Fashion shows have become performances, live “narratives”. Yesterday unvarnished fashion walked the runway; today, set-up, music, lights and even invitations immediately introduce in the collection’s mood. Years ago all designers modeled in the Fair’s old location: the same halls, white walls, chairs and catwalks. Dolce & Gabbana were among the first to change location. In 1995, still in the old one, they displayed damasked for men: the idea of buying and restoring the old cinema Metropol wasn’t in their projects yet. Today, thanks to the magnificence of a (ex) movie theatre changed, by necessity, into a hall inspired by Visconti, that mediterranean romanticism is celebrated with a much more affecting intensity. Opposite feeling at Prada, able to surprising intuitions: every season her space changes scenography, and every time is a surprise: nothing shines through, not even from the invitation. In 2011, when she changed her fashion’s direction suggesting bright colours, a catwalk made of steel tubes and lighted up by neon lights. Two examples of excellence, totally opposing and totally brilliant. Above, from left, an outfit by Dolce & Gabbana (from Bazaar Uomo, 1995; ph. Rennio) and one by Prada (from max, 2011; ph. Tesh).


The only true innovation which marked a big change in menswear during the 90’s has been the introduction of technological treatments on fabrics. With the wisdom of hindsight we now know that minimalism has been a reaction to the opulence of the prior decade more than a proper trend and that it has been lacking in new ideas. The Special finishes applied to improve the fabrics and make them waterproof, windproof, thermal and antitranspirant improved functionality but made the clothes look stiff. Whoever says that in order to be fashionable one must suffer a little is probably right but there are limits. Unfortunately, the technological invasion degenerated into a quite common and not very elegant casual wear which has left behind the typical exibitionism of the paninaro movement yet also a style which was determined by the beauty of particular materials and by a confident lifestyle and personality which later on have been classified as part of the past. However, it has been also a style which achieved outstanding excellence in pieces like the waxed cotton trench in the picture, realized with a keen eye for details and wearability in order to preserve the outerwear smoothness and avoid the resemblance to a shapeless armour. Nowadays the problem has been solved, thanks to the experience which taught us how to combine that certain comfort and class. Gabriel Aubry wears Allegri, picture by Rennio for Harper’s Bazaar Uomo, 1997.


Jordan Better, artista visionario e fashion maker, dal 1999 titolare di Lost Art, NY. La foto in poltrona è stata fatta da Rennio nella prima metà degli anni ’90, ed è stata pubblicata su Harper’s Bazaar Uomo; Jordan indossava un abito gessato firmato Paul Smith. L’altra, più recente, è uscita su Max dicembre 2008 ed è anche stata presentata a novembre 2010 in occasione della mostra RCS “MODA: SOSTANTIVO MASCHILE”, curata da Alessandro Calascibetta: qui,  Jordan veste abiti di Lost Art e di Just Cavalli. Lo scatto è di Bela Chow (non cercatelo, non lo troverete: è lo pseudonimo di un fotografo che non ha potuto firmarsi) e lo styling di Carlo Ortenzi.

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