Menswear on parade in Milan

(Milan) To parade or not, in the face of the surge of the Omicron variant? The question has plagued the brands participating in Milan Men’s Fashion Week which begins this Friday, with a new “phygital” edition combining physical catwalks and digital presentations.

Giorgio Armani threw a chill last week by canceling his parades scheduled for January in Milan and Paris due to the new wave of COVID-19. A taste of déjà vu, because it was the 87-year-old maestro who was also the first to give up the parades at the very beginning of the pandemic, in February 2020.

After a period of hesitation, 16 of the 23 parades in flesh and blood planned were finally maintained in Milan, including those of big labels like Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada or Etro. Eighteen brands have opted for a purely virtual presence, others will present their collections by appointment.

For the Italian Fashion Chamber, there was no question of giving up the catwalks. “Fashion week is our showcase, which serves as an engine” for the recovery of the sector, and it will be “in compliance with the regulations in force”, argued its president, Carlo Capasa.

After the black year 2020, Italian fashion, comprising clothing, accessories, eyewear, jewelry and cosmetics, should see its revenues grow by 20.5% to 82.85 billion euros in 2021, without however reaching the level of before the pandemic.

The prestigious invitation card will no longer be enough to access the parades, where places are limited, it will now be necessary to show a white footing, with a valid vaccination passport, and wear an FFP2 mask.

Italy has paid a heavy price for the pandemic, with more than 140,000 dead, and is now experiencing, like other European countries, a sharp increase in cases, due to the highly contagious Omicron variant, despite a high vaccination rate .

Optimism despite everything

But for the time of a parade, the pandemic will be put on hold: “to move forward, looking to the future with optimism” and the ” made in Italy “Will be the watchwords in Milan, commented for AFP Federica Trotta Mureau, editor-in-chief of the Italian fashion magazine. Mia The Journal.

Men’s Fashion Week, dedicated to the fall-winter 2022-2023 collections, will run until Tuesday and will see the participation of 53 brands.

The ball will open with a physical, but small-scale, show by Ermenegildo Zegna, who made his Wall Street debut in December, becoming the first Italian fashion house to be listed in New York.

“The world is changing and so is the way of dressing. The formal becomes informal, high level. We have given a new direction to our brand, based on the “luxury leisurewear“, Which generates good results”, explained on this occasion its CEO Gildo Zegna.

Freedom of movement

Men’s fashion trends? “The new elegance is the“ overshirts ”, that is to say very loose and fluid sweaters which perfectly replace the shirts”, explains Federica Trotta Mureau.

Reflecting the freedom of man’s sartorial movement, a foretaste of the end of the pandemic, “the stars of the new collections are the oversized down jackets that protect against the cold, as well as the padded nylon pants”, details this fashion specialist.

Colors ? “Rather lively, but also monochrome outfits in camel green and gray tones with touches of terracotta”, sometimes matched with “patterns such as stripes, houndstooth and Prince of Wales”.

“The emphasis is on accessories, which are a real must-have, in particular maxi-bags inspired by the world of travel, for getting around town with everything on you,” she continues.

Among the essentials, she also cites “quilted coats cinched at the waist, dressing gowns in pastel tones, sartorial-style jacket-pants sets and leather jackets”.

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