In a fully digital Milan fashion week, designers were cognizant of this unusual moment’s distinct needs, featuring relaxed and cocooning collections full of cozy knits and deconstructed tailored suits. Loose and fluid silhouettes ruled, as comfort continues to be key. But this didn’t preclude designers from making energetic statements: bold outerwear led the way this season with belted pieces and colorful head-turning top coats evoking a much needed sense of optimism and fun, and the inclusion of tie-dyes and micro bags provided a touch of youthful energy to this Milan season — another for the history books and a true reflection of our times. Here, WWD’s top trends from Milan Men’s Fashion Week’s fall 2021 collections.
The Slouchy Suit
Ermenegildo Zegna designer Alessandro Sartori labeled his collection “The (Re)set” and that change of mind-set translated to some of the most directional, softly constructed and slouchy suits of this season. The collaboration between hat designer Federico Curradi and Nick Fouquet, another highlight of the week, provided an artisanal and bohemian touch to their relaxed suit offerings. These comfortable numbers may not be boardroom-ready, but they will be ideal for any Zoom business meetings.
From the monochromatic belted leisure suit at Ermenegildo Zegna to the textured crop trench at Fendi and the elongated herringbone belted duster at Solid Homme, the belted blazer and robe coat feel like the perfect extension of pajama dressing, providing a new option for working from home or just lounging around the house and looking smart.
Who knew that knitted long johns would be one of the key messages from an influential Prada collection? The Italian house’s heritage intarsia motif was the perfect touch to turn the dusty underwear staple into a hot fashion must have. Massimo Alba’s elegant and eccentric spirit translated perfectly onto an array of rich and textured knitwear pieces. And Federico Cina’s turtleneck poncho became the perfect item for tuning out your surroundings and daydreaming.
Top coats for the fall season? Groundbreaking? Yes, actually. The bright purple Re-Nylon trench at Prada — to choose just one, as their assortment of toppers truly ran the design gamut – felt new and über cool. The paisley explosion on a slouchy trench at Etro and a bright pink quilted style at Fendi were everything but disappointing. Taking iconic men’s wear classics and reinventing and pushing them forward in vibrant colors, technical fabrics and fluid constructions is the main message here.
It is clear that the notion of the ‘It’ bag is no longer a women’s wear business only, thankfully. With an array of different bag styles shown this week, the micro bag rose to the top — from Etro’s studded ultra-chic square design to this crossbody, cell phone-friendly bag at A-Cold-Wall. The Prada gloves featuring attached purselets might not be considered a bag for obvious practical reasons, but they really helped push the mini-is-best trend forward.
Psychedelic, retro and lively, tie-dye has had quite a moment since the beginning of the pandemic, and designers took note. Youthful brands like David Catalan, Children of Discordance and MSGM chose this hippie-era classic to graphically embellish their collection, resulting in a vibrant and joyful trend.