Gucci Menswear Presented A Medley Of Colour To Close Milan Fashion Week

By Colleen Barry
The Gucci men's show was full of saturated colour and crisp designs.

Sabato De Sarno showed his latest vision for the Italian luxury brand as it seeks to transition to a new era, while elsewhere on the Milan runways, Giorgio Armani showed a sure and steady evolution.

It’s been creative director musical chairs at some of Italy’s top fashion houses, and the pressure is showing, at least on social media.

Gucci’s Sabato De Sarno presented his third collection in Milan on Monday, still the most highly anticipated runway show of the week as Gucci undergoes a major style transition.

Hours earlier, Valentino, the fashion house that snapped up his predecessor Alessandro Michele, launched images on social media of Michele’s first resort collection for Rome-based Valentino, which previews its collections in Paris. Commentators couldn’t help but notice the similarities to his Gucci years.

Creative director Sabato De Sarno
Creative director Sabato De Sarno

Anyone with complicated family dynamics can understand just how fraught the timing was. Gucci is owned by the French conglomerate Kering, which has a 30% stake in Valentino, an important but not determinant share. Add to that, De Sarno is a Valentino alum, whose recent resort collection included a pussy bow that was one of the codes Michele brought to Gucci.

Michele’s runway debut for Valentino is expected in Paris for womenswear previews in September.

Some highlights from the fourth and final day of Milan Fashion Week, mostly menswear previews for spring-summer 2025:

Sharp silhouettes and a strong use of colour at Gucci.
Sharp silhouettes and a strong use of colour at Gucci.

Gucci saturates precise silhouette

Sabato De Sarno’s sophomore menswear collection for Gucci was all about precise silhouettes saturated in colour. A long, acid-green bonded leather coat over thigh-baring shorts and a netted shirt set the tone for an outing that was both rigorous and edgy.

Models strode through the atrium of Milan’s Triennale design museum, in tribute to De Sarno’s view of museums as “nourishing” spaces. In that vein, he invited 400 fashion students to watch the show, and was meeting with them afterward. Part of the brand’s relaunch has been moving to spaces away from the sprawling Gucci Hub on Milan’s outskirts, as De Sarno lays claim to Italy’s fashion capital one venue at a time.

Crisp poplin suits at Gucci.
Crisp poplin suits at Gucci.

His spring-summer 2025 collection featured wearable elements easily composed to one’s desire, reflecting De Sarno’s wish “that people feel free and welcomed in my clothes.”

Amid the structure of the bonded leather jackets and crisp poplin suits, there was a lot of movement, in undulating, vivid repeating prints of surfers and dolphins on boxy bowling shirts, shimmering beaded fringe jackets in shades of lemon or lime, and long-sleeve hand-knit polo shirts sparkling with embedded sequins. A subtle jacquard was a rare sign of the Gucci logo.

De Sarno presented a fresh incarnation of the polo shirt.
De Sarno presented a fresh incarnation of the polo shirt.

Fresh styling conceits included chunky sunglasses that, when not worn, could be strapped backwards around the neck with a brightly coloured Gucci cord. Highly constructed bags were inspired by archival luggage, and include detachable pieces. Sneakers and scuba slip-ons featured moulded soles.

Media-shy De Sarno said in press notes that the collection “speaks about freedom”.

“I feel free when there is no distance between my words and my thoughts, between my actions and my heart,’’ he wrote.

A powder blue suit at the Gucci show.
A powder blue suit at the Gucci show.

Serena and Venus Williams serve up some Gucci

De Sarno has the full endorsement of Serena Williams, who sat in the front row between Kering boss Francois-Henri Pinault and her sister, Venus.

‘’It was a beautiful collection. I think Sabato is a great designer,’’ Serena Williams said backstage. “Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.’’

Serena and Venus Williams attended the Gucci show.
Serena and Venus Williams attended the Gucci show.

Speaking to the versatility of the looks, Williams said she saw plenty on the runway meant for menswear that she liked for herself. “Honestly, I loved that light blue suit in the end. It wasn’t really for me, but I totally could vibe in that,’’ she said. “A lot of the bags were nice. Those purple shoes were really cool.”

Williams, dressed in a pretty peach suit with a sparkly knit top, was joined by sister Venus, wearing a Gucci Pantone red leather coat. Venus also showed up at JW Anderson’s show Sunday night. Also on hand was Irish actor Paul Mescal, keeping cool in striped shorts and a GG monogrammed blue dress shirt.

The Armani Men's Spring Summer 2025 collection presented in Milan. Photo / AP.
The Armani Men's Spring Summer 2025 collection presented in Milan. Photo / AP.

Giorgio Armani’s North Star

There has been one constant at the Giorgio Armani fashion house for the past 49 years, and that’s Giorgio Armani.

His looks are a steady evolution of the relaxed tailoring that has characterised his fashion empire.

Soothing hues set the mood for the spring-summer 2024 collection, where the loose, often pleated, trousers were the star. Jackets were worn open, and shirts were often collarless or with casual shawl collars. Silken trousers featured big side pleats, billowing with each step. Small slit pockets provided utility. Vests added a ruffian flair, with or without shirts. Scrunchy sun hats were packable.

Models walked slowly, deliberately, on a runway surrounded by video images of tropical plants — a motif of the season. Some smiled, as the designer has urged in recent seasons.

Turning 90 next month, Armani remains firmly at the centre of his fashion group, launched in 1975, and is always on hand to take a bow after his shows.

Russel Crowe attends the Giorgio Armani Men's Spring Summer 2025 fashion show. Photo / AP.
Russel Crowe attends the Giorgio Armani Men's Spring Summer 2025 fashion show. Photo / AP.

This round, he was joined by his long-time right-hand-man Leo Dell’Orco, who heads the group’s men’s style office, and Gianluca Dell’Orco, head of Giorgio Armani men’s styling office.

Russell Crowe was front row for the show at Armani’s Milan theatre. Clad in jeans, the actor said he was jet-lagged and wanted to be comfortable. He may well have spotted something from the runway that fits that bill.

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