A long tunnel within a red box. The models wander through this closed space, dressed in light and colorful parkas, swimsuits with graphic prints, enveloping terrycloth vests or even elegant pants worn low on the hips. At the end of a bend, we see a ray of light, then a furtive image of the sea, before the bright sun reflects on the white sand, and the models all reach this dream beach. The film shot in Sardinia by the house Prada Could not better express the impression that the men’s spring-summer 2022 season of Italian fashion, presented in Milan from June 18 to 22, left: the light seems to be finally at the end of the podium, for an industry greatly heckled by the pandemic and who has seen in recent months the parades with public shrinking to skin of grief.
If optimism is in order, of the fifty brands presenting their men’s collection, only three have nevertheless chosen a traditional fashion show: Dolce & Gabbana, Etro and Giorgio Armani. “There is still a month, we did not know if the sanitary conditions would be met to be able to welcome the public, explains Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian national fashion chamber. Many brands have preferred to play it safe this season. “
Dolce & Gabbana kicked off the festivities with a parade bringing together 300 guests – instead of the usual 800 – called “Light Therapy” and taking place in a setting reminiscent of the lights of traditional village festivals. “ It’s a tribute to life! These colorful illuminations are very popular in southern Italy, they are the epitome of celebrations with family and friends. It’s time we were all together again, right? “, explain the designers.
On the catwalk, these take the form of colored stones illuminating suits, denim and sportswear sets. Never afraid of overbidding, the duo multiplied the references at the beginning of the 2000s, when fashion dared to make hazardous and joyful associations. Football shirts sit alongside wide jeans, fitted suits sparkle with a thousand sequins and a firework effect lights up large open shirts. An energizing collection.
Energy, Kean Etro There was no shortage of them at the exit of the parade of the brand that bears his name, in the heart of former railway warehouses. Inspired by travel – imaginary this year – the designer offers a colorful wardrobe, in which large silk blouses accompany pants printed with flowers or paisley patterns. The Etro man is a nomad, his rattan rug rolled up under his arm, ready to stretch out wherever he walks. “ I thought a lot about Xavier de Maistre’s book Travel around my room. It is the story of a fantasized escape, which particularly resonates with the past year. I transcribed that in a bohemian and optimistic locker room ”, details the creator.
Fendi presented her collection through a video shot on the roof of Palazzo della Civiltà, in Rome, which has housed the brand’s head office since 2015. Inspired by the light of the Roman sky, Silvia Venturini Fendi offers a line featuring pastel colors on suits with shortened but comfortable proportions. The accessories are playful, like the Peekaboo bag which converts into a ping-pong racket holder.
Linen, silk, cashmere scarf … the airy materials give movement to this set with soothing virtues. “ I wanted light. From the top of our building, we have a magnificent view of Rome, the hills, nature and light. The Romans have a very strong connection with the sun and its changes in tone. “
It is also about the changing sky at Ermenegildo Zegna. Alessandro Sartori’s cloakroom borrows the ocher of sunsets, the blue of the sky, and lots of greens. The artistic director is at his creative zenith: ultra-luxurious, his collection puts the strict costume on the back burner to take it towards sportswear variations or close to the kimono. ” The pandemic has changed our relationship with costume, believes Alessandro Sartori. Men will continue to wear it but less often, or with exclusive, tailor-made models. “
This movement frees him: he draws monochrome outfits with wide cuts, introduces soft bags, linen coveralls, painter’s jackets, T-shirts with a signature folded collar. Refined, the whole is enhanced by invisible buttons, side pockets, retractable cuffs.
In Diesel, the arrival of a new artistic director, the Belgian Glenn Martens (also artistic director of Y / Project), announced in October 2020, made the community salivate. Its first collection, presented on June 21, puts denim in majesty in a crescendo way: first treated in a classic way, the material mutates into patchwork, dyed or unstructured, until finishing worked in smocking in an artisanal spirit. Spicy, the result remains faithful to Glenn Martens who, despite the commercial demands of a globalized brand, affixes his radical signature. From the Italian heavyweight in denim, he has kept the joy, the democratic spirit, but adds a more eco-responsible approach by highlighting in particular upcycled pieces.
We meet Walter Chiapponi at the showroom Tod’s. The artistic director, who arrived in 2019, was inspired by safaris and the allure of American photographer of the genre, Peter Beard. The video, shot in the Cantina Petra vineyard laid out by architect Mario Botta, in Suvereto in Tuscany, brings together a cast of promising artists, young singers and actors.
Called “Under the Italian Sun”, the wardrobe is chic and relaxed. Wide pleated trousers accompany linen or quilted jackets while sportswear inspiration resonates through nylon polos and swimsuits. “ There is a sensual and joyful side. I wanted to give the impression of a mirage, like when it is so hot under the sun that you are a little confused. “
This desire for midsummer is expressed in another register at Brunello Cucinelli. The leader in Italian elegance has revisited the suit, his trademark. Noble materials, efficient and refined cuts, worn plain or mismatched, with fine stripes or in a mottled gray, this centerpiece of the male wardrobe still has a lot to tell.
Concluding this hybrid week, between parades and video events, Giorgio Armani, who had invited only 160 guests in the gardens of his Milanese palace, also endeavored to revisit the costume. “ This collection mixes the classic and the informal. We’ve all learned to be more laid back over the past few months! The current costume has several possibilities, mixes of materials or a touch of sportswear ”, details the creator, who displays at a press conference the 17 stitches he wears on his arm, the result of a recent fall in the cinema.
“Italian fashion, which is the second largest industry in the country after the automobile, suffered 24% losses in 2020. The first months of 2021 give us hope, we have recovered by 17%”, welcomes Carlo Capasa. An optimism that suggests an imminent return in full light?