Individuality is always a prized commodity in Milan, so it was a bit jarring to see common motifs spring up around the menswear shows during Fashion Week. Travel was a prominent theme at the runway shows of Missoni, Prada and Moncler Gamme Bleu, the latter featuring plentiful references to campsites, tarpaulins and tents, complete with a cameo from Smokey Bear. (Never let it be said that Thom Browne doesn't know how to put on a show.) Elsewhere, the distinctive personalities of individual designers and houses were in keeping with viewers' expectations, including the flamboyant streetwear of Marcelo Burlon County of Milan and clean lines of Jil Sander. Check out six designer to watch from Milan Fashion Week in the galleries below.
Guatemala was the inspiration for Angela Missoni's vision as she designed her spring collection, which used contrasting rich hues that recalled the traditional garb of the Central American nation. The first half of the show featured an assemblage of knits, shorts and suiting, while the second half gave way to the gaucho, with western shirts and straw hats.
Considering Marcelo Burlon's side gig as a DJ, it's no wonder that his spring collection was dedicated to the power of music, reinforced with "Sonido" (or "sound" in English) embroidered in Gothic lettering on tees and knits. A predominantly black and red color palette was accented with energetic pops of color, highlighting the unique details and mixed proportions of various streetwear staples.
"Relaxed lightness" was the ethos that designer Rodolfo Paglialunga displayed in Milan, featuring clean lines and a neutral color palette. Classic Sander silhouettes, made up of unstructured cotton suits, boxy blousons and elongated trench coats, were pared down, functional, and above all, modern.
Consuelo Castiglioni showcased Velcro, of all things, on Marni's spring collection, with the straps keeping panels closed together in the back when they weren't suspended from tabs in contrasting colors. Reminiscent of a toddler's shoes, the quirky detail spoke to a childlike enthusiasm that's become something of a recurring Marni theme.
Thom Browne cited the Boy Scouts as the inspiration for Moncler Gamme Bleu's Spring 2017 collection, with the models dragging a sleeping bag behind them as a classic campfire accessory. Browne's signature plaids were now rendered in navy, olive and khaki, replacing his signature cool grey shades with a warm, rustic sensibility.
Miuccia Prada sent down a procession of psychedelic trekkers down a ramp of metal grating, with the assembled looks meant to convey the importance of "traveling, sharing, joining different cultures." We haven't seen this much activewear from Prada since the '90, and the parkas, windbreakers and zippered rain pants were finished in unexpected colors and prints, evoking both the familiar and new.