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Men outdoors: Men’s Milan Fashion Week SS20 takes us back into nature

Coconut prints, khakis and watering cans. If there’s one thing clear from the Men’s Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 shows, it’s this: men are loving nature.

And so, they’re all headed outdoors in Milan. Under the Italian summer sun, several brands went al fresco to present their new collections. The collections themselves were, in more ways than one, odes to nature. From green-thumbed Fendi to ocean-cleaning Marni, we spotted a serious trend of men taking to the Great Outdoors once again – or, at least, looking like it.

But men aren’t just dressing up to visit Mother nature, they’re dressing up to protect her too. As everyone knows, sustainability might just be the hottest word in the fashion industry right now, and it was especially hot this summer in Milan. Stella McCartney’s fashionable environmental protests were accompanied by Marni’s haphazard recycled-chic. Even Ermenegildo Zelda had suits made completely from wool remnants. It seems that this season’s menswear is all about Earth-loving couture. In an age of synthetics, urbanity, and environmental crises, it’s certainly refreshing to see high fashion taking a stand for natural beauty and reconnecting with simpler times.

See some of the key looks from Milan’s outdoorsy menswear Spring/Summer 2020 shows below.

[Hero and Feature image: Fendi.]



Men's Milan Fashion Week
Fendi SS20 at Men’s Milan Fashion Week.

When weekending at her country home outside Rome, Silvia Venturini Fendi likes to garden. Her new menswear collection is clearly a tribute to this most wholesome of pastimes, although the looks – presented outside in the sprawling gardens of Villa Belgiojoso Bonoparte – are far too lovely to consider muddying. We saw olive drab outerwear, utility vests in botanical print and a couple of great short-sleeved overalls. The fabrics used recalled farmhouse favourites: cashmere, denim, wool, cotton, and a few luxurious splashes of leather. For the outdoor-sy feel, the looks featured practical details like big pockets and tool-belt-ish bags. We don’t even have to mention the striking accessories that the models carried down the leafy runway: gardening gloves, watering cans, and picnic baskets. The horticultural collection is all about “holistic harmony and simplicity”, fulfilling our longing to be reconnected with nature in this virtual world.

See our favourite Fendi Spring/Summer 2020 looks from Men’s Milan Fashion Week below:

Dolce & Gabbana

Men's Milan Fashion Week
Dolce & Gabbana SS20 at Men’s Milan Fashion Week.
  • The Italian duo also went outdoors – albeit a dressed-up version of it. The courtyard of their Metropol headquarters was transformed into a Club Tropicana with animal prints, vibrant florals and succulent greens. With this lush jungle foliage as its backdrop, the runway itself was lined in leopard print (literally a catwalk), and welcomed equally leopard-print-clad models. Dolce & Gabbana’s men’s collection was a roar of mischievous tropical print. Silk Aloha shirts and bold prints featuring coconuts, bananas, and watermelon slices were paired with leopard print everything. Given their frequent missteps lately, it seems Dolce & Gabbana won’t stop running wild.
  • See our favourite Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2020 looks from Men’s Milan Fashion Week below:
  • Marni

  • Men's Milan Fashion Week
    Marni SS20 at Men’s Milan Fashion Week.

Under a canopy of plastic bottles and other debris collected from oceans, the audience for Francesco Risso’s Marni menswear show literally took a stand together against rubbish pollution. Marni’s surreal recycling themed show had no chairs, allowing the models and the audience to mingle amongst each other. The looks were classic Marni: eclectic, colourful, and fashionably chaotic. The highlights, however, had to be the statement hats – made completely from recycled material.

  • See our favourite Marni Spring/Summer 2020 looks from Men’s Milan Fashion Week below:
  • Giorgio Armani

  • Men's Milan Fashion Week
    Giorgio Armani SS20 at Men’s Milan Fashion Week.
    • 45 years in the business and Armani’s looks are still bang on the money. Closing the final day of Milan’s menswear shows, Armani went off-script and also headed outside to present his men’s Spring/summer 2020 collection. In the courtyard of his business headquarters, the Palazzo Orsini, the looks presented were all about comfort and movement. There were lightweight, unstructured jackets that did away with traditional padding and lining. With the deliberately creased wide-cut linen suits and waistcoats hanging on bare skin, Armani’s collection is perfect for the sultry outdoor soirées that inevitably come with summer months.
    • See our favourite Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2020 looks from Men’s Milan Fashion Week below:
    • Stella McCartney

      • Men's Milan Fashion Week.
        Stella McCartney SS20 at Men’s Milan Fashion Week.

        There should be no surprise that Stella McCartney joined in on the Men’s nature-loving fashion week. In fact, she kind of led it. Her new collection – appropriately named ‘Forces For Nature’ – also doubles as a kind of fashionable environmental protest. As usual, sustainable materials make an appearance in this collection, including organic cotton and regenerated cashmere and nylon. In the past, Stella McCartney’s huge efforts towards sustainability had always been in the products. This season, it’s been made more visible on the products. Presented in a magical fairy-lit garden surrounded by magnolias, the new collection features prints that look like camo, but on close inspection actually turns out to be satellite images of Earth. There’s also a T-shirt with ‘Eco-Weirdo’ patched on it as a kind of cheeky take on logomania. Far from being the stereotypically aggressive and hard-faced environmental protest, Stella McCartney’s keeps it fun and light-hearted.

      • See our favourite Stella McCartney Spring/Summer 2020 looks from Milan Fashion Week below:
      • Ermenegildo Zelda

      • Ermenegildo Zegna SS20 at Men’s Milan Fashion Week.
        • Away from Milanese glamour, Alessandro Sartori chose to show his Ermenegildo Zegna show in an old steel plant outside of the fashion city. Offering little aside from metallic and mineral hues, the venue was hardly shiny and new – which was exactly the point. Zegna’s new menswear collection is about the use of up-cycled textiles, recycled material, and – yes, you guessed it – sustainability. Around 20% of the collection was produced from recycled cloth, which is hardly spectacular but is still better than nothing. Still, there was the ‘Achill’ suit, which was made entirely out of discarded wool from Zegna’s farm. And the rest of the fabrics used have gone through a special fibre process, which will allow them to be recycled several times. When they deteriorate, they’re looking to use them in future pieces. All of this seems to fit well in a show that took place in a vast vista of rubble, all waiting to be turned into something new.
        • See our favourite Ermenegildo Zegna Spring/Summer 2020 looks from Milan Fashion Week below:

Karn Chatikavanij
Style Writer
A globetrotter with a love for sushi and Miu Miu, Karn is a fan of all things upbeat, delicious, and well-dressed. Her frequent activities include packing for beach trips, listening to 80s music, and trying to make daytime pyjamas happen.