Milan | Make way for the men for an up-and-coming fashion week

(Milan) A wind of optimism is blowing over the Men’s Fashion Week that opened on Friday in Milan: the virtual format imposed by the pandemic seems relegated to oblivion and Italian fashion sales register the strongest growth in the last twenty years.

Gucci’s return to the men’s catwalks after three years of absence, debut of the avant-garde Scottish designer Charles Jeffrey, a total of 79 appointments, of which only four are digital… Fashion week promises spectacle and joie de vivre.

Nothing replaces “the live experience, the frenzy, the expectation, the applause, the top models parading on the catwalk and the powerful music” that moves the public, fashion consultant Elisabetta Cavatorta told AFP.

Men’s Fashion Week, dedicated to the fall-winter 2023/2024 collections, will run until Tuesday and will feature 22 shows and 36 presentations.

The collections should, according to the expert, favor “trend clothing that will last over time, thus reminding us of the importance of a return to ‘slow fashion'”, in the antipodes of industrial fashion, “and sustainability”. ”.

gucci, the return

The Gucci luxury house kicked off Fashion Week with its first long-awaited show since the late-November march of its iconic artistic director Alessandro Michele.

In a minimalist show, far from the eccentricities of its former designer, Gucci wanted to celebrate “the aesthetics of improvisation”, with a collection inspired by the classic men’s wardrobe, reinterpreted with a subversive spirit.

The Gucci man loves flowing, flexible materials and isn’t afraid to mix genres and colors, pairing distressed jeans with sequined tops and green, red or pink heeled boots from the 1970s.

Long, sophisticated coats are worn over baggy trousers or long skirts with slits that reveal the legs. Among the essential accessories, wool hats, rectangular shopping bags or garment bags to wear casually on the shoulder.

Called to the rescue in 2015 to revive low sales, Alessandro Michele had given the brand, the flagship brand of the Kering group, a new lease of life with daring collections, often very flowery and joyful.

If its collections had boosted Gucci’s sales at its inception (+37% in 2017 and +44% in 2018), in the last two years its progress has lagged behind the competition.

“Lately, creativity has started to slow down and I think it was felt in sales as well,” Elisabetta Cavatorta explained.

“It remains to be seen if Alessandro Michele’s departure initiates a change of direction for the fashion house” and paves the way for “a revolution in terms of style and sophistication,” he says.

Pending the appointment of a successor, eagerly awaited by fashionistas and the markets, it is the Gucci design studio that has been entrusted with the artistic direction of the Milan fashion show.

youth cure

Armani, Prada, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Zegna… the big brands have responded to the call of the man’s week. But there have also been defections, such as Versace, who will present his men’s and women’s collections on March 10 in Los Angeles.

Despite the war in Ukraine and the impact of the energy crisis on a highly energy-intensive supply chain, Italian fashion in 2022 posted a 16% increase in revenue, to €96.6bn.

Dsquared2, the label of Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten, got a facelift on Friday night with a co-ed fall-winter collection designed to celebrate “teenage freedom.”

Frayed jeans with dizzyingly low waists, exposing the lace of the underwear for the boys, decidedly unwinter sheer suits for the girls in mini shorts, fringed jackets and western-style boots… Dsquared2 deliberately breaks codes.

“Today’s teenagers are freer than us, because many taboos have been dropped,” explain the two stylists. “They dress for themselves, they don’t care what other people think.”

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