Clockwise, from left: Lapo Elkann arriving at Gucci, Umit Benan, Ports 1961 and Canali.
After that late-night encounter with Michael Pitt at the Principe, I had celebrities on the mind. Lest ye forget, we're in Milano, so who better to kick off day three than the city's prodigal son, Lapo Elkann, whose made-to-measure collaboration with Gucci is set to launch this week. Elkann rolled up to the Gucci show in signature wide-lapeled fashion, and chatted the catwalk presentation away with Vogue Italia's editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani. A few seats over sat a young multi-disciplinarian (actor/writer/director/face of Gucci) by the name of James Franco, who's in town to promote his latest collaboration with the house: a documentary film named The Director, which showcases 18 months in the life of Gucci creative director Frida Giannini. (Look out for it at a film festival near you.)
Gucci's spring collection was inspired by activewear and looked sturdy enough for the trail — jodhpurs were recut with suede and leather inserts; leather lace-ups had rubber sneaker soles; leather shopper bags featured straps enabling them to be worn as backpacks; and multicolored windbreakers called to mind America's Cup photographs from the early '90s. Never fear, though: The intrepid Gucci outdoorsman hasn't lost his romantic side. To wit: floral-print suits.
Ports 1961 SS14
Over at Ports 1961, designers were supporting designers. Canadian twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2 fame watched the show, then rushed backstage to congratulate creative director Ian Hylton. The clothes were classic Italian, but featured an American innovation we've been seeing a lot of this season – cropped pants with a very deep cuff. Thank Thom Browne for that one.
So it was at Canali, too, but those short pants were paired with suitably long jackets that covered the extraordinarily tall models' posteriors. (They say the ideal guy in this business is 6'2"; some of these guys were pushing 6'5".) The show opened with a spectacular shadow projection with miniature models of buildings, trees, monuments, and people projected in vastly magnified sizes on the back wall. Very cool.
Canali is the kind of brand that doesn't necessarily push the fashion envelope, but one whose clothes you desperately want to own. Highlight pieces included a brilliant red cardigan, a denim blazer in the most beautiful tone of indigo, seersucker in about six different color combinations, and a styling flourish where the shirt collars were small and soft and folded over the jackets' lapels.
Umit Benan SS14
If you're not a super-powerful editor, a top stylist, or someone else who's fairly important, transport is always a problem in Milan. While the aforementioned were chauffeured straight to Umit Benan on the other side of the city, some of us were forced to schlep across on the tram. By the time we reached the front doors, the show was finished, but I hear it was one of the best of the week so far. (He heard right; see above. — ed.)
Upcoming evening festivities include a fragrance launch, a film screening, a magazine event, and a party that has something to do with the huge Italian brand MSGM and toilet paper. Bear with me, I'll tell you all about it soon.
This post originally appeared on Esquire.com.
I LIKE YOU!