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Designers Mix Decades at Milan Fashion Week Men’s

There were hints of ’60s rebel, a dose of ’70s suave and a flash of ’80s color and ’90s grit at Milan Fashion Week Men’s.

This week, designers presented an eclectic range of Fall/Winter 2020-2021 men’s wear collections that were grounded by a function-first approach to design. The denim was more wearable than the deconstructed streetwear styles of prior seasons. The fabrics offered technical and sustainable attributes. And aside from the winter short that came onto the season, designers delivered seasonal product that you would come to expect from fall/winter collections.

Gucci maintained its retro aesthetic, complete with school yard tartans, breeches and Liberty prints. However, the brand veered into new territory: grunge. Loose-fitting blue jeans—aged and ripped—were paired with holey knits, oversized cardigans, plaid shirts and too-short striped tops.

Individually, the pieces smacked of the ’90s, but styled together with details like velvet blazers, fringe scarves and tassel loafers, Gucci evoked the feeling of ’60s bohemia. The denim pieces were a sharp contrast from the clean ’70s silhouettes presented for Spring/Summer ’20.

Autumnal layers like plaids and cardigans were an essential part of Dsquared2’s collection, as well as the return of the low-rise jean for men and women. Heavily destroyed and bleached jeans were a call back to the brand’s beginnings 25 years ago. The fits were slim but stacked, rouching up the legs of models. The silhouette was echoed in the brand’s leather, cargo and twill bottoms.

Elements of Western filtered into Dsquared2’s collection, including burnished cowboy boots, jeans with leather fringe down the side and duffle coats and ponchos made from blanket materials. Meanwhile, Neil Barrett combined handsome tailoring and maritime-inspired knits with trouser jeans and denim jackets with leather and suede details.

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Leather and fabrics with high shine were prominent across collections. Green and navy velvet hoodies and elastic waist trousers added a youthful feeling to the Giorgio Armani collection, while a grouping of black outerwear presented a clean-up approach to streetwear. The Emporio Armani label opted for pops of red for its dark outerwear and introduced a line of outerwear made from recycled or organic materials.

Black and red was a common theme for Emporio Armani and Salvatore Ferragamo, which also featured black leather T-shirts, trousers, jumpsuits and zip-up jackets.

During a week of shows that favored cinematic dark tones, Fendi, MSGM and Iceberg showed how moody can be achieved with bright and nostalgic colors.

While black leather was a core fabric in Fendi’s collection, jolts of yellow brightened up the collection, including one jacket that changed from grey to yellow under a UV light.

Teal, fuchsia and lavender enlivened MGSM’s overdyed denim, white whale corduroy sets, trench coats and puffer coats. Camp shirts with dark botanicals (including Venus flytraps), black leather shackets and relaxed yet somber suiting delivered the drama.

Iceberg interjected color into its densely black collection via flashes of abstract green and cobalt blue that had a glowing effect on outerwear made with technical fabrics and faux fur. Neon green lingered for another season, as drawstrings, labels on bucket hats and sneakers. However, a pair of jeans with “rave” printed on the leg, and a psychedelic print button-down shirt, confirmed the direction the brand was aiming for.

Psychedelia was carried into Marcelo Burlon’s collection, including a suit with a ’70s lava lamp-inspired print. Warped houndstooth prints also decorated puffer coats, sweaters, bucket hats, track pants and more tailored garments like belted wool pea coats.

The brand also delivered an array of the season’s must-haves included leather jackets and trousers, mixed media bomber jackets and chunky footwear.

Ermenegildo Zegna event dabbled in dizzying prints, though with a more subdued and industrial color palette.