Milan Menswear Spring 2014: Jil Sander, Ermenegildo Zegna, and More
Day 1 of 4 Milan Fashion Week: Relaxed Silhouettes
Vibe: Riviera Knits
Corneliani opened its menswear show with a bright sunny morning. The sun shined, but Sergio Corneliani's spring 2014 collection lacked some sparkle. His first look came in a cream high-collared jacket/suit that seemed a bit outdated. There was something missing in his jackets that brought the collection down some points. It was maybe perhaps the poor color choices and simplicity of his designs that didn't help bring back memories of these pieces unless we were to look back at the collection again.
But not all was lost in this collection. His cotton knitted sweaters - woven with a mixture of youthful colors - were one of the best from Corneliani; fresh when paired with slim fitted pants. Another hit here were two specific suits - one in pale pink and the other in blue-gray - that elevated the mood to a cool trip to the riviera with leather sandals. Overall, his tailoring and textural skills saved most of the collection from drowning. And we need those knitted numbers ASAP.
Vibe: The Haute Couture Gentleman
Ever imagined how haute couture would look for a man? We already know Ermenegildo Zegna is a label that takes menswear luxury to a whole another level. It's Fall 2013 menswear collection just showed how much power they have over the luxury market: mink and deer skin jackets; the best silk and velvet suits. Stefano Pilati, ex-designer of Yves Saint Laurent, recently became the new creative director of the label. And his spring 2014 menswear debut went on a very high-end couture route, but before judging it is crucial to keep in mind that the price tag for these collection will probably be way above the average Zegna customer who loves to purchase an exquisite item each year.
Pilati went for a more relaxed silhouette without forgetting to let go of the term "luxury," which was obvious in this collection. He specifically played around with a number of suits - paired with the same fabric, but adding a jacquard pattern to his pants that made them much more delicate. His blousons and shorts - rich in color - vamped up the Zegna gentleman. Safari jackets, oversized and lean coats, foulards tucked inside lapels, and trompe de l'oeil sleeves rolled up, were all the returning signature of Mr. Pilati.
Vibe: Parisian Streetstyle guys
Costume National tends to be the brand who can do the French casual of streetstyle pretty well. A white number ensemble with a loose shirt, intricate hat, and white boots with black belt buckles had a cool appeal to the whole look. Being easy and fly is probably the road the Costume National man prefers to take. One model wore a khaki trenchcoat with a long black/white tank top, slim black pants, and black boots. Total fresh appeal for the guy who is looking for something to be photographed by streetstyle photographers. Another shiny gold suit spoke of the man who is outspoken, but seemed a little too much for the Costume National customer. One thing we've learned from the brand is that extremely French casual is all in the details.
Vibe: Skater Boys Gone to Fashion Week
It's going to be three seasons since Ms. Sander's has taken over her own namesake label. She perfectly has kept her title reigning as the "Queen of Clean," making the most minimal of things stand out. Minimal is something extremely hard to achieve in fashion, but Jil Sander has never had a problem hypnotizing us with her designs. Yes, the looks may be somewhat too simple, but that's what minimal is, and Sander's seems to have added a magic potion to her designs that attract us what so ever. Her spring 2014 menswear collection was yet another additional reigning point to her title.
Her slim-fitted pants - trimmed shortly above the ankle with oversized cuffs - were razor sharp clean. She added some glossy suits that would look perfect in her style or with any other look. Light patterned cardigans were brushed perfectly to keep things minimal. Oversized shorts - in neutral colors and prints with exaggerated cuffs - were interesting to watch. The most surprising of all were her print ensembles, which at one point created doubt. But if you thought about separating them, and incorporating only one of the suit jackets or pants with another one of your own outfits, they would be the perfect execution. Seems Jil Sander didn't loose her crown after all.
Vibe: Leather Bondage
Les Hommes (The Men) played a fair game at its spring 2014 menswear collection. If anything you should be familiar with this brand, it should be their suits - trendy with its slim silhouettes, well crafted, and luxurious. Leather played an important factor in this collection. Their color-blocked leather shirts looked casually luxurious when layered under suits. Liked it or not, it was somehow doubtful to give the answer. And if these particular looks were questionable, their suits were no doubt the star of the night. The manner in which one suit was designed in leather sleeves was a favorite to have tried on. The structure and design in which most of the suits were made called for an evening celebration. Why? Because you want to be the well dressed gentleman of the night. Some prints - especially in suits - were pleasing to have seen.
Vibe: The Guy in the Coolest Jacket
What Neil Barrett didn't do so good from the waist down, he did from the waist up. His spring 2014 menswear collection of outerwear was everything here. Leather jackets - in special patterns, stripes, and checker boards - were a must have for any season. Sure, its a spring collection, but Mr. Barrett's jacket said something else: your next most timeless piece of outerwear you should invest in. His other sweaters and knits were one's to also pile in your wardrobe. As far as mastering goes, he excels in outerwear.