No-one is working in spring 2013. It’s as if men’s fashion is permanently in holiday mode, dreaming of sun and freedom and the easy life.
And yes the spring / summer season naturally gravitates toward optimism as an unwritten rule, but this time around the collective mood goes beyond just a desire to splash some colour into an outfit. If you were to run some analysis of our wad of press releases and show notes from Milan fashion week you’d find a pattern of repeated words: leisure, sportswear, holiday, relaxed, easy. Elegance. There’s plenty of emphasis on looks that a gent can wear from day to night, but no-one is talking about the office. If fashion is about fantasy, menswear is dreaming itself off to Cuba, or Panama, or some other place where the sun never stops soaking through its linen double breasted jacket.
Above: string quartet playing folk and jazz at Brioni’s spring 2013 presentation
The mood was reinforced by the Milan soundtrack. Roccobarocco’s Panama gents were most in their element when sauntering to a finger-clicking Bossa Nova cover of Tainted Love. Old gramophone jazz scratched the air at Moncler; live jazz smoothed it out at Brioni. Georgio Armani took a triumphant bow to a trumpet blast of Mexican Son Jarocho, but not before his models took a chilled-out Walk On The Wild Side. Canali’s men didn’t so much walk as strut in their bold suiting to a peppy remix of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus.
Burberry Prorsum‘s downbeat indie soundtrack of Ren Harvieu and Birdy was the exception, but all perfectly in line with their brand – rockstar metallic pants or not, Burberry’s mood rarely strays from being decidedly mellow and British.
Up next is Paris: we’ll soon find out if this sun-drenched menswear vacation will continue, or whether menswear goes back to work.