Sunnei to Palm Angels, streetwear in fashion focus in Milan

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MILAN — Youthful dressing and streetwear were in focus on the third day of Milan Fashion Week previews of (mostly) menswear for next spring and summer.

It’s a game of sophisticated materials and edgy styling, of pushing boundaries and reaching for that increasingly significant, but typically not economically independent young customer.

Highlights on Sunday included Palm Angels, DSquared, Sunnei, John Richmond and Missoni.

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SUNNEI ZEN

Sunnei took a leap in sophistication with its co-ed collection featuring highly researched materials and calm, Zen-like styling.

For the unveiling, founders Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo brought the fashion crowd to the white-washed concrete of a future public art space beneath a disused overpass in Milan.

Providing a snapshot of the 4-year-old brand’s technical sophistication, the looks included textured yet translucent knitwear, which from the front row looked soft as a sponge. On closer inspection, the outside of the designs felt resistant and a little bit scratchy.

The super-light knitwear lent itself to layering – over knit pants for men and a long knit dress or skirt for women. There were matching knitwear duffels, and maxi bags took on the micro-bag trend shown on other runways.

While cargo pants come in for some disparagement, the designers embraced their utility without worrying that stuffed compartments would ruin the line. In fact, the male silhouette was boxy, with oversized shirts over wide fitting shorts.

Short denim jumpsuits were wide enough to suggest a dress and ensure comfort, while a lemon yellow belted jacket created a male peplum over a matching cargo trouser. Tie-back caps finished the looks.

For women, there were super wide elephant pants that could be worn with ruched bandeau tops, perhaps layered with a sheer tunic. Satiny skirt outfits came cinched with scrunchy belts that gave a springy feel. Models wore platform sandals that added as much as 5 inches (12 centimeters) in height.

The collection featured colors of soothing white, mix-and-match green tones, sky blue and denim along with neutrals black and brown.

Rizzo and Messina declared wryly on one pullover vest, “I HATE ‘FASHION.'” The phrase clearly meant someone who tries too hard. The pair achieved the ultimate ease in Milan.

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JOHN RICHMOND TAPS 1980S DNA

He’s a biker or a punker, unafraid to wear a 1980s skirt or to layer trousers or shorts with fishnets.

John Richmond says the young man of today is ready for anything. And for Spring/Summer 2020, Richmond dipped back into his archive to bring back the punk skirt that graced the 1984 cover of Britain’s The Face magazine, earning him a place in fashion history.

The updated cotton version comes in straightforward gray and khaki, worn with showy coordinated bombers with panels of snakeskin print or metallic detailing.

“Kids nowadays wear anything. You know they’ve broken all the rules. So you get guys wearing jeans which are hardly there. It’s all changed,” Richmond said.

Snakes and snakeskin prints were the chief motifs of the co-ed collection – but no snakeskin itself.

The collection featured architectural shoulders for her, accented by a cinched waist and flowing, pleated trousers for undulating movement. She might add a skin-fitting tattoo top that Richmond said was “a montage of iconography, with rings and Bowie and all kinds of things.”

There were slinkier looks for evening, including a sequined snake slithering suggestively over the shoulder.

Richmond has an eye on sustainability in his broader collection, and says it is easier to find eco-polyester. The looks in stores – not on the runway – will include reused vintage.

Part of the philosophy includes using footwear that is on the market. Here, Richmond collaborated with Converse for men’s high-tops finished in sequins and studs with snakes or JR insignia.

Richmond has been relaunching his historic brand after losing control in a business dispute for two seasons. He says it is now growing each season and as part of his latest chapter, he plans to open stores in Milan and Dubai this year and Malaysia next year.

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MARCELO BURLON GIVES AN EASY RIDE

Argentine designer Marcelo Burlon’s County of Milan collection brought together extremes of technical active wear and tailored suits.

The looks included Lycra running tops worn with a chino and topped with a bucket hat as easily as with runner’s leggings and a flat runner’s pack or with a notched suit jacket and matching trousers.

A graphic top and trousers touted 1969 motorcycle road trip film “Easy Rider” in movie poster style. The spray painting effect on sneakers and jeans gave the impression the garments had been tagged by a street artist.

For more sophisticated looks, there were polo shirts down up in fading-in-and-out color gradients of black to yellow.

For women, there was a long, high-slit tank dress with the same effect. A blazer gave a tailored finish to a zip-up athletic top and bike shorts. Women’s jeans were worn looser and wider than the men’s.

Burlon also showed off his children’s line with a mini-model dressed in a two-button royal blue suit. There was a double-breasted version for adults.

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