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Photo by Lodovico Colli di Felizzano/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9320171b), Models on the catwalk, Fendi show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men's, Italy – 15 Jan, 2018
Photo by Lodovico Colli di Felizzano/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9320171b), Models on the catwalk, Fendi show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men's, Italy – 15 Jan, 2018

Trends You Need to Know From Milan Men's Fashion Week AW18

Picture of Sarah Leigh Bannerman
Updated: 18 January 2018

As Milan Fashion Week draws to a close and guests – editors, designers, buyers and digital influencers – depart the city, we take a look at the most influential shows on the agenda and the trends they presented. Whether it’s Prada’s utility-inspired outerwear, Fendi’s charismatic interpretation of the man bag or Dolce & Gabbana’s opulent pyjama-style separates, there’s sure to be something to spark your creativity. These are the trends to know come AW18 and the styles to buy now to stay one step ahead of the style set.

The great outdoors

Photo by Davide Maestri/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9320170bb), Model on the catwalk, Fendi show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men's, Italy – 15 Jan, 2018

Photo by Davide Maestri/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9320170bb), Model on the catwalk, Fendi show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men’s, Italy – 15 Jan, 2018


It goes without saying that the autumn/winter collections cater for the turn in the season, but AW18’s innovative accessory designs took things a step further and gave traditional all-weather classics a fashion-focused twist. Emporio Armani presented high-shine walking boots, while Fendi sent models down the runway sporting fisherman hats and miniature (dare we say comical?) umbrella-shaped iterations. Flat-form hiking boot/sneaker hybrids made an unexpected appearance at MSGM and DAKS championed statement leather gloves reminiscent of the ones worn by wartime pilots. Planning a hike come autumn 2018? You might just be about to enjoy your most stylish excursion yet.

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Pyjama dressing

Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9319744be), Model on the catwalk, Dolce & Gabbana show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week, Italy – 13 Jan, 2018

Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9319744be), Model on the catwalk, Dolce & Gabbana show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week, Italy – 13 Jan, 2018

No one does opulence quite like Dolce & Gabbana, so it’s no surprise that it’s the label to pave the way for richly patterned, beautifully crafted pyjama-inspired dressing come AW18. Staying true to the label’s established outlandish aesthetic, each piece was crafted from a fabric so luxurious and featured a print so beautifully intricate that it was as much a work of art as an item of clothing. Versace, too, presented deeply saturated, jewel-toned suiting silhouettes, this time cut to drape the body in a way that felt fondly reminiscent of nightwear. Elevated, yes, but equally as easy to wear, these are the styles to know come party season.

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Kiomi blazer | © ASOS

Heritage check

Photo by WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9319491ad), Model on the catwalk, DAKS show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men's, Italy – 14 Jan, 2018

Photo by WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9319491ad), Model on the catwalk, DAKS show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men’s, Italy – 14 Jan, 2018

Granted, checked suiting as an idea is nothing new or exciting, but when it’s interpreted by the likes of No. 21 and Versace, it takes on a fresh new guise that’s far removed from classic and corporate. Bold, statement-making colour combinations appeared in both collections with No. 21 layering the look in a way that referenced ‘Italian classicism gone wrong’. Needless to say, the latter’s interpretation was somewhat more of an extrovert display. Checks were used as part of patchwork designs and styled with animal print and fluro accessories – not exactly wearable for the majority of us, but we wouldn’t have Versace any other way. DAKS took a more traditional approach to the look, applying tweed tailoring not just to slouchy suiting but to shirts and baseball caps as well.

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Corduroy

Photo by PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock (9323698et), Model on the catwalk, Giorgio Armani show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men's, Italy – 15 Jan, 2018

Photo by PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock (9323698et), Model on the catwalk, Giorgio Armani show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men’s, Italy – 15 Jan, 2018

There’s something about corduroy that screams 1970s nostalgia, but perhaps it’s time to forget what you thought you knew about the fabrication because if the AW18 Milan shows are anything to go by, then it’s set to be everywhere come autumn. Gucci’s heavy, fully suited corduroy looks were something of a statement, while Brunello Cucinelli presented a more wearable interpretation with its neutral-hued trousers. Giorgio Armarni’s view was one of relaxed, college professor-esque suiting, which suddenly seemed right when set in line with the rest of the collection – a showcase of luxe fabrications that worked to elevate corduroy into new and unexpected territories.

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Corduroy trousers | © Ralph Lauren

Utility

Photo by WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9319506z), Model on the catwalk Prada show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men's, Italy – 14 Jan, 2018

Photo by WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9319506z), Model on the catwalk Prada show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men’s, Italy – 14 Jan, 2018

Nylon has been a firm Prada favourite since the 1990s and it feels only right that it should introduce the season’s prevalent utility trend. Oversized bomber jackets, ankle-length overcoats and relaxed-fit trousers featured heavily throughout the collection, imagined not just in classic black but bold cobalt-blue and sage-green as well. Les Hommes put its signature contemporary riff on military-inspired outerwear, adopting an army-green tone for its pocket-heavy designs and dark camo print for its longline puffer coats. Bucket hats made a comeback at Prada, Marni and Tod’s, and Versace presented backpacks bedecked in harness-inspired straps reminiscent of military detailing.

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The man bag

Photo by Davide Maestri/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9319048aq), Model on the catwalk, Versace show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men's, Italy –13 Jan, 2018

Photo by Davide Maestri/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9319048aq), Model on the catwalk, Versace show, Runway, Fall Winter 2018, Milan Fashion Week Men’s, Italy –13 Jan, 2018

London-based brand Cottweiler may have hinted at the return of the man bag with its leather messengers last week, but it’s Italian couture house, Fendi, who led the trend in Milan with its miniature box-shaped designs worn high and close to the body of formal wear looks, its garish backpacks held by the top handle and its luggage-inspired styles bringing a new sense of effortlessness to winter travel looks. Prada, on the other hand, championed its signature fabric, nylon, for the accessory du jour, while Versace experimented with silhouette and introduced a clutch for those with a penchant for directional styling.

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Men’s backpack | © Uniqlo

Fabrication focus

Photo by Canio Romaniello/Soevermedia/REX/Shutterstock (9318821bh), Model on the catwalk, Ermenegildo Zegna Fashion show, MFW Mens, AW 2018-19, Milan, Italy –12 Jan, 2018

Photo by Canio Romaniello/Soevermedia/REX/Shutterstock (9318821bh), Model on the catwalk, Ermenegildo Zegna Fashion show, MFW Mens, AW 2018-19, Milan, Italy –12 Jan, 2018

The autumn/winter collections are always a showcase of rich, sumptuous fabrications, and this season was no exception. From the heavy cashmere jumpers to plush velvet tailoring worn not just as evening wear but in a more casual guise as well on the Giorgio Armani runway, the usual suspects prevailed, setting the tone for a wardrobe so elevated it made us want to fast-forward through the summer already. Italian menswear specialist, Z Zegna, placed focus on fabric composition, dying its cashmere pieces using natural materials as opposed to synthetic chemicals and adopting a Techmerino fabrication for sportswear-inspired pieces.

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Read about Milan Fashion Week’s creative comeback here.