In true Milanese style, the fashion outside the shows of Milan Fashion Week Men’s was just as head-turning and exciting.
The chintzy shirt
Flamboyant. Ostentatious. Garish. There are a lot of adjectives—some good, some bad depending on the vibe you’re going for—to describe this new breed of brightly printed short-sleeve button-down shirt.
A spin-off of the tropical camp shirts that prevailed during summer 2017, the new statement shirt comes from no singular origin or design reference. Rather, the flood gate has opened, inviting a blend of Baroque-inspired scrollwork, multi-colored surf prints (think ’90s era Body Glove) and silk scarf patterns, and in some cases, rhinestone embellishments.
And the ways in which the shirts are worn are just as unique as their color and print combinations. Men are not shying away from pairing the bold shirts with kitschy gold Casio watches, bum bags or summer’s other conspicuous street style trend—men’s clutches.
The man clutch
A style upgrade from the ongoing fanny pack trend, men are perusing luxury designers’ accessories collections for monogrammed “pochettes,” leather document holders and oversized wristlets to double as carryalls. The “man clutches” give off an air of confidence—both in business and style.
The bags serve a functional purpose, of course. The clutches store iPhones, portable chargers and all the other fashion week accoutrements one needs to stay connected to the digital world. Not to mention they help frame a perfect shot of men’s ring and bracelet parties.
The merch shirt
In the spirit of ironic fashion, and perhaps relief from the Italian sun, tastemakers and street style stars donned their best “merch shirts” during fashion week. The shirts tout designer logos like Fendi and Versace, but the designs are skewed just enough to look counterfeit.
The trend speaks to Gen Z’s affinity for logos, and taps into the lucrative business of memorabilia-inspired gear. Earlier this month, Kanye West reportedly sold online $500,000 worth of “merch” promoting his new album “Wyoming” in under an hour. High Snobiety reported that West partnered with supplier Bravado, which manufactured West’s successful Life of Pablo merchandise in 2017 and also produces tees, sweatshirts and hats for Arianna Grande, Lady Gaga and The Weeknd.