The 5 Best Men’s Looks From Milan S/S 12

June 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Men’s Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2012 just ended in Milan yesterday. Here are my 5 favorite looks from the runway.

5. Jil Sander

Jil Sander (via NYMag)

A lot of people don’t really get Jil Sander, and to be honest, I don’t always either. Often things don’t seem to make sense – passport folios, high waisted pleated shorts, hair gelled down the forehead. It’s like looking at surrealist paintings walking down the runway. But there’s something undeniable about the way in which designer Raf Simons makes me want to keep looking at his clothes. There’s something about the proportions, the hightech materials (are the bags lizard or lacquered eel skin?), and overall mood of the clothes that are magnetic and exciting.

One of my favorite looks from the S/S 12 show in Milan is a green shirt with pleated black shorts, black shoes, and a reptile-skin bag. It looks pretty simple at first glance, but upon closer inspection you’ll notice that the intricate stitching on the shirt resembles overlapping, colored chain-link fences. Also, the rounded silhouette of the shirt is beautiful. There’s something very simple about the look, but as is often the case with his clothes, a discerning eye leads to a world that’s much more complex and artistically rich.

4. Gucci

Gucci (via NYMag)

When I told my boyfriend that Gucci’s show was inspired by the young Michael Caine, his response was, “I think he was supposed to be really hot.” But after doing a Google image search I learned that the young Michael Caine looked just like the old Michael Caine – just younger. It was disappointing, but I did notice he was better styled.

Regardless, the Michael Caine inspiration led Gucci to one of its most restrained and commercial collections in recent years, full of items many men would would love to own. Personally, I loved all of the check blazers, some of which had subtle leather detailing at the pockets and button holes that gave them that extra “oomph” of luxury. I also loved that they were often paired with open shirts, plain trousers, and sockless leather drivers. It kept the look casual and effortlessly sexy. Designer Frida Giannini didn’t reinvent the design wheel with this collection – the impossibly narrow silhouette was the same as it has been every other collection – but I’m sure she satisfied lots of buyers.

3. Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum (via NYMag)

What I love most about Burberry shows is seeing designer Christopher Bailey’s spirit in the clothes; it’s youthful, optimistic, and above all, a celebration of fashion. His latest show was no exception. Bailey sent out a collection rich in feeling, inspired by hippies of the 60s and old-school craftsmanship. It signaled an aesthetic shift for the brand, moving away from edgy and urban and towards something more homey, heritage, and roots driven.

One of the best looks from the collection was a mustard leather trench over a patterned green shirt and earthy brown slacks. The color palette is super sophisticated without screaming luxury. As I like to say, it’s artsy without trying too hard. I also love the craftsmanship put into the collar of the coat, which was handwoven and inset with pearl-like beads. The collar goes perfectly with the leather of the coat, which is thicker with a beat-up, vintage feel. And although the faux tribal patterns on the shoes and bag are conceptually a bit silly, I still (secretly) like them.

2. Missoni

Missoni (via NYMag)

Angela Missoni is the master of mixology. Give her a pattern and she’ll come up with 10 other patterns that go with it, and then put them all together in one ensemble. While most of us fear mixing patterns (these stripes don’t go with those stripes, do they?), she layers and combines them in the most elegant way possible.

This season, Missoni offered her usual color and pattern explosion, but in a way that felt more relaxed and cool. One of my favorite looks is a two-tone, marled yarn shirt worn with a blue marbled cardigan, lightweight charcoal pants, and simple, two strap sandals. The look was effortless and comfortable. I like the way all the blue and dark grey hues come together, and how unrestrained the overall silhouette is. This would be perfect for a midnight stroll or lounging at a really fashion-y ski lodge.

1. Prada

Prada (via NYMag)

One will have to be careful wearing the Prada looks Miuccia sent down the runway this week. Mispairing a printed shirt or jeweled jacket might leave you looking like a tacky gay guy with too much money to blow. Regardless of the risk, I say if you have the means to shop from this collection, go for it. It’s fabulous. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought the inspiration for the collection was a chic gay Paris. It’s one of the more playful collections from Miuccia in recent memory, lacking the cerebral edge she tends to work into her clothes. And because of that, it feels like a breath of fresh air.

I love the prints from the collection – ebullient florals and jazzy figures cutely doing mundane things. They remind me of vintage postcards or of Zubaz I might find in my older sister’s trunk of clothes from the 90s. For me, the most memorable look from the collection was a printed short-sleeve button down with a printed scarf, slacks, a pink beret, and simple brown slacks. I love the ease of the look and how the patterns clash in all the right ways. It looks like the model got dressed to go to work at the faux French creperie in the Mission District of San Francisco.


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