Fashion Week – Milan offers up menswear for SS24

On the catwalks of the Lombardy capital, the major brands deployed fresh, sober wardrobes. Here are our editors' picks.

Fashion Week – Milan offers up menswear for SS24
Fifi Abou Dib

For Milan Fashion Week, Valentino‘s sublime colours were the highlight. The men’s SS24 collection show, under the artistic direction of Pierpaolo Piccioli, held in the inner courtyard of Milan University, perfectly lived up to the slogan borrowed from American writer Hanya Yanagihara seen displayed here and there between jackets and shirts: “We are so old, we have become young again”. This Valentino Narratives collection is about today’s “old souls”, who are negotiating the digital and spatial transition between two millennia, after facing a traumatic pandemic. Sobriety is the order of the day, but that doesn’t rule out freshness or a certain nostalgia for childhood, a touching sense of fragility that is evident in this line of suits with short pants and high socks. Stylized floral motifs, printed or applied tone-on-tone, add a springtime touch to these loose, floaty ensembles, with no pretensions of power or dominance. High-collared raincoats, bags with chromed logos that dare to be fluorescent, a palette where Valentino pink and red rub shoulders with greens and plums, indigo blues and earth tones, and monochrome revisited suits, adorned with skinny ties, bring back memories of 50s fashion.

Prada, an examination of fluid architecture.

Prada’s SS 24 men’s collection was presented in the warehouse, the “Deposito” of the Prada Foundation’s headquarters in a space dedicated to contemporary art. This emblematic building, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’ OMA agency, was built on the ruins of a former distillery, whose facades were treated with gold leaf. Large reflective walls create a dialogue between old and new. The catwalk area, which retained its industrial floor, was partitioned by transparent gel curtains, abstract walls that imitated the flow of water. The idea of fluidity, the theme of this collection, could not have been better expressed, as a transition from the ancient to the contemporary, from the feminine to the masculine, to, quite simply, a sense of comfort and respect for the lines of the body and its movements came to the fore. The Prada menswear collection by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons proposes an absolute freedom of the body, expressed through the foundations of the garments that clothe it.

The shirt is a point of departure, its structure and details borrowed as a base to transform an entire stable of menswear – suits, raincoats, active sportswear, reporter jackets. Reconsidered construction, re-constructed. The ultimate aim is a constant awareness of the body within, and its liberation.

Silhouettes borrow their lines from masculine suiting, but their structure contradicts with an intrinsic flexibility. “These clothes are ultimately reflective of our natural state – the dynamic movement and constant transformation inherent to humanity”, concludes Prada’s manifesto.

Fashion Week
Ralph Lauren’s take on a summer along the Amalfi coast

“Summer inspires a way of dressing that has a certain kind of ease and effortlessness, a laid-back sophistication defined by the warmth of the sun and the romance of summer nights. My Spring/Summer 2024 collections for Purple Label reflect that spirit with a subtle glamour that is cool and charming, defining a personal style that is enduring all year round”, announced Ralph Lauren. Purple Label is the highest tier luxury line of clothing and accessories offered by the American brand.

With European craftsmanship as the central focus, Purple Label’s Spring/Summer 2024 collections find their inspiration in the romance of a sun-soaked holiday spent along the Amalfi Coast, where the timeless glamour of windswept views and centuries-old villas offers an idyllic backdrop for the enduring products that make up the Purple Label world.

Heritage fabrics, linen, and silk blends are combined in a rich palette with lush textures for comfort and ease, while modern eveningwear takes shape in sleek silhouettes. Loose linen shirts, drawstring pants, and printed swimwear give way to bright colours and floral patterns—all with a focus on honouring Purple Label’s distinct blend of high artisanship and iconic American design.

Fashion Week
Missoni made our eyes sparkle

Zigzags, what else? And fresh colours to die for! Colour, at Missoni, is form, silhouette, shape. Colour, at Missoni, informs: It codifies, defines, gives rhythm; it becomes patterns, textures, graphic elements.

Presented at Fashion Week, the house’s SS24 collection continues a process of reinterpretation of the masculine wardrobe. It prompts a sense of ease that is both dignified and informal. Silhouettes are loose, designed  to free the body in ensembles full of depth and texture. The palette is natural: skin tones, sand, khaki, blue and the ever-present black mixed with white move in zigzags, of course, but also fiammato, argyle, both micro and macro.

Enveloping glasses, sandals, and white sneakers complete the project, a wardrobe designed to be lived day after day, at any time, effortlessly, at any age.

Fashion Week
Fendi, for the greater glory of artisans

For Fendi’s Spring Summer 2024 men’s collection, the house’s artistic director, Silvia Venturini Fendi, has put craftsman at the heart of the label’s creations, taking the side of quiet luxury explained through know-how and gorgeous materials. Here, traditional workwear is valued and enhanced. The collection, presented in Florence at the Fendi Factory in Capannuccia, features a palette inspired by materials and tools. The gold leather of leather working garb, the green of cutting boards, the blue of work coats… Shirts are tunics, ties are worn loosely, and measuring tape hangs from both sides of the collar, all these make up the unusual accessories found in the collection. The models circulated between work surfaces, in the presence of the craftsmen who continued their work. They carried the brand’s iconic bags, such as the Peekaboo designed by Silvia Veturini Fendi, but in Japanese paper. Chalk marks on the patterns provided a poetic motif. As for footwear, after 70 years of success, the statutory horsebit loafer is not about to leave the house. New, and obviously linked to the world of craftsmen, is the Fendi Lab Clog in leather and natural rubber. Industrial, elegant and creative, Italy is celebrated in all its glory.

For more fashion news and Fashion Week tales, visit our dedicated pages.