Men’s – The Heart Still Beats. Prada AW19

If there’s a designer you can count on, it’s Miuccia Prada. For two reasons. She will always deliver intelligent, multi-faceted fashion. And will take a grip of the contemporary matters like no other. Her men’s autumn-winter 2019 and women’s pre-fall 2019 was a dark outing. Well, why would it be optimistic? Today’s world is a bad place. Europe suffers from the rise of rightist governments. There are absolutely no reasons to be happy with Trump, just as with Macron, Brexit and Putin’s actions over Ukraine. Paweł Adamowicz, the liberal mayor of Gdansk, Poland, was brutally stabbed yesterday at a charity concert, and his death is all over the news today. Of course, mentioning such politically-charged tragedies next to fashion might sound completely out of one’s mind. But not in case of Miuccia, who acknowledges the world as it is and wants her viewers to be, at least, aware.

While military elements often come as fashion fads, the ones that appeared at Prada looked serious. They are the brand’s codes since the 90s – if you’re an observant Prada fan, you will have this raw, defiant ‘image’ in your head. Some of the models looked vulnerable with their pale torsos exposed. Others seemed to be even invisible in their grey, loosely fitted suits. The big crotchet heart, attached with a safety-pin to the blazers, was a simple, but beautiful metaphor of a heart that’s still beating, yet insecure and… terrified. “Basically it had to be a romantic show. And mainly I was interested in the understanding of humanity: weakness and the more delicate and naked aspects of humanity also. The rejected… It was set against a very tough world—that is why war and military was in the air,” the designer explained. Of course, there were – at a first glance – brighter details that made the collection digestible from a solely visual perspective. Which is completely understandable, as it’s a Prada fashion collection, after all, not a poetic Ann Demeulemeester line-up from the early 2000s or some soft of art performance. Although, I guess, Miuccia might wish for having that freedom. “To make it not boring and for the fashion – because fashion has to be light somehow – we borrowed the symbols of trashy horror movies. From ‘Frankenstein’ to ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and all those movies. Frankenstein is the example of the monster with a big, big heart who searches for love.” The heart’s still beating.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Zaddy. Brioni AW19

With the sudden rise of Jeff Goldblum and Daniel Day Lewis as the new style mavericks, it’s inevitable that zaddy (read: ‘stylish daddy’) style will hit top menswear brands this season. Brioni‘s autumn-winter 2019 look-book is the best evidence for this phenomenon, starring two mature models (who as well might not be models at all) and impressively good clothes. Well, it’s Brioni – quality and tailoring are the brand’s top priorities, so it would be quite disturbing if the Italian house didn’t do garments that make your jaw actually drop. Still, the label seemed to have an identity crisis for a moment: it had three different designers in the last three years (Justin O’Shea, Brendan Mullane, Nina-Maria Nitsche) and none of them got it entirely right. Norbert Stumpfl, who used to work at Haider Ackermann’s Berluti, Kim Jones’ Louis Vuitton and Lucas Ossendrijver’s Lanvin, can’t be a wrong choice with such major stints. Problem with a house like Brioni is that it’s small in the fashion world, but big in the world of money. The designer wants to do something intriguing, noteworthy, but then, he has to deliver fifty or more classical suits and dozens of crisp white shirts per season. In his debut, Stumpfl clearly highlights that he will be loyal to Brioni’s customer base, but won’t be scared of giving the brand a twist. His elegance isn’t stiff, but comfortable and warm. Just look at all the velvets, cashmeres, suedes, and Astrakhan furs appearing in the collection. The guys look incredible wearing Norbert’s dark-brown woollen coats and leather pants. It’s not like, you’re 50 looks in and you see the same damn thing. In 33 outfits, the designer serves looks from morning till evening, straight from a zaddy‘s wardrobe. Very rich zaddy, I guess.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki

Men’s- So Good. Marni AW19

If I had to (or rather, could!) choose one brand to wear on the daily, forever, I would instantly pick Francesco Risso‘s Marni. Maybe it’s the designer’s exquisite skill of creating the most wild colour palettes and print clashes. Or, it’s all because of the distinct silhouette the Marni boy likes to wear: XXL moleskin blazers, floor-sweeping wool pants, equally long, fringed scarves… OR, it’s Risso’s personal, arty aura that oozes in his poetic descriptions of the collections, in his way of dressing and even on his Instagram. I really don’t know. But somehow, no other menswear designer resonates to me as much as him (except for Haider Ackermann, but I’m afraid his slim-fit trousers and rockabilly vests aren’t really my sizing…). For autumn-winter 2019, the designer does wonders with knitwear, having a sweater worn underneath a cardigan, or a chunky jumper thrown over a loosely fit suit. The outerwear, kept in bold colours, is impressive too – want that leopard coat and red anorak so badly. While Marni seems to be off-the-radar with magazine editorials and, thanks God, #influencers, it’s visible that Risso’s stuff keeps selling well: new boutiques keep on opening, and all the on-line stores are stocking up with the brand every season, from the commercial pieces to the most eccentric ensembles. Glad to see Francesco being in the right place, working in his way and with his energy.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.