All the biggest moments you missed from men’s fashion week in Milan

17th Jun 19 | Beauty

The extravaganza included tributes to Keith Flint and the rock band Kiss.

Italy Fashion S/S 2019 Versace

Milan is seen as the spiritual home of men’s fashion. Arguably more so than other cities like Paris or New York, it’s where menswear trends start – and end.

So Milan Men’s Fashion Week is always keenly watched, and this past weekend saw the debut of the spring/summer 2020 collections. The shows were particularly colourful and even expanded out of Milan and into Florence. Here are the biggest moments you missed…

Tributes to Keith Flint

Donatella Versace was close friends with Keith Flint, frontman of The Prodigy who died in March, so it made sense for her to dedicate the brand’s next menswear show to him and it made for a very emotional collection.

Italy Fashion S/S 2019 Versace
(Luca Bruno/AP)

As The Prodigy’s music pounded in the background, models had brightly coloured hair just like Flint. The Nineties are well and truly in vogue at the moment, so Versace’s denim vests, leather miniskirts and lots of leopard print felt really appropriate – and a particularly joyful tribute to Flint.

70s glam rock from Philipp Plein

Italy Fashion S/S 2019 Plein
(Luca Bruno/AP)

Philipp Plein could never be accused of being shy or retiring. The German fashion designer is known for OTT shows and uber glam outfits – and his most recent menswear collection was no different. This one was also inspired by music – this time, the 70s band Kiss.

Italy Fashion S/S 2019 Plein
(Luca Bruno/AP)

Models had their faces painted in the iconic black and white, and the band’s logo was plastered all over outfits in sequins. A subtle show this was not, but that’s not why Plein’s followers love him so much. The fashion house is an acquired taste, but they certainly know how to have fun.

An attempt at rebirth from D&G

Italy Fashion S/S 2019 Dolce & Gabbana
(Luca Bruno/AP)

Dolce & Gabbana is going through a tricky time – last year there were allegations of racism surrounding an advert featuring an Asian model trying to eat Italian food with chopsticks, and many of Stefano Gabbana’s comments in the aftermath were seen as particularly inflammatory (although he has since said his Instagram was hacked). Sales of D&G have reportedly plummeted in China, one of the biggest markets for luxury fashion.

D&G has been notably absent on red carpets since the scandal, but now it seems like the brand is trying to get back into fashion’s good graces with its menswear show in Milan. Although the controversy wasn’t mentioned, the soundbites the duo of designers gave Vogue all spoke to new beginnings and fresh starts. “The new generation is sensitive about beauty, about life, about education, about air, about everything,” said Dolce. “Fashion is beautiful because it’s always changing. One season it’s one thing, another season it’s another thing,” said Gabbana. However, it remains to be seen whether the brand will indeed be able to weather this storm.

Environmental consciousness

Italy Fashion S/S 2019 Zegna
(Luca Bruno/AP)

Fashion doesn’t exist in a bubble, and it is constantly inspired by what’s happening in the world. It’s also not afraid to tackle some of the more important social issues – like Ermenegildo Zegna did in its latest show. The whole collection tackled climate change – it featured sustainable materials and was held in what looked like an industrial wasteland outside Milan.

It’s a smart play for the younger generation, which is increasingly concerned with climate change and the impact fashion is having on it. Creative director Alessandro Sartori told Vogue: “We are pushing upcycling of materials and part of the production process. We call it ‘use the existing’. We started in winter with some cashmere. Now ten outfits in the show are done using this process.”

A first for Givenchy

Even though most of the men’s fashion week takes place in Milan, this year saw an increasing amount of brands decamp to Florence. One of these was Givenchy, which held its first full menswear show under Clare Waight Keller outside the Tuscan Villa Palmieri.

It was a perfectly finessed collection from Waight Keller, a favourite designer of the Duchess of Sussex. It felt very international – she was inspired by Seoul street style, and many of the models were Asian. It also leaned heavily into gender fluidity, showing just how forward-thinking Waight Keller is, even if her tailoring wouldn’t be out of place on a Romantic poet.

© Press Association 2019