Milan’s Tech Support

Fashion loves its decade fixations, and apparently the current nineties redux is showing no sign of slowing down. The Milan men’s shows took it a step further, moving beyond the usual offering of plaid and grunge to mine some uncharted and downright sinister terrain. We’re taking about dot-com tech boom. Yup, it seems designers are looking to the early days of Silicon Valley for inspiration, drawing from those retro-futurist lines, synthetic fabrics and even those awkward proportions. In short, everything about the tech support guy that makes you cringe.

Tech mania started innocently enough at Bottega Veneta with slouchy windbreaker layers adding a bit of unexpected texture. This gained more structure at Burberry with scuba suit stiffness and pops of neon color that spruced up Christopher Bailey’s slick outerwear. At Versace, it was a parade of techno lotharios, start-up speculators ready to take on Wall Street with a stark palette of gray, blue screen blues with zippered accents. Even Marni’s workwear had futuristic panache, which made for one of the first knock-out collections of the season.

Two key points of inspiration were early Jil Sander and Prada, the nineties stuff, so it’s no surprise that the best versions came from these revamped houses. Always one for cheeky self-reference, Miuccia mined her own archives, revisiting some of her early hits, including seventies wallpaper prints, inexplicable synthetic blends and strange proportions. We even witnessed the return of the three-button suit jacket, which we haven’t spotted since the days the Apple logo still had a rainbow on it. And of course, at Jil Sander, Raf Simons sent out his Y2K warriors in space-aged tees and armor-like jackets ready to tackle any troubleshooting.

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