Best of: Milan Fashion Week Men’s Spring/Summer 2018

Design Lists Fashion Week

As the undisputed capital of true sartorial style, Milan boasts several of the biggest names in menswear, from Salvatore Ferragamo and Ermenegildo Zegna to the more mononymous of Italian fashion houses, such as Prada, Marni and Fendi. This season, each one of these brands presented a remarkably strong collection where, among notions of free-spiritedness and elevated sportswear, appeared short-shorts, summer corduroy and countless revamps of traditional staples. Complete with tapered mechanic-inspired jumpsuits and high-waist trousers, the Spring/Summer 2018 shows took over the Milanese runway to offer a glimpse into the upcoming future of menswear, one filled with youthful updates and reinvigorated masculine silhouettes; here are the five best collections of Milan Fashion Week Men’s.

1. Prada

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Unlike last season’s 70s throwback, this time around found Miuccia Prada’s creative vision revolving around the Fifties, with a range of mechanic-inspired jumpsuits, high-waist trousers, graphic novel prints and spring’s hottest look, the short-short. The collection was clean, concise and didn’t runway away from the challenge of playing with traditional men’s silhouettes. Overall, these looks evoked equal parts greaser and fine Italian tailoring; all with a modern, almost futuristic approach, they appeared perfectly seamless, with sleeves rolled up and with matching tops and trousers neatly tucked. This was, without a doubt, one of the standout shows of Milan Fashion Week, if not the entire Spring/Summer 2018 season.

2. Salvatore Ferragamo

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Corduroy seems to be building a strong case for its runway domination this season, with Salvatore Ferragamo’s well-cut shorts making a valid statement look in its defense. (Who knew wintery corduroy could merit such a summery makeover?) Inspired by the free-spirited Italian Riviera and the 1960 French-Italian film “Plein Soleil,” Ferragamo’s menswear design director Guillaume Meilland evoked the Mediterranean landscape with soft tones, from pale lilac to powdery blue, and a range of looks, from patterns of waves to seahorses appearing embroidered and printed throughout the collection. This season could easily be described as fresh, often lightweight and constantly contemporary, in part thanks to the excess of breezy shirting, fluid outerwear options and covetable men’s bags, which included a fold-over clutch and a square tote bag in sumptuous walnut leather; the overall look was youthful elegance at its best.

3. Marni

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Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso has hit the mark with his sophomore collection, balancing Marni’s signature play on colors with the brand’s ongoing commitment to creating slightly off-kilter menswear options. This season, it was all about the layered and patched striped shirts, the clashing prints and the outerwear looks embroidered with sailing boats. The sartorial Italian fashion house received a youthful update as well, via using childlike illustrations as prints on cotton shirts, alongside finely crafted drop-crotch pants, relaxed patchwork jackets and color-blocked Windbreakers; every look was effortlessly cool, quirky, free-spirited and perfectly Marni.

4. Ermenegildo Zegna

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This is Alessandro Sartori’s second collection for Ermenegildo Zegna. The rather new artistic director continues to revamp the savoir-faire at Zegna, this season blending technical tailoring with relaxed sportswear for a lightweight collection of brand and balance. Building off the brand’s aptitude for suiting, Sartori delivered an athletically inclined lineup that included oversize sweaters with a kimono-style V-neck, a dust-pink two-piece suit, tapered jobbers and countless other additions, including sandals and baseball caps made from the woven leather fabric Zegna calls “Pelle Tessuta.” Sartori’s spring-summer collection was richly saturated, effortlessly lightweight and devastatingly gorgeous.

5. Fendi

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With her latest menswear outing, Silvia Fendi set out to dress all future generations of on-the-go workingmen. Effortlessly weaving sportswear influences with office-wear staples, Fendi’s Spring 2018 collection updates the way we look at business dress, contrasting traditional pieces (think knitted polo tops, checked jackets, suspenders and printed silk ties) with casual options (including shorts, nylon suits and a retro-lux tracksuits tops in fur and suede). Also appearing throughout the collection were transfers and prints based on the illustrations of everyday objects, such as teacups, bananas and keys, created by London-based artist Sue Tilley. Overall, Fendi’s Spring 2018 collection encompassed a 1950s-slash-1970s aesthetic with a mood that can only be described as “corporate escapism”—an enhanced wardrobe for those working beyond the Monday-to-Friday calendar.

Brent Taalur Ramsey is an American writer living in Paris.

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