The latest men’s season in Milan celebrated a return to dressing up and saw designers repurposing the codes of sartorial attire for the runway, making it look more pragmatic and in tune with the times.
Off the catwalk, advanced contemporary and luxury men’s brands charmed with their wardrobe-building essentials, exquisitely crafted from premium textiles and intended to provide men with easy pieces with a certain flair.
Among them, Slowear dodged the pandemic blues with mood-boosting earthy tones and captivating color combinations, playing with separates as in sage pleated corduroy pants paired with tweed fields jackets and tactile cable-knit sweaters or replacing shirts with polos layered under Prince of Wales blazers and fuzzy mohair overcoats. Part of the collection was inspired by naval attire with duffle coats and fishermen’s sweaters mingling with checkered overshirts.
Slowear is more of an incubator for affordable luxury brands under its umbrella that span from pant-maker Incotex and Zanone for knitwear, to shirtmaker Glanshirt and the Montedoro outerwear brand. For fall it proved its ability to deliver a casual and appealing total look all the while keeping each category independent for international wholesaling purpose.
Also aiming to grow its business globally, U.S.-based Brett Johnson has been based in Milan since 2019 to install headquarters in the city and be closer to manufacturing hubs he relies upon to craft his luxurious and understated collection.
The designer and entrepreneur didn’t attend his fall presentation, which echoed the verdant landscapes of Virginia, where he recently relocated with his growing family and newborn child.
Johnson continued to strike a balance between sartorial refinement and comfort via featherlight materials. Drawstring corduroy pants were so lightweight one would hardly believe they were winter proof, while deconstructed blazers in cashmere and silk allowed for movement like shirts, conveying an overall relaxed and more youthful vibe compared to previous seasons.
Eleventy’s founder and men’s wear creative director Marco Baldassari also infused a laid-back attitude in the brand’s fall collection, as he pinpointed “good vibes and well-being” as key elements that define what is luxury today. Therefore he reworked sartorial staples, including cashmere coats and blazer jackets, in relaxed shapes to heighten comfort and movement, and mixed them on more casual separates, ranging from cardigans and turtlenecks to hoodies.
Pleated pants and baggy corduroy cargo pants enhanced the sense of ease of the lineup, which focused on layering easy-to-approach items rendered in a soothing palette of white, beige, cerulean and light gray.
In the same effortless spirit, Boglioli presented a strong collection that cast a new light on its tailoring expertise. A dynamic spin was injected in deconstructed coats and velvet suits, to wear with knits and sneakers.
Sartorial staples were also rendered in sophisticated patterns, including herringbone, Prince of Wales and hopsack, while parkas, field jackets and bomber jackets were crafted from materials including Shetland wool, flannel and regenerated cashmere.
Boglioli’s signature K-jacket was reinterpreted with wider lapels, linear stitching and a patch pocket, making the hunting jacket look more appealing. The whole collection was filled with high-end pieces to pick and include in one’s daily wardrobe — so much that the brand decided to launch women’s wear this season to provide a new sartorial spin to everyone.
Another brand on the move, despite the pandemic, is PT Torino, the pant-maker which in 2021 debuted its first full ready-to-wear collection, expanding its scope beyond just trousers. For fall, scratching the edgier surface conveyed via a noir-tinged video, one could recognize a range of high-quality basics, from double-breasted blazers to checkered pants and varsity jackets, cut loose and comfy to appeal to a younger audience.