Models pose at the end of the presentation of fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna during the Men's Spring/Summer 2019 fashion shows in Milan, on June 15, 2018. (AFP/Marco Bertorello )
Italian fashion houses Alberta Ferretti and Ermenegildo Zegna kicked off Men's Fashion Week in Milan on Friday with a rather feminine feel.
After London Men's Fashion Week wrapped up on Monday, Milan picked up the reins, with 28 ready-to-wear shows to reveal the Spring-Summer 2019 lines.
But the women are muscling in to Milan men's week, with 13 co-ed catwalks and another two women-only shows.
"We are living in a huge evolutionary moment regarding the concept of men's and women's fashion," said Carlo Capasa, head of Italy's national chamber of fashion.
"That barrier doesn't exist any more, the fashion week calendar is responding to that reality," he told AFP.
"Out of affection we are keeping the idea of still calling it men's fashion week, but in reality, this barrier has already fallen."
After several difficult years for the Italian fashion industry, Milan has regained it's joie de mode.
The sector saw turnover grow by 3.2 percent last year, to 94 billion euros, according to the Confindustria Moda federation.
The growth rate was double that of Italy's GDP, Carpasa said.
The first show of men's week was by the Ermenegildo Zegna house, whose models paraded along a mirrored bridge and against the backdrop of a wonderful sunset outside the impressive Mondadori publishing house HQ.
Italian designer Alessandro Sartori produced a contemporary wardrobe, with a luxury street-sports look using cashmere, silk and mesh with khaki, pink and pale blue to the fore.
The three-and-a-half day program at the Milan Fashion week is jam-packed.
Among the major Italian names showing between now and Monday are Versace, Dolce&Gabbana, Prada and Giorgio Armani.
The overseas fashion houses taking part include Britain's Stella McCartney, Canada's Dean and Dann Catten and Germany's Philipp Plein.
McCartney is returning to Milan after a four-year absence and will close the fashion week on Monday evening.