Joining the ranks of some of the world’s most renowned Italian heritage fashion houses is no mean feat. Luca Magliano’s eponymous house has been changing the fundamentals of ‘Made in Italy’ since 2016, with its genderless approach to wardrobe staples and up-cycled, sustainable production streamlines bringing new life to often unwavering Italian design traditions.
Magliano’s FW 2023/2024 show hit the Milan Men’s Fashion Week runway in a way that we could have never expected. Redefinition, as a term, is a strong one – yet the show’s quietly powerful message took Magliano’s latest offering for future heritage contender status to new levels, as the label effortlessly combined their classic Italian menswear silhouettes with utopian, evolutionary twists.
THE SCENE WAS SET, THE CHAIRS WERE STACKED
Upon first glance at swathes of vast darkness surrounding the runway, you wouldn’t be blamed for craning your neck eagerly in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the opening look to Magliano’s Fall/Winter 2023/24 show. The audience, plunged into the shadows, were visible only as faint outlines peering into the spotlit catwalk – and just beyond the eyeline, a towering stack of mismatched chairs teetered precariously on top of one another as they snaked upwards towards the cavernous ceiling. Dotted seats stood illuminated by random and the specked, sporadic highlights created an enclosure-like feel within the space, as if protected by walls of unwanted treasure in a junkyard. A nomadic, peaceful atmosphere washed over the room instantly as the procession began.
THIS APOCALYPSE HAS A UNIFORM
Post-apocalyptic elements with contemporary twists featured heavily within the collection, in-keeping with the show’s haunting, deliberately desolate atmosphere which followed a candid show experience stripped of all superfluous runway gimmicks. A faded, sleeve-ruched boiler suit paired with scuffed boot renditions of their foot-hugging Monster loafers on one hand; an earth toned, fraying tweed suit on the other. Bouts of business core were prevalent within the collection in the form of deconstructed, form-hanging blazers, oversized dad ties and pinstriped, floor-dragging slacks. A tailored jacket emblazoned with the words ’NO BY MAGLIANO’ took centerstage as its wearer marched slowly down the runway, turning only to stare – as if consumed by the audience’s energy – around the space.
Notably, accessories and smaller outfit adornments were given a rare chance to shine due to the the show’s elongated pace; on top of a narrow, chain-linked belt perched a gold bottle fly; obi-style waist wrapping elements adorned the waists of a select few; a platinum, knee length plait of horse-like hair swayed from one model’s midriff, and a Magliano-stamped clutch bag featured a glistening pearl strap, dangling below a pointedly placed packet of cigarettes and a lighter – a true juxtaposition of purity and doomsday decay.
EERIE VIBES ON THE MUSIC-FRONT
Perhaps most significantly, nearly all of the models approached the runway with if not one, both hands burrowed deep into the pockets of their layered looks. Swinging, deliberate movements from models created more of a parade with purpose as opposed to a runway show. Inviting the audience to absorb every minute detail of each look, models walked with an almost ritualistic intent to haunting, cult-like music, each step representative of Magliano’s fluid, conscious style. In perhaps a quiet nod towards the Bologna-born brand’s unprecedented rise to the top, sitting amongst the most foreboding Italian fashion houses, the procession marched on – slowly, yet deliberately – to the beat, as if initiating a sacred ceremony.
Many audience members were even reported to have been spotted shedding a tear as the show came to a close and the soundtrack transcended into an occult-ish crescendo. As a new era dawns for heritage, you can be sure that Magliano will be leaving the Made-In-Italy revolution for the next generation.
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