Milan Fashion Week Was All About BSE (That’s…Big Shirt Energy)

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A new year has dawned and everyone is manifesting big things. Big wealth, big style, big success. And with the men’s fall-winter 2022 shows mostly done in Milan, it seems that some designers are also thinking big. As in, big-ass shirts.

At Zegna, there were boxy, generously cut mid-layer shirts in cream, brown, black and gray shown over mock neck knitwear and under workwear-style coats. They’re part of the brand’s push into re-imagining the suit for a post-COVID world as a modular garment system, a Tetris-like way of dressing both formally and casually at the same time. As such the shirts sort of floated around the body and hit nicely below the waistline, a convincing bridge to the dress-up/dress-down divide.

Some advanced shirting from Zegna.

Zegna

Similarly, Silvia Venturini Fendi explored some “new suit” ideas with her fall collection, including longer shirt-jackets that landed mid-thigh and featured oversize collars and loose, blousey sleeves.

Big-n-baggy shirts at Fendi.

Victor VIRGILE

Victor VIRGILE

But it was Kean Etro who took it to its craziest and, to be honest, most logical conclusion — long tunic like shirts spilling out from chunky sweaters or diaphanous caftans with deep V-necks and slender neck fastenings in purple and marigold and worn half-tucked into matching trousers.

Blousy shirting at Etro.

Victor VIRGILE

Victor VIRGILE

There was, of course, a time when everything was skinny: skinny jeans, skinny suits, skinny ties. But those days are gone. Blame it on the jolt of Y2K nostalgia that has the fashion world in its death grip, or the fact that everything else (jeans, shoes, bags, fits in general, really) are getting comically large (absolute units, amirite!?). And it’s no big surprise that people increasingly want comfort, the ability to move around with ease, and to feel coddled rather than crushed. Or maybe it’s just that the fashion business is a big old pendulum and the time has come that we’ve tired of small and now want big, big, BIG, and soon enough we’ll tire of that and whittle ourselves into skinny things once more. In all likelihood, it’ll be a mix of all the above.

But in the meantime, we agree with the Milanese maestros—dream big, think big, dress big.



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