In Milan, the tailored jacket is back in all its glorious forms: structured and slouchy, in blazer form, as part of double-breasted suits or tuxedos, or bombers, and much more.
The runways were filled with armies of them. Gucci, Emporio Armani, Boss and Ports 1961 were among the many brands to thrust them under the spotlight, but it was in the showrooms and during the quieter presentations where jackets took center stage.
Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, geopolitical instability and a worsening energy crisis in Europe, the jacket — the ultimate investment piece — seems like a safe bet. It’s stylish, protective, durable, and made with sustainable materials such as linen, cotton, lightweight wool and hopsack.
It’s also versatile, and can last for years. The Milanese brand Blazé, which was built on a blazer, has models for every time of day, and with names such as Sunrise, Sunset, Sunshine, Weekend and Anywhere. For spring, the brand showed off a style with a cinched, gently elasticated waist, while for Resort, the brand introduced a bomber style.
The brand sells at stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks online, Moda Operandi and Kirna Zabête. The brand said it plans to push further into the U.S., given the uncertainty in China, which had been its largest market until recently. It also plans to open a stand-alone store in Milan in 2023.
Boglioli is another brand built on a jacket and in expansion mode. It started decades ago by making jackets for other brands, and later began producing tailored clothing under its own banner. This season it showed its first womenswear collection, which was filled with a lineup of garment-dyed jackets and trousers in delicious colors, including fuchsia, olive and mango.
The brand showed off a wide range of styles, ranging from a sleek tuxedo jacket to a short, stone-colored peacoat. Boglioli has stand-alone stores in Europe and the U.S. and sells at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. It is also looking to grow its business in the region.
Like Boglioli, Massimo Alba also drenched his tailored clothing in a rich color palette, with shades of purple, olive, mustard and oxford blue. There was an aubergine linen suit, a lavender double-breasted blazer made from the designer’s signature “baby corduroy” fabric and a lineup of overdyed linen jackets.
Alba’s collection also featured a smart mix of men’s oxford-style shirts that had been lengthened into breezy dresses, cashmere polo shirts and featherweight printed dresses. Alba’s collection sells in 150 stores in Italy, and while his menswear is distributed in the U.S., he wants to ramp up the visibility of his women’s collection in the region.
At Seafarer, creative director Manuela Mariotti’s take on blazers was slightly nodding to ‘70s styles — elongated, with pointy lapels and done in denim (the company’s forte, given its heritage in jeans making) or pink satin. They conjured a polished city look very much in line with thirtysomething women frolicking through the streets of Milan scooters.
Blazer separates were often nipped at the waist, thrown over fluid silky shirts, with the seasonal theme inspired by Sydney Pollack’s “Out of Africa” echoed in the pant- and skirt suits, which incorporated carpet-like printed waistbands.
Eleventy, too, delivered breezy summer blazers to complement casual outfits, with pleated chinos and drawstring pants. Crafted from lightweight corduroy, cotton and herringbone linen, they were done in a muted color palette of dusty light blue and gray.