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Utilitarianism has reemerged in Italy’s style capital during Milan Men’s Spring Summer 2023. The collections beckoned nostalgia with denim and lightweight fabrics that are making a comeback when the practical trend was last seen on the runways of Spring Summer 2018. The refreshed silhouettes are now reemerging on the runways showcasing the utilitarian traits of detailing, practicality and elevated styling.

Lightweight, Laidback & Relaxed

Typical of the leading houses like Fendi, Prada and Dolce&Gabbana, a compiled boldness became apparent on the runways. It often came through with alluring lightweight materials, where sheer fabrics acted as a signature. The Spring Summer 2023 update was all about sensible juxtaposition as seen on Dolce & Gabbana incorporating lightweight see-through materials with wide-fit distressed denim jeans. Some looks were a perfectly tailored tuxedo worn over ripped denim, while others paired a sensual sheer black lace shirt with oversized double-breasted jackets. Creative freedom, newness and daring experimentation were well encompassed in this collection. Most of the Dolce & Gabbana’s looks were familiar silhouettes from their past seasons, which presented like an updated déjà vu.

Silvia Venturini Fendi created earthy and well-balanced looks for a planet-conscious generation that reflects shades ranging from soft cambric fabric to hearty brick colours, it merges into a new motif created from weather mapping images of the weather patterns. Fendi’s collection evidently brought forth simplicity and elevation on a higher level of wearability. The denim frays at the hem of the jeans together with the embroidery accents of the bags recall an edgy outlook. “It’s about a balance of decoration and simplicity,” Venturini Fendi shared. “An ageless sense of freedom to play, as we rediscover the luxury of free time.”

While imagining from previous seasons, Prada was challenging dressing norms, looking to prime men with the idea of tailored short shorts paired with knitted tops or leather jackets. It was apparent this time with the season to create a laidback Spring Summer look.

Kean and Veronica of Etro have also energised the short shorts for their collection, to make suitable for next year’s humid weather when lighter garments will propel the season forward. Mesh textures were adorned to reveal bare skin while shorts expose nude legs. Tod’s were also seen in tailored shorts well above the knees, with blazers and utility jackets paired for the top in this Spring Summer 2023 outing. The versatile shorts could be worn next summer without worrying about heat waves ruining the look.

Denim Fever

Apart from Etro, the cultivated mid-western look was also emphasised as seen in Dolce & Gabbana, where denim was the material in focus. The influence of Williams’s sleek industrial style and the tactical chic of Alyx evolved a little further at Milan Men’s Summer Spring 2023, where he blended denim with utilitarian outfits. There were signature details such as the origami pockets that are distinctive in Alyx’s tailoring, conveyed in denim. Prada decided to bring equilibrium between comfort pieces in contrast with utility and fitting jackets, proving how denim is versatile for everyday styling.

As for JW Anderson, the designer took a different approach. He wanted to form a collection that pushed perceptions of modern clothing. Known for his eccentric designs, Anderson’s collection embodied witty wearable assemblages such as broken skateboards, compact disc prints, barcodes and holes on shirts that mimic cheese, adding cheekiness to the collection. The tongue-in-cheek designs were paired with heavily distressed denim that offers an elevated look. However, the mix and match between denim and experimental tops gave a fresh look for the Spring Summer 2023 season and definitely head-tuners.

Exaggerated Casualness

Most labels featured loose and baggy pants on their runway. The drapes flawlessly shape light and relaxed outlooks. The light material of cotton twill was employed to construct the garments of Ermenegildo Zegna and Etro’s Spring Summer 2023. This meant it could be worn both dressed up in formal or dressed down in casual. The embodiment of the exaggerated fit for Versace showcases how the wide tailoring flair of the pants matched with vibrant jackets perfect for any show-stopping moment.

The comeback of utilitarianism has made it evident that the world is ready to head out in comfort and style, and Milan Men’s Spring Summer 2023 has brought some nostalgia but also newness to the runways.

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