MFW: serious and ironic men’s fashion

Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Men’s fashion takes the lead on the catwalks of Milan and at Fortezza da Basso in Florence, for the 81st edition of Pitti Uomo. The economic crisis has brought a much more serious air to fashion week, with fewer events and less glamour around. Perhaps because of the cold weather, on Saturday and Sunday in Milan, the roads were less crowded and the traffic less intense. A fashion week also characterised by ‘ready-to-war’ from France and Italy, to quote an expression used by the fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes. And, following the example of Bulgari, Moncler, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Bottega Veneta and Gucci, even Brioni is speaking French these days, now that the brand is officially controlled by Ppr.

Financial data for the sector
According to estimates by Sistema moda Italia, in the final part of 2011 Italian men’s fashion showed positive outcomes again, after three years of negative results. 2011 should go down as having an increase in turnover of +3.4%, equivalent to just under 8.4 billion Euros.

However the data from Sistema moda Italia has highlighted the fact that the dynamics of Italian production show a serious deterioration and should bring about a downturn of 8.9% annually: caused in part by a decisive increase in import values because of an increase in the price of raw materials. According to Raffaello Napoleone, managing director of Pitti Immagine, “we must have no illusions about our country.” He adds: “The situation is serious. Consumption is at a minimum and retailers are really struggling, often having to delay payments and some being forced to close.”

Pitti
Newly returned to the fair in Florence is Valentino. The collection, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, is classic with trousers with well defined pleats, suits and dinner jackets.

Also returning to Pitti, with 1100 exhibitors, was Napapijri. “Italy is the second market after Germany which is why we have decided to come back here”, reported Fashion United Andrea Cannelloni, vice president and general manager of Napapijri.

As for influx to the Florence fair, foreign visitors from abroad should number about 7,400, with about 13,600 from Italy. Germany, Japan, Great Britain, United States, China, South Korea and Turkey were leading demand and compensating for some significant falls, such as that of Spain, with almost 200 fewer buyers, as well as Greece and Portugal.
Milan fashion week
From Pitti stands, to the catwalks of Milan and the stands of White where, apart from men’s fashion, the main feature was art. Perhaps as an alternative to the car and the high price of petrol, much inspiration came from bicycles. Also, there was a lot of knitwear: the soft and colourful capsule collection by Nick Wooster for Drumohr, for example.

On the catwalks of Milan Fashion Week, with a total of 38 parades, the jacket and a sense of irony were the winners.

The Burberry Prorsum show was closed by models and a rainbow of umbrellas.

Prada showcased the most glamorous parade. Adrien Brody, Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, Emile Hirsch, Garrett Hedlund, and the twins Alexandre and Victor Carril gave life to a parody of the wardrobe of a high ranking official.

Emporio Armani has gone back to the duffle coat, while Ermanno Scervino triumphed with boiled wool with stretch, for jackets and tightly fitting but soft coats.

From our correspondent in Milan

Photo small: Emporio Armani Autumn/Winter 2012-2013
Photo big: Ermanno Scervino and Prada Autumn/Winter 2012-2013

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