Olympian Marcell Jacobs takes a fashion break with Dsquared2

MILAN (AP) — Caught between the pandemic and war in Europe, Milan’s luxury fashion designers opened four days of mostly men’s previews Friday for upcoming spring and summer amid a tough economic climate.

MILAN (AP) — Caught between the pandemic and war in Europe, Milan’s luxury fashion designers opened four days of mostly men’s previews Friday for upcoming spring and summer amid a tough economic climate.

Parades mostly returned to a live format with tight seating before the pandemic, but a long-awaited return to normal has again been delayed.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed up energy and commodity prices, threatening a growth trajectory that saw revenues top pre-COVID levels in the first half of this year. Despite an uncertain outlook, the industry forecasts sales of 92 billion euros, an increase of 2% compared to pre-pandemic levels posted in 2019 and 10% compared to 2021.

“We are positive but realistic, and a lot will depend on what happens in the world,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian National Chamber of Fashion.

Here are some highlights from Friday’s launch of a slightly shortened fashion week of some 25 shows:

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DSQUARED2 SURFING THE WAVES

“The waves are coming in seven, and we’re at No. 3,” Dean Caten said backstage after he and his twin brother Dan presented their latest collection for their Milan label, Dsquared2. “We have all kinds of waves. We can have happy waves, I hope.

The Canadians showcased an optimistic outlook in their Spring/Summer 2023 collection, which drew inspiration from a Bob Marley mishmash of 1970s hippies and surfers.

The menswear collection left plenty of room for self-expression, from floral sarongs to linen pants, from studded leather jackets to neoprene tops, from loose and lightweight beach briefs to flowing anoraks. Suit jackets have found their way over baggy parachute pants. Patterns and colors clashed playfully, as soothing aqua azzurra was set off by neon salmon, transitioning to pastels.

“It’s very powerful, very peaceful. I think in these times we just have to share the love. There are too many negative things around us. And the 1970s were peace and love,” Dean said.

Looks were layered with beads, topped with knit beanies or wide-brimmed beach hats, while shoes ranged from chunky sandals with slouchy socks to colorful dockers and hiking boots.

In Dsquared2’s beach world, shirts are optional, as Italian Olympic sprinter Marcel Jacobs demonstrated in the front row with his tattoos peeking out from under a leather jacket. Backstage, he takes it off briefly to show off some of his latest tattoos: Mount Fuji and a Japanese temple on his left arm in honor of the Tokyo Games where he won gold.

“Tomorrow I go back to training. Now I take time to have fun,” said Jacobs, who plans to leave next week for the United States, where he is due to compete in the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene. , Oregon, July 15-24.

Jacobs, born in Texas, said he had always loved fashion growing up in Italy and was well known for wearing necklaces and bracelets on his runs.

“I’ve always paid attention to every detail and special pieces. I try to put my style on everything, even when I’m running,” he said.

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A BILLIONAIRE OFFERS FLASH AND UNAPOLOGETIC FASHION

Philipp Plein has returned to Milan with his Billionaire brand aimed at men who don’t look at price tags, but at quality.

”Billionaire is a strong name, which was not started by me, but we took it over completely,” Plein said at the brand’s spring-summer preview at the Four Seasons Hotel. “We are seeing strong demand in this luxury menswear segment.”

Plein has taken the bold step of buying out its partners, including brand founder and former Formula 1 boss Fabio Briatore, to take full control in a strategic and creative relaunch after the pandemic hit.

The new collection is aimed at colorful dandies, those who would try to make it to Great Gastby’s Long Island mansion or a yacht party in Portofino, on the Ligurian Riviera.

The Billionaire models in the courtyard below were mostly salt-and-pepper-haired older men, the brand’s target audience, with unapologetically casual-class looks. They adopt bright colors, including bright green, pink or navy and white striped suits, tempered by ivory and white linen bermuda shorts or three-piece suits.

“We don’t want to focus on young people,” Plein said. “I think we should be proud of our age.”

As guests arrived for the evening presentation, the jazz band drove around wearing the latest Billionaire lemon prints, against green, red and blue backgrounds. Multi-colored straw hats complete the looks.

“We don’t usually dress that way,” the guitarist confessed.

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MILAN FASHION CHALLENGED IN OPEN FORMAT

The contrast between the quiet and exclusive nature of Milan Fashion Week and the exuberance of the city’s premier design week has never been more stark than this year.

The Milan Furniture Fair and the Fuori Salone side events that make up Design Week closed days before the opening of Fashion Week, with 400,000 visitors over six days.

Casting a jealous eye over design week, small Italian fashion brands that don’t usually show up during fashion week are now pushing to open it up to the general public, beyond the exclusive crowd of invite-only fashionistas. .

“Let’s not waste this energy. Let’s make it fashionable. I sincerely believe that there could be a kind of Fuori Salone, call it what you want,” said Gigliola Maule, president of the Milan Showroom Chamber of Commerce, which represents showrooms for small and medium-sized businesses. brands.

The proposal won the backing of the city’s head of economic development, Alessia Cappello, who called for talks with Milan’s fashion council.

Colleen Barry, The Associated Press