Ah hello, Milan - you have been missed. Milan Fashion Week Men's seems to be having a little bit of a reboot this season. Some would even call it turmoil. But when there is turmoil there is always innovation and renovation. Some big names have sat this one out but that has made some welcomed room for all those newbies. It seems like menswear is worth a bit of a re-think though. According to euromonitor market research forecasts, between now and 2020 menswear sales are set to outpace those of womenswear. It was only last year that Italian menswear brought in €9 billion. Can this seasons collections top all this hype?
Dolce & Gabbana gave a collection that was both fast and furious. Graphic prowess, humanized motifs and the usual religious imagery were all on show here. This was a breathe taking display as we seen a new generation coming through for D&G. There was always going to be someone who took on all the uncertainty throughout the world and this time it was Donatella Versace. The new Versace man will wear shearling coats, rugged shirts, apocalyptic nylon trenches and much more that will allow him to survive the elements. Words of encouragement were even stitched into the inside of garments for that extra push. This season many have started to re-think the classic suit but Armani have stayed one step ahead with a modern take that has a youthful edge.
It wasn't all about the big names throughout [Day 1] though. Neil Barrett took his own college uniform as a starting point and created something that was very distinctive and individual. While Les Hommes took on the themes of aviation and seventies punk - an unlikely duo, but one that will defiantly play well with the brands faithful followers. Moschino had its signature playfulness but there was more fight in this collection. It was almost like Jeremy Scott was searching for beauty throughout the collection.
[Day 2] was all about renewal. It is the season of new faces after all. Dirk Bikkemberg kicked things off with new creative director Lee Woods looking to shake things up and redefine the brands image. Going straight back to the brands roots, this was a collection that was effortless and sleek. Many say that when fashion doesnt take itself so seriously, it can be fun. Sunnei's collection proved that. Set with a playful mood, this was both cool and laid back. Missoni was bursting with colour and why wouldn't it be. With a creative director due to celebrate her 20th anniversary at the helm you'd expect that. But maybe its time to sake things up. Missoni need to take more risks with their collections.
Later on in the day, Prada brought us right back to the 1970's. You could get a sense of normality from this collection. Maybe that was from all the leather and corduroy - who knows? It was all about being crude and unsophisticated here. All of the energy was left until the very end though when Dsquared2 signed off [Day 2]. This was almost like a montage of what you would wear if you were coming from skiing on the slopes to a night out at the opera. Scratch that actually. Just combine the two. Different, I know.
After two days of Milan it seems like there is renovation and innovation. But there is a lot of turmoil too. As the fashion industry starts to reconsider longstanding conventions like runway shows and whether or not men's and women's should be separate, we continue to see the politics of all these decisions seep into collections and fashion houses around the globe. This is most defiantly a season of change and experimentation.