Catwalk analysis, men's trends Fall/Winter 2023-24: The neoclassical era
Admired in the spotlight of Milan Fashion Week, key menswear styles are designed to last beyond the season, including practical, high-crafted outfits in striking hues, versatile accessories and contemporary outerwear for every occasion.
If the recent Milan Fashion Week, as muttered by many, regained a trendsetter role compared to Paris, what we are witnessing is a return to the relaxed tailoring of timeless classics. The focus is definitely on research into materials, which are increasingly versatile and high-performance, perfect for a contemporary style that mixes cues borrowed from sports and subtle a-gender touches.
The end of Alessandro Michele's "son e lumière" era at Gucci (characterized by a spectacular dredging up from the archives and by very apt testimonials) seems to have coincided with a general need for cleanliness, moderation, and balance, which in the men's collections seen on the catwalk in Milan was expressed with the "done right" of timeless garments revisited through the lens of contemporary needs.
The new men's trends focus on tradition and innovation, casually interpreting the return to elegance even for daytime. Materials are rich, with surfaces to caress. Leather is in the foreground in both accessories and outerwear, with college-style jackets and blousons vying for first place with puffer jackets and relaxed-fit coats. The most interesting color palette alternates between total white and natural shades such as camel, gray, forest green, and ochre, with intriguing forays into classic check prints, herringbone, houndstooth, and so on.
So make way for Giorgio Armani's soft suits in wool cloth or velvet ribs paired with leather briefcases and backpacks (but there was no shortage of the new "Neve" collection for the man who lives the mountains on weekends), all-black for day & evening by Dolce and Gabbana - with that hint of rock'n'roll that doesn't hurt, Zegna with its unstructured tailoring from ultra-valuable materials (they will be fully traceable by 2024), Fendi - finally freer from the huge logos that characterized the last collections - shows its "cozy" side with voluminous and enveloping silhouettes (and delightful the bag with the features, literally, of a baguette), at Prada the creative duo Miuccia and Raf Simons revisits the masculine classics by breaking them down and hybridizing them through cuts and overlaps. Emblematic are the first outings at the JW Anderson fashion show with models in boxer shorts carrying rolls of cloth under their arms. It really seems like a new beginning, a start from the basics, from what Made in Italy has always done best: combining creativity and tailoring.