In Milan, men go on stage – the old glories of fashion and the new designers. Spoiler: it’s a lot of stuff.
The themes are many, and range from the trend to the renewal and the cycle of the seasons from Prada to the quotation of Kubrick from JW Anderson, through the English campaign revisited by Fendi and the contemporary tailoring of D&G, from a simple but powerful balloon from JordanLuca to the idea of speed from MSGM, until the classic becomes a little less classic from Zegna and mirroring effect from Gucci. The MFW opened this year’s fashion calendar. On stage, a multitude of men. Many confirmations, Miuccia Prada and Silvia Venturini Fendi, a positive surprise, Dolce & Gabbana, consolitated realities. JordanLuca and MSGM, and an unknown yet to be discovered, Sabato De Sarno
Words DOMENICO CASORIA
Before writing about the FW 2024 of Prada, I had to thinka lot, but among all those designed by the duo Miuccia-Raf, this collection – which is stylistically perfect, is the most Prada but also the least Prada. It’s hard to explain the concept well, but it’s right to start from the scenography of the studio AMO, which has contrasted – outlining them almost brutally, the interiors of an office and swivel chairs, with a natural landscape to admire under your feet, complete with streams and aquatic plants, protected by a glass floor. And in fact the collection is called “Human Nature”, and wants to represent the constant tension between the birth of the new and the daily flattening that sucks energy like a thirsty hyena. The actual collection is the most destabilizing part. It’s half Miuccia Prada and half Raf Simons – half rigor (in jackets, some with new proportions, in bags, in pants) and half color (in swimming caps that become caps and in hyper-colored sweaters).
Although Raf Simons is the best creative to entrust Prada (he manages to ferry the brand’s codes into the contemporary world) I hoped until the end that the needle of the scale hung more towards Miuccia – in every facet, and instead autumn/winter seemed to me a passing of witness and the beginning of the end – glorious.
The true genius, however, is in the collection, which designs the new to reread the old, which also resists undaunted on the scene, and to do so relies on the deep need for “renewal” that has inspired generations of artists and painters – and in fact Miuccia Prada cites “The Rite of Spring” by Igor Stravinsky, who after the premiere in 1913 at the Théâtre des Champs Élisées gave impetus to all the avant-gardes.
“Human Nature” tells of cycles that end and cycles that start again, but as in all stories, at the end of a kingdom a change is necessary.
Miuccia has understood that it is right to allow the re-reading of Prada and has paved the way for Raf Simons.
The man autumn/ winter 2024 Fendi is perfect.
For four reasons. Let’s make five.
A) It’s cozy – hospitable, it doesn’t look artifact.
B) It has an obvious logic – it draws from the world of English countryside and outdoor style, but it turns into an urban key. No more men’s skirts, which leave room for long Bermuda shorts, a careful reinterpretation of the typical kilt, rain boots and bags, many bags, large because they contain life, but especially mini Baguette and small “portholes” bag dotted with F crossed – finally someone who doesn’t care about trends.
C) Stefano Chiassai – who has been working alongside Venturini Fendi and his creative direction for fifteen years.
D) Colour and materials – God save Silvia Venturini Fendi and brown, which had disappeared from circulation but has returned to the charge. And for three-quarters of the parade, the leather. Right, reasoned. It falls to brush.
E) Have you seen the details? Those perfect contrasting collars on velvet shirts. And leather fisherman’s hats? You feel immediately at Balmoral, who is in Scotland but it’s all right.
I would also entrust Venturini Fendi with the direction of the Pitti.
I want everything. My wallet, no.
The FW 24 by JordanLuca is an intimate and poignant analysis, personal and that starts from inside. The main character? A balloon. The balloon tastes like a holiday – it is sweet and bitter, it evokes contrasting memories. Under the vaults of the Milan Central Station, in a long tunnel and on a remix of Mad World by Tears For Fears, Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto stage their idea of fragility, like a precarious balloon, but also the aspiration towards the top. The setting, made with 1500 helium balloons with the printed works of art by Dominic Myatt, frame a collection of the most disparate influences, from punkish to hedonism. Many garments in shiny leather, such as a red dress with low back, a lot of tight knitwear and then many studs, kilt pants, wide shoulders and parka inspired by work uniforms, but also boots with heels and the dress “Carousel of Chaos”, which reinterprets couture with visible seams and bias cut, made with 37 meters of viscose that give the feeling of chaos. The collection, however, also has a vertical momentum – and ri-negotiate time, emotions, the ephemeral nature of life – in the hair of the models, clearly punk and raised upwards and imperfect makeup. JordanLuca break down the barriers of fragility and like a balloon, takes off. Precarious but very strong.
After the debut of De Sarno, the most mischievous expected the total disaster, because usually the second collection is the creative thermometer of the management, and therefore newcomers always exaggerate. The new creative director, for FW 2024 has chosen to take the safest path of all, but also the least fulfilling, abandoning himself to consistency and mirroring effect, proposing looks identical (in some cases) to the female proposal. The first issue is explanatory of the entire collection, and at this point Alessandro Michele is a cold memory engraved on a cameo of the end of the century. The codes are always the same: moccasins in all sauces, Jackie, sequins and glitter for a “Gucci party” – Ancora? Some additions, however, make the man in the image and likeness of De Sarno. Meanwhile there is a long strand dedicated to ties and gloves. The first is by Piccioliana memoria – the reference to Valentino’s V tie is evident, which are transformed into a drape or combined with jewelry. The gloves (which obviously belong to the history of the brand) instead destabilized me. I do not understand the choice – halfway between single-seater car driver and Tomfordiana memory (which also returns in double-breasted jackets and hidden buttons). The archive is the first source of inspiration of Sabato, but perhaps one shelf at a time should be addressed. And then the question of fluidity – that was the real cul-de-sac in which not to slip, which still makes everything too uncertain. The first part of the collection loots the 90s, but also the grandparents’ closets. The second part is glitter and shiny velvet, clearly designed for men who until a year ago bought Gucci by Michele and who today would not buy the masculine singular classic. What struck me most of all though, is the hybris of which is soaked the new Gucci man, that defies the Gods and indulges in hubris. I saw the parade without background music but the soundtrack in my head was “Acida” by Prozac +, I feel shaken, agitated, a little nervous, nervous, nervous. I didn’t understand anything, but I liked it. Sabato, there is so much margin, let us see who you really are.
DOLCE & GABBANA
And then the brand that has most amazed. We discover cards right from the start. To Dolce & Gabbana there is a constant re-signification and that often contradicts. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have always thought of their brand as an open project, bombarding it with many aesthetic notes – gold frills, lace, feathers, velvet, a lot of sexyness. “Sleek”, the FW 24, is the most successful collection of recent years. It’s precise, in jackets and trousers in which sartorial care prevails, it is profoundly modern – it attracts young people who want to dress elegantly, it is thought – in the bows of shirts and in turtleneck sweaters, it is attractive – with silk blouses and some pinstripes. D&G is the clear vision of an elegant man, sometimes alluring, seductive, refined, provocative, even a little unwell. What else? Sensational!
It takes a good deal of courage, and a pinch of recklessness to cites Kubrick, his cult film – Eyes Wide Shut – and the paintings of his widow, Christiane Kubrick. Jonathan Anderson has both, and for the FW 24 was inspired by the world of couples. The result? A collection made of sweaters and dresses with images of Christiane’s paintings, so many red stuff, in an oversize velvet evening jacket, but also in the petals of a Christmas star pinned on a black pullover combined with a pair of tights and socks, wide jackets and voluminous trousers, shorts in all and sky ruffles curled and that follow the perimeter, shirts with long sleeves, a giant cat on a green shirt, a gray velvet trench that would look great on Barry Kheogan in Saltburn (below naked?). Lots of stuff put together. Anderson’s collection is a stream of consciousness of many references put together, a river in full overwhelming.>
I know, it’s a difficult exercise, but would you prefer the cosmic void?
«Reshaping matter, remattering shape» is instead the sentence of Alessandro Sartori, that for the new collection of Zegna plays with cashmere, giving it a new shape. The focus is the set of the parade – a protected reserve with mountains of cashmere hovering in the air, and models parading like a mirage in the desert. The Zegna man is classic-over-a little bit attractive. Wear comfy clothes, classic jackets and double-layered cashmere sweaters, a jacket suit and over trousers paired with a pullover – I would venture for the day. But the most interesting things happen at night. 100 points for ivory and black leather jackets and shirts – beautiful, full of pockets – give a new dimension to a brand perceived as classic and that is finally opening to the contemporary. And that blue duvet. It would also look good on the Pope (AI, of course).
At MSGM, on the other hand, there is a collection that jokes with the idea of speed. In the place of speed par excellence, at the Porta Venezia metro stop in Milan, Massimo Giorgetti presents the men’s collection. The focus? An ironic investigation – and a little bit desecrating, on speed, and the way time changes. For the FW 24, Giorgetti collaborated with the Franco Albini Foundation, author of the graphics of the Milan metro, and with Google Pixel. The starting point is the curved handle designed by Albini for Line 1 of the metro, taken by MSGM on some items and that also becomes an accessory, after a reworking by Google Pixel 8. It is difficult to return the idea of speed, but Massimo Giorgetti crosses every dress with his inspiration – from wool suits to wide jackets, up to sweaters and shorts studded with crystals, shorts with moccasin and polo shirts with blurry prints, up to the suits jacket and pants static – but technologically dynamic.
Guilty pleasure? That boa/collar in fur.
Modern and traditional come together in the fall/winter collection by Neill Barrettt. The inspiration starts from two dukes in comparison. Devonshire aristocrat Duke and David Bowie. Barrett did to men’s fashion what Phoebe Philo did to women’s fashion, cutting her garments with an extreme minimalism. The FW 24 is perfect from the point of view of tailoring, which innovates in cuts, and that cancels the boundary between formal and informal. Fabrics are the keys – with the classic Harris British tweed that turns into Techno-tweed. Refined and traditional fabrics are translated into workwear and urban sportwear. Even gloves and hats are a tribute to the industry, evoking the concept of work.