Milan menswear was caught Friday between party animals on the prowl at DSquared2 and Billionaire indulgence — Elon Musk-worthy in alligator blazers or double-face cashmere.
DSquared2: Party animals on the prowl
DSquared2 designers Dean and Dan Caten are always at their best when they are having fun, as they did this Friday night with a rousing show and party in northwest Milan.
In a unisex collection, they played with all their favourite themes – party gear, dissolute youth, devil-may-care boldness and dishy sex. If Generation X and Z stay up half the night to get lucky, they are most likely to be fortunate in DSquared2 clothes.
Jockstraps poking out from cowboy leather chaps; lingerie as clubwear; naughty knickers or lingerie minis – there was lots to choose from for party animals on the prowl.
Better still, twins Dean and Dan took the clothes to a higher level, thanks to their inventive tailoring and excellent styling.
Oversized Eisenhower jackets or perfectly cut leather cargo pants; denim-finished, glamor-gal puffers or funky trapper jackets for gals.
All presented before a great backdrop of a student loft, replete with scores of posters, one of which read: ‘Let’s get stoned and have sex’.
Staged to a brilliant soundtrack and a packed-out audience of 1,500 fashionistas inside one of the mammoth former factories where so many of Milan’s shows are staged. No sooner than the show was over when twice as many fans swarmed into the after party,
There are times when the Catens can try a little too hard, over emphasizing an idea or forcing a concept onto a collection. Not tonight, as they rounded-off a busy day of shows and presentations in Milan with what they do best – party animal passion with a dash of funky glamour.
Billionaire: Chic self-indulgence
All about ageing well at Billionaire, where the entire cast this season were all aged over 50. Bearded, with lived-in face, but all truly distinguished in a cocktail-hour show staged inside the bar of the Principe di Savoia hotel.
A torch singer and piano accompanied the dozen or so models, and the champagne flowed after the show held on the opening evening of the four-day-long Italian menswear season.
“Too many brands show teenage models who look nothing like the customers that buy their clothes. At Armani they are 18, at Zegna 16. I wanted handsome men who have experienced life in this show, just like the people who buy Billionaire,” explained Philipp Plein, who acquired full control of the label this past June.
Sourced from top-of-the-line Italian artisans and resources on the peninsula, from Milan to Naples, everything reeked rich in this fall/winter 2023 collection.
From the double-face, beige windowpane cashmere winter coats or vicuna topcoats, to the mink-lined redingotes, suede blousons or cooper silk tuxedos; all the items looked very, very expensive. Most especially a classy alligator blazer with delicate piping that was remarkably lightweight when you hung it from your little finger in the backstage. What was also smart was the way Plein leavened opulence with wit, pairing jogging pants with an English pointer print.
Plein acquired Billionaire from Formula One-winning manager Flavio Briatore; buying a brand far from his one mid-range market signature marque. Where Philipp Plein deals in garment runs of several thousand, one would be surprised if Billionaire sold more than 50 examples of some of these pricey coats.
Blended in with the jazz singer in this slick event, a mega mash-up soundtrack that even included Taylor Swift.
Asked why he acquired Billionaire, Plein replied: “I really don’t know why. But I do know this is niche market, and we only want the best of the best. Philipp Plein is rockstar; this brand is saying ‘getting old is not a crime, it just means you are cool’.”
Plein now owns a house in Bel Air, where he is planning a mega Oscar-night party for similar dudes next month.
The show came on the same day as Milan daily Corriere della Sera devoted a whole page to an interview with Maye Musk, mother of Elon Musk. She insisted that her son, every so often the richest man in the world, never really liked self-indulgence. “I can assure you that my son does not live for luxury, anything but. When he was a boy and went to visit his granny in Canada, he would sleep in her garage.”
Anyway, holding the show inside the bar of the Principe di Savoia made sense. This grand old five-star hotel is itself owned by another billionaire – the Sultan of Brunei.
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