Sunday 20th June

| BY Scarlett Conlon

Etro: Menswear SS22

While the Milan menswear schedule may hold the hallmarks of the pandemic with only three brands staging physical shows this season, the shows themselves are a joyful reminder of how brilliant it is to be at one and see fashion up close. Cue Etro’s spring/summer 2022 outing today.

In the hot heat of the midday sun, sat on embroidered cushions beside the disused railway track of the Ex Scalo Farini (masked up and socially distanced as is still the law in Italy) if you closed your eyes for a moment, things almost felt back to normal. The buzz, the banter, the beads of sweat (brilliant!) and, of course, IRL clothes.

Kean Etro’s collection, Travelling in a Joyful State of Grace, was a kaleidoscopic celebration of being able to hit the road again. An homage to the late Italian singer-songwriter Franco Battiato whose music Etro discovered when he was 17 and swiftly fell for his “alchemical touch”, it evoked the nomadic spirit associated with his lyrics with a glam-rock touch. (This is the brand, remember, who dressed Maneskin for the Eurovision.)

Here, metallic jacquard trousers were teamed light-weight knits and flowing silk shirts unbuttoned to the navel; suiting was relaxed and wide-legged and arrived in vibrant degradé shades; silk paisley shorts were worn over leggings; while XL rucksacks and totes were thrown nonchalantly over shoulders. They were, read the show notes, “languid, slightly sensual styles, designed to feel good”, which is, after all, what everyone wants right now.

Connecting the dots, Etro related it back to the exhilaration of experiencing a fashion moment together again. “It’s extremely important,” he told 10 Men after the show, comparing it to Shakespearean theatre.  “[Without physical shows] it’s like killing theatre all together – burning any sort of representation…to represent yourself we need to see each other.”

Photography courtesy of Etro.