The Way Forward: ETRO’s Free-Spirited Nomadism or DOLCE & GABBANA’s Spiritual Light Therapy?


All Image and Video Credit Milan Fashion Week



A trademark Etro paisley print embellishes a V-neck tunic top with embroidered neckline, worn with emerald green trousers – at Etro

Visions of Kerouac’s On The Road (railway lines) mixed with a good dose of Lord Of The Rings (beautiful elves) spring to mind when musing over revered creative director Kean Etro’s S/S Menswear collection. Only, the protagonists were in anything but rags. Set in the Italian countryside – in a deserted train yard to be specific, leafy trees overhanging the tracks and poppies sprouting from between the railway sleepers, this offering was in character with this iconic brand’s liking of conceptual catwalk shows. No exception to the Etro ethos of searching for inspiration from the four far-flung corners of the globe, and symbolic to boot it was: a journey awaits, a long road ahead (as reflected in the comfy round-toed loafers and trainers – shoes made for walking!) Multiple colourful water bottles in every eye-popping shade under the sun, passport holders, totes, bucket bags and carry-alls slung over arms, shoulders and around necks reinforced the sense of travelling, but boy, we’re talking travelling in style!

A tangerine dream dip-dye-look suit, complete with matching tote bag – at Etro

For a video of the Etro Menswear show, see:

This collection sizzled with all the things that Etro is known and adored for: the eclectic inspiration that echoes the nomadic spirit of the brand, their fearless use of colour, the boldness of their prints and the omnipresence of paisley, the textile design that made Etro famous in the first place. And last but not least their inimitable, unsurpassable, irrepressible sense of elegance.

A navel-baring co-ord in dreamy printed silk in shades of sea green – at Etro

Bohemian-looking, angelic elves strutted their bold prints, navigating the railway sleepers as they went: every conceivable shade of green – from vibrant spring green silky trousers to acid green dip-dyed co-ords and more demure sage and fawn suits featured strongly. As a contrast the greens were juxtaposed with a kaleidoscope of tangerine and tones of fuchsia, mauve, lavender, baby pink, royal blue and turquoise. This palette gave way to a more toned-down set of hues towards the second half of the show.

A knitted emerald green and pink jacquard knitted top worn over emerald trousers – at Etro

Roughly divided into two halves, the show kicked off with a punchy start: strikingly bold silk prints, vibrant leather trousers, exotic printed leggings and colour-coded co-ords set the tone for a collection that subtly became more subdued and slightly less informal (but by no means any less interesting) as it progressed. The show ended with pastel-coloured suits, coats and other pieces that would work wonderfully well in the city (and not just on the beach!)

A suit with decidedly Aztek overtones worn with studded moccasins and bucket bag– at Etro

Navel-baring printed silk shirts, wildly decorated hoodies sported over long Indian-style tunics, loosely knitted pullovers and often nothing but a cummerbund were worn over relaxed-fit trousers, knee grazing shorts and figure-hugging leggings. A standout piece of the collection was a retro-inspired leopard-print knitted bomber jacket worn over shiny sliver leather trousers and paired with studded round-toed loafers. Paisley – unsurprisingly – featured in many ensembles, most notably so in a stunning sunshine yellow body-hugging shirt with dramatic fluted sleeves. The paisley theme extended to sneakers too.

An elaborately printed hoodie is worn over a chiffon shirt and green trousers – at Etro

A standout piece of the collection – a fuzzy surface leopard printed bomber jacket, silver trousers and studded shoes complete the look – at Etro

Bags of all shapes and sizes were slung over shoulders and necks or carried by hand in a collection that overtly propagated journey-ing. The pieces were shouting Ibiza beach party, music festivals and clubbing to me … the striking bucket bag with its oversized rhinestones is made for transporting an Etro trilogy of beach essentials: paisley towel, swimming trunks and signature sunshades!

A body-hugging sunshine yellow shirt with fluted sleeves – at Etro



Magic and sparkle – rhinestones in their dozens embellish this black suit – at D&G

Can you teach an old dog a trick? Who can possibly beat Italian Men’s veterans Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana when it comes to old-school magic? In a catwalk show – a first in a long while, with an audience and dripping with all the anticipated D&G paraphernalia – this duo is in a class of their own when it comes to unadulterated, delicious seductiveness, glamour and allure. And, as ever, no expense was spared to create a piece of theatre that was as true to their vision as it was memorable to the viewer.

An outfit fit for a modern-day sailor! Cummerbund and pointy shoes – at D&G

For a video of the Dolce & Gabbana Menswear show, see:

In a show with the overriding theme of ‘Light’, the catwalk was lit up like an ancient Italian cathedral, the thousands of Swarovsky crystals, diamonté and rhinestones on the ensembles served to reflect light. Even the invitation to the show, a card covered with star studded gems, lit up! According to Gabbana, ’it’s a very Italian tradition: a celebration of light, family and artisans. This is the most important message for us today. Light is good therapy for this moment.’ And so a show started that reignited the love and lit up the spirits and faces of D&G fans everywhere.

Ripped jeans, platforms and rhinestone embellishments – at D&G

There was an abundance of suits – plain, patterned, brocade, rhinestone encrusted and hybrids of all the aforementioned, ranging from black to every other primary shade under the sun – shocking pink, pillar box red, chartreuse, emerald green, leopard and zebra. Light-reflecting in their sheen, cut close to the body and making a monumental fashion statement, each of these shouted D&G in no uncertain terms. Rhinestones embellished not only the clothes, but also the shoes.

Swirling designs on this chartreuse brocade suit. Shiny red patent leather shoes are the cherry on the cake! – At D&G

Celebrating all things Italian, D&G’s sportswear came in unashamedly active wear shapes – from basketball gear to tracksuits, all in the beloved white, green and red of the Italian flag, often embellished with the trademark D&G logo. Snazzy undies also made an appearance – with or without the famous D&G logo on display.

Sportswear came in the Italian flag’s shades. Even sweatbands and shoes got the same treatment. An embellished crown and large D&G logo added to the swagger – at D&G

Dramatic black lace painted a picture of romantic opulence – at D&G

A virginal white lacy kimono-style top and studded slip-ons – at D&G

Knitwear sagged slightly under the weight of the the dripping application of gemstones, mesh tops were layered over white T-shirts and jackets and trousers sported seductive lace panels. Multi-coloured knitted tops worn over brocade pants were an interesting ‘more is more’ look. Another quirky look worth mentioning was the sailor’s ensemble, complete with white ‘wife-beater’ vest, black cummerbund and pointy black winkle pickers. Equally so was the shirt that (literally) resembled a kaleidoscope! The stunning paint-splattered white shirt and suits were a feast for the eye in a collection that couldn’t be more joyous in its use of colour, texture and embellishments.

Knitwear sagged slightly under the weight of all the rhinestones! With leggings and painted toe nails – at D&G

A paint-splattered white shirt and floral trousers – at D&G

Jeans, as ever in a D&G collection, were a key player. Ripped, petrol washed or acid-bleached jeans – often embellished with salubrious treasure – featured in many guises, often accompanied by a denim jacket, giving a definite nod to the Eighties.

A heavily embellished double denim look, reminiscent of the Eighties – at D&G

Long layers of light reflecting necklaces, shimmery brooches applied to jacket lapels and indulgently bejewelled crowns further enforced the theme of light, magic and sparkle. Necklines were accentuated – often kaftan-style, with embroidery, or with necklaces indulgently draped around them.

Sparkles! Brocade trousers and shimmery tank top – at D&G

Who needs a shirt when layers and layers of sparkly jewellery can do the trick? – at D&G

These delicious pieces of eye candy from stalwart designers Etro and Dolce & Gabbana will let us see journeys in a different light, and let us proceed with the confidence and joy that only artisanal, carefully designed clothing can give us. Don’t you think these free-spirited, vibrant offerings from Etro and D&G’s shimmery, light reflective ensembles will put an entirely different spin on your journey?

A journey back to some kind of normality? A vacation-type journey? The journey of life? The journey of a lifetime? No matter where you’re off to … be brave, be bold, be adventurous! Dress up! Even if your journey is just 500m down to the local pub.

A head-to-toe zebra print ensemble – so quintessentially D&G!


Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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