling, adding too many jewels or stones on the outside of garments, it just didn’t feel of-the-moment,” said Richard Johnson of Harvey Nichols.
But the upbeat mood went only so far — buyers said they were working with flat or slightly lower budgets and reducing their mix of vendors, focusing on those that offered something new.
“The new environment challenges us to be uncompromising in our selections.…Editing to those that do it best and offering focused assortments allows our voice of authority to resonate with our customers’ desire for leading style,” said Barbara Atkin from Holt Renfrew.
Standout collections included Giorgio Armani, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, Burberry Prorsum, Ermenegildo Zegna, Etro, Gucci, John Varvatos, Moncler and Prada, retailers said.
Here is what buyers had to say about the Milan collections for spring.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews