by Marzia De Giuli
MILAN, Italy, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The men's spring/summer 2017 fashion week ended here on Tuesday with an accent on new talents and digitalized consumers.
The official calendar from June 17 to 21 featured diminished runways, or 37 compared to 39 in the last edition held in January. Several established fashion houses including Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli, Ermenegildo Zegna and Bottega Veneta decided not to showcase their collections.
These brands opted for revealing their creations through a presentation reaching out to new media and digitalized customers more easily and inexpensively instead of the classic fashion show. Others have already said they plan to stage combined events in the future. Gucci announced last April that it would merge its collections and shows starting next year.
Italian designer Giorgio Armani complained on Tuesday, when his runway was the only one on the agenda, that he was tired of being the only one to present his collection on the last day of the Milan fashion week. "I walk the runway last on my own, but it doesn't have to be me at all costs," he was quoted as saying by ANSA news agency.
Armani highlighted that the Milan-based National Chamber of Italian fashion (CNMI), which coordinates and promotes the fashion week, "should do more" to set up the conditions to boost the sector.
Some industry experts said separate menswear runways are no longer worth investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars for luxury brands, also considering the global sales slowdown. The idea was supported by a growing trend of blurred lines between "menswear" and "womenswear" collections.
In fact while the fashion week in Milan was subtitled "man," some brands' shows were decidedly unisex, featuring male models in clothes which could easily belong to women.
According to Giorgio Ravasio, group legal affairs manager at Vivienne Westwood, the trend to represent a genderless fashion will influence a growing number of brands. "It may take some more years, but I believe that one day the menswear' and womenswear' fashion weeks will be replaced by a unique, genderless fashion week," he told Xinhua.
For the time being, the CNMI reacted to the ongoing changes by hosting more young and international fashion designers in order to keep high the competitiveness of the Italian fashion capital. Among the new talents presented for the first time at the Milan fashion week, there were also two Chinese designers.
Miao Ran, unveiled last May as the next talent designer to present his collection as a guest of Giorgio Armani's Theatre during the June fashion week, presented a collection marked by eclectic elegance, genderless esthetic and research of materials.
Born in north China's Shanxi Province in 1987, Miao Ran after fashion studies in his home country decided to move to Milan, where he earned a degree in fashion design at the Politecnico di Milano university, and later a master's from the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA).
Li Jun launched his own label JUNLI after he moved from Shanghai to London to study menswear at the London College of Fashion. "What I learnt is from Western people, but I am Chinese. There is a very oriental soul in my heart, so when I design I have a more abstract side in making the garments," he told Xinhua after presenting a charming collection entwined with a riot of raw edges and accent materials.
Li's runway in Milan was part of a project kicked off by the CNMI to support the new generations of designers. "I found the JUNLI collection very good, advanced, with a rigorous but also a modern style at the same time," CNMI honorary president Beppe Modenese told Xinhua after attending the show. "The young talents we have chosen represent the international future of fashion," he said. Enditem