The fashion agenda for 2021 is already in full swing, as Milan’s Men’s Fashion Week takes the internet by storm. The whole thing might have gone digital but that didn’t mean it got drab. On the contrary, Milan’s digital fashion week has brought us some iconic moments, so let’s take a look.
A real highlight of Milan’s Fashion week for us was undoubtedly Tokyo James’ collection Ogidi Okunrin (The Strong Man). The full-length film unveiling the AW21 collection was something of creative genius. The video, directed by both @rolalyf and Tokyo James (@tokyojamess) was underscored by persistent drumming, interrupted only by a voice-over that introduced us to the brand’s concepts; intersectionality and commonality. The consistency of the drumming was matched by the consistency of the theme carried out in Tokyo James’ pieces. The collection included raffia pieces that were an acknowledgment of the prayer mats most common in Lagos homes, James told Vogue. This inclusion in James’ collection is a testament to his efforts to creating the look of duality – which James has built a lot of his brand around as a dual British-Nigerian citizen.
The bold colours (orange, violet, blue) that Tokyo James used cemented the theme of ‘The Strong Man’. The chosen colours challenge typical masculine clothing conventions and instead put forward a bold but gentle presence to the menswear collection. According to a statement from the designer listed by Bella Naija Style, one of the intentions behind the collection was to explore ‘the unification of varied expressions of masculinity’.
The spliced blazers and embossed leather married with chains was the theoretical cherry atop the icing.
A second highlight for us was the off-the-runway streetwear style of the models themselves. Serving style on and off of the screen, one look in particular caught our eye. The model kept an all-black look to ensure that an azure blue bomber jacket was the central focus piece of the outfit. This stunning photo by Gianluca Senese for Vogue catches the simplistic yet striking ensemble that the model adorned on the streets of Milan. Who doesn’t what a pop of colour to keep things vibrant, this year especially?
Finally, the Fendi digital runway. We are in awe. Dazzling right from the off, with Silvia Fendi’s own voice-over introducing the digital runway. The film began with the sound of the dial of a facetime call – apt, given its necessity over the last year. The reference to current affairs didn’t stop there however, as the entire Fendi showcase seemed to indirectly comment on the pandemic. Similar to the way we all had to adapt to a new way of life in 2020, Fendi’s lighting for the set (which seemed reminiscent of Bruce Nauman’s art installations) adapted to the colour palette of each piece of the collection that walked down the runway. The presentation showcased agility and elasticity, something we each showcased throughout 2020.
Personal favourites of ours from the Fendi collection; the pink quilted coat, offset by the neon pink lighting, and the boxy Chesterfield coat with red, purple, blue, and green ‘Fendi’ inscriptions which were also – you guessed it – mirrored in terms of colour by the lighting.
Overall, the Milan Men’s Fashion Week has been a great kickstart to 2021 fashion events, and if this event is anything to go by, we’re certain that we’ll see a lot of collections that take inspiration from current social and political affairs.
Words by Megan Selway, Graphics by Millie Pollok