While Milan Fashion Week served to confirm a number of the trends already seen at the London shows, designers also offered up a number of noteworthy new directions.
If there was further need for confirmation that utility is set to be one of spring 16’s biggest trends, then the Milan shows provided it. Multi-pocketed safari-style jackets in khaki and green were seen at Antonio Marras and Missoni, while Canali’s cornflower blue version felt fresh and modern. Though they may be too directional for most shoppers, the cotton boiler suits seen at Bottega Veneta (and Christopher Raeburn in London) provide an alternative way to work the look.
White is a quintessential summer colour, so it was no surprise to see it play a big part in so many of this season’s collections. What was striking, however, was the number of all-white looks on the Milan runways. While bright, optic white may be a bit too bold for the majority of British men, softer creams and stone shades offer a more understated take.
A slightly more feminine vibe crept into this season’s menswear, and nowhere was this more obvious than in Alessandro Michele’s collection for Gucci, where flowers were printed onto suits and embroidered onto lacy shirts. Dolce & Gabbana and Vivienne Westwood gave florals an oriental feel, while at Antonio Marras a more botanical, jungle-inspired print fed into spring’s safari trend.
And so to bed
As we’ve learnt from London designers such as JW Anderson and YMC, relaxed tailoring is big news for spring 16. In Milan, this was taken to the next level with the pyjama-style suits seen at Giorgio Armani and Gucci. Buyers can nod to the trend with unlined, unstructured jackets, or with louche silky shirts such as this one by Brioni.
Amid the bright colour and cheerful prints, Milan designers used a palette of sombre greys to lend a refined air to their collections. As in London, where smoky shades were seen at shows including Margaret Howell, Duchamp and Burberry Prorsum, the most effective looks utilised tonal greys to create a head-to-toe look. Textured pieces, such as Daks’ ribbed polo-neck knit, add further interest.
In the pink
As with florals, the profusion of pink pieces spotted in Milan ties into a more general trend towards femininity in this season’s menswear. Buyers should look for pale, dusky hues, such as that of Ermanno Scervino’s luxurious suede shirt, which will have far wider appeal than the brighter shades seen at Damir Doma and Etro.
Whatever the weather
Whether to provide warmth through tricky trans-seasonal periods or to protect from summer showers, the move towards lightweight, technical outerwear is one of the more practical trends to emerge from the spring 16 shows. Jil Sander’s anorak and Emporio Armani’s navy neoprene parka would translate easily to the high street, while Brioni’s multicoloured number makes more of a statement.
Although metallics are more commonly found in the autumn collections, Milan designers found a variety of ways to make their spring ranges shine. At Jil Sander, this came through the use of glossy PVC, which was crafted into shorts, coats and blazers. At Fendi, a burnished bronze T-shirt that looked to be made from liquid metal was balanced out by simple grey trousers and a suede jacket.
Layering is always a key part of spring dressing, and this season that was reflected on the runways in short-sleeved knits and sweatshirts. Whether worn over shirts as at Brioni and Canali or alone like the woven pieces at Pringle of Scotland, these stylish transitional pieces provide a summery twist on winter staples, and should appeal to more trend-conscious customers.
Say it with stripes
When it comes to pattern, stripes dominated the Milan runways, as they did in London, where they were spotted at Agi & Sam, Lou Dalton and Oliver Spencer, among others. At Moncler Gamme Bleu’s preppy, rowing-inspired show almost every look featured stripes of some form, with many built from layers of stripy pieces – gilets, ties, blazers and jackets all featured the print. While this is undeniably a bold look, striped T-shirts and knits such as those seen at Salvatore Ferragamo and MSGM are much more commercial.