Inspired by the alt-icons beloved of Creative Director Alessandro Michele growing up – Nirvana, David Bowie and Marilyn Manson – Gucci’s AW20 collection encouraged men to embrace femininity, vulnerability and kindness.
Marking five years of the label, Samuel Ross’ AW20 collection welcomes a new kind of man: the working man. According the designer, he’s a “man at the heart of his community, whether as artisan, writer, sculptor or industrial designer”. The refined collection presents new textures, materials, silhouettes and styles – from a pea coat to a double-breasted suit. Think: less deconstruction, more evolution, that results in a new elevated – yet no less youthful – aesthetic. Ross describes it best: “It is less a generational account of resistance and more a renaissance of refinement.”
GIORGIO ARMANI AW20
Giorgio Armani’s AW20 collection was a reaction to the times. According to Armani, it was a lesson in “enduring elegance” – one that took us on a journey from the snow-capped mountains of The Alps to a candle-lit Italian cocktail lounge. A dozen monochrome, padded and puffed, protective Armani Neve looks came first – each well equipped to protect its wearer against even the most extreme elements – followed by a number of multi-textured looks in natural, earthy tones: wool trousers, bear-like fleeces, a biscuit-beige Astrakhan coat and khaki velvet layering. Finally, a series of printed and textured tailored ensembles – in many shades of grey – morphed into ten black velvet evening fits. Endurance to elegance, complete.
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN AW20
Whether you’re in need of razor-sharp tweed tailoring, some motocross leathers or a gold bullion thread harness, Alexander McQueen will be your one-stop shop in autumn/winter 2020. Inspired by northern British landscapes, art nouveau and arts and crafts, the brand offered something that was sometimes earthy and elemental, sometimes the extreme of refinement.
This season McQueen teamed up with the Henry Moore foundation to create wool silk suits and coats featuring the Yorkshire artist’s works (an orchestra played the music he listened to in his studio). He also inspired the artist overalls that were covered in overblown skulls and embroidered with gold and silver.
Our McQueen top 10:
1. A beautiful colour-flecked Donegal tweed, shown off to full-effect in contrasting grey and black on neat, darted jackets.
2. A fine yellow suede coat.
3. A future-forward silver moiré suit (which changes to gold if turned upside down).
4. The jewellery: from mega chunky bracelets to chain ear-cuffs.
5. The oversized knitwear (we’d pair it with the skinny biker leather trousers).
6. The new eyewear and duffel bags in stamped croc.
7. The trompe l’oeil tuxedo with double lapels and harness at the back.
8. All of the mega-soled shoes and boots. (Steel and gold toe-capped, might we add.)
9. The beetled leather black trench hammered in Ireland by William Clark.
10. The of-the-moment black leather harness cross body bag.
Silvia Fendi’s agenda for AW20 was simple: “An exercise in FENDI-fied classicism.” Think logo-mania shopping bags, leather dust bags and hard-knock trunk cases in the house’s signature yellow that appeared alongside inside-out constructions, “FENDI” taped seams and big cartoonish, knitted bags and scarves. Leather trousers and chunky lug-sole boots were key to the collection, as were cropped blazers and 3‑in‑1 zipper coats. There were even some trouser-skirts for the brave.
A four-piece collaboration with Japanese designer Anrealage, who creates colour-changing photochromatic outerwear and accessories.
What did it sound like?
Mixed by the master Michel Gaubert, the sound of Rian Treanor’s ATAXIA_A1 blasted through the speakers as models stomped the runway. Listen below.
A sinister, scarlet lit catwalk with spooky music hinted at Massimo Giorgetti’s use of Dario Argento’s 70s horror movies as inspiration. Images from his scary posters were used as prints and murderous black leather gloves, Little Shop of Horrors plant motifs and a long-nailed witchy ginger flipping the bird all added to the sense of terror. But as well as all that, there were perfectly popping colours and elegant oversized coats to go with the gore and the noir. Silk scarves, ties and tailored trousers rubbed up against acid wash denim, giant puffers and bobble hats.
MARCELO BURLON COUNTY OF MILAN AW20
The Italian-Lebanese designer’s AW20 collection of functional, wearable pieces was peppered with stand-out, psychedelic prints: a vivid swirl-pattern seen in fleece and as a two-piece suit and a distorted houndstooth used for a monochrome, mohair jumper and a number of outerwear pieces. (Also see: the electric-blue and black iteration that carpeted the show venue.) Eye-catching accessories came in the shape of rectangular shades with iridescent lenses and a number of angular, oxidised silver earpieces that stuck out from the ear at a right angle, or hung from the lobe.
The acid tab invite indicated the tripped-out vibes to come at Marni. Experimental sounds, laser-lit zones and models clustering (for sex, warmth or mourning?) welcomed us, before police sirens and searchlights illuminated the wasted youth, moving in slow motion.
What about the clothes?
Marni’s models were kitted out in Oxford bags/rave pants, slim-jim vests, love hearts, smiley prints and saturated reds and fuchsias. Clothes looked like the young revellers could have bought them in clubwear stores or found them in a grandparent’s creaky floor-boarded attic (replete with moth-ravaging). There were bi-colour fusion pieces, mock crock and cropped polos over long-sleeved tees and hair looked like it was just recovered from a big gunk dump.
The mind-expanding choreography by Michele Rizzo, reflective of the epic connections, love and solitude we feel from clubs, festivals and life.
What did it sound like?
Canadian duo Dean and Dan Caten celebrated 25 years of the brand with an extravagant show that centred around three C’s: cowboys, Canadiana and camp.
What went down?
The show opened with a retrospective of Dsquared²’s most iconic ad campaigns shot by the likes of Steven Klein and Steven Meisel and closed with Dean and Dan dancing down the runway arm in arm with Sister Sledge singing We Are Family.
What about the clothes?
Think: shearling, battered denim, lumberjack check, signature trapper hats (oversized, of course) and vinyl camo. Voluminous tops were teamed with skinny bottoms, while ready-to-be-ripped-off trompe l’oeil trousers were styled sexily with undone belts.
BOTTEGA VENETA AW20
A drool-worthy collection combining multiple textures: nylon, fluffy shearling and leather done in Bottega Veneta’s signature Intrecciato weave. Colour palettes moved from scarlet to pistachio and electric-blue to sherbet-lemon.
What were the standout pieces?
The laser-cut, shaggy, shearling coat in a honey hue and the giant flumpy quilted shoes served in sophisticated monochrome leather.
We’ll be wearing:
The gunmetal-grey leather trousers – they could well be the gateway drug for all men to want to wear leather pants. And if you want to hell-the-leather for AW20, they’ve got shorts and cowboy shirts too.
The ultimate accessory:
Powder-blue shearling woven into an oversized tote bag with a chunky gold chain handle – need we say more?