From Valentino to Prada, here are our favorite men's Milan Fashion Week shows.
Pierpaolo Piccioli returned with another dazzling display for Valentino, only this time, it was Valentino’s first solo menswear show since 2020. Based on novelist Hanya Yanagihara’s bestselling novel, “A Little Life,” Piccioli decided to reflect on the book and its content as a source of inspiration for his show titled “The Narratives.” We often see Piccioli’s collections brimming with his signature shades of pink; however, with this menswear collection, Piccioli ventured beyond “Piierpaolo Piccioli Pink.” In an attempt to “rewrite the rules of masculine dressing,” Piccioli softened masculine silhouettes with floral patterns and embroidery, paired with sunny pops of color and elegant and clean accessories. The show took a serious interest in reimagined formalwear by focusing on tailored garments made from unique fabrics, such as denim and leather.
Fendi’s menswear show was presented right at the source of its invention: the Fendi Factory near Florence, Italy. Dozens of machines and Fendi Factory employees surrounded onlookers as they observed Silvia Venturini Fendi’s latest men's collection that emphasized “utilitarian elegance” and chic workwear combined with stunning mineral-inspired shades drawn straight from the Tuscan landscapes surrounding the factory. Garments ranged from sleeveless, haltered, collared button-downs and exaggerated boxy jackets and shirts to leather aprons and pants. Craftsmanship had its own spotlight through suits embroidered to look like they had been marked for alterations, and the most unique accessories included Fendi’s very own take on the coffee carrier and measuring tapes draped around necklines.
If there was one newcomer to watch during men’s fashion week, it was Eli Russell Linnetz and his first-ever ERL runway show presented in Florence, Italy. The ERL show took inspiration and design from Russell’s dream-like movie idea, set in circa 2176 Florence, except the prolific city is underwater, and California surfers have decided to play dress-up and crash a masquerade ball. Russel’s collection popped against a greenscreen backdrop through silver and grey sparkling textures and fabrics in the form of grandiose suits and formalwear that stuck to the futuristic storyline. Other elements included relaxed skate-style sweaters and pants, skin-tight gloved shirts, and top hats.
JW Anderson presented his latest combined menswear and women’s resort wear show in Milan with an eclectic array of inspirations and styles drawn from Anderson’s world around him. Bright, sporty, unkempt, and quirky themes swelled within the collection through knitwear reminiscent of Y-2K popcorn fabric, rugby shirts, undone button-downs and cutout sweatshirts, and interlocking sleeveless sweaters of brightly colored yarn inspired by Anderson’s studio furniture. Accessories were rendered from previously-used fabrics, such as popcorn fabric, and structured into oversized tote bags. A notable moment for the collection was the platform clog made from various textures beyond just leather, including laminated felt and silky moire, complete with a noticeable seam running up the shoe's middle.
Raf Simons decided to hone in on the wonders of the human body and its architecture with his latest menswear collection for Prada. Simons played with the idea of silhouettes and their supposed materiality by creating a contrast between the two. In a captivating take on the human form, Simons created cinched waist silhouettes contrasted with softly tailored jackets structured with broad shoulders. The garments of the collection were inspired by fluid motion and the act of effortlessly adorning the body while playing to a more casual tone. Unique add-ons, such as fishermen's vests and utility cargo bags, and backpacks, complete the dynamic and expressive collection that draws on individuality.