Despite the initial surprise and disappointment of Versace’s absence and big player Gucci being without a creative director this season, there was no shortage of excitement during Milan Fashion Week this season. Gucci returned to its roots with a surprisingly thoughtful twist. Milan Fashion week saw a twenty percent increase in attendance in the city compared to 2019. Sunnei, known for its unconventional runway ideas, had models crowd-surfing. Diesel promoted Sex – positivity with a runway set that was undoubtedly one of this season’s most shared social media fashion week moments. ICEBERG, absent from the Milan womenswear program for a while, kicked off Fashion Week. Japanese designer Tomo Koizumi presented his collection for the first time in Italy, supported by Dolce & Gabanna. Many brands used their most recent collections to emphasize their legendary identities by mining the archives.
Below the full recap from Milan Fashion week F/W 23/24
FENDI – Elegantly defiant
After Karl Lagerfeld’s passing in 2019, FENDI’s designs felt “cutesy,” bordering close to Barbie’s wardrobe. Since becoming FENDI’s artistic director, Kim Jones has been exploring the brand’s archives designing collections that echo the classic FENDI. THE FENDI of the chic Italian women with confidence so strong you can smell it. This makes sense why Jones’s muse for his latest FENDI collection was Delfina Delettrez Fendi, the daughter of Silvia Fendi. Jones’s collection deftly blends Karl Lagerfeld FENDI’s Masculine-Feminine tailoring with his own fresh, softer interpretation. The collection felt inherently FENDI, feminine but not cutesy, crispy-fresh blending Italian sophistication with a punk twist.
PRADA – “Desirable, edgy- conservative”
After three years of working together as Prada’s co-creative directors, Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada have found a winning formula. Prada served a clever minimalistic capsule that could transform from day to evening wear effortlessly. Rejecting the obvious beauty, she creates desirable collections from unexpected sources of inspiration. This season Prada and Simons reimagined “work uniforms,” drawing inspiration from often-overlooked people who selflessly serve. The collection reimagined traditional nurses’ and military uniforms creating a collection that can be described as a wearable “edgy- conservative” capsule.
MAX MARA – Newfound Sense of Romance
Creative director Ian Griffiths is a sucker for understated innovative muses. Griffiths was inspired by the Enlightenment-era Marquise Émilie du Châtelet for this season’s Max Mara Collection. The French Marquise and scientist who translated Isaac Newton’s “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” into French was also a known lover of Voltaire. Émilie hated limiting fashions. Often dressed as a man, she would visit men-only coffee houses where top thinkers of the day congregated. The Max Mara, Fall Winter Runway, brings these figures to life. This careful staging inspired a collection with a newfound sense of romance.
© Max Mara
EMPORIO ARMANI- Intangible humor
Giorgio Armani creates collections highlighting the individual. Emporio Armani’s style credo is eclectic, urban, and humorous. The irony of the following fall-winter collection is subtle but evident, like the runway models’ dazzling smiles. A giant picture of a smiling model was the backdrop of the catwalk, summarizing the collection’s spirit and attitude. “Circus of life.” A beautifully thoughtfully designed collection that sparks imagination and joy in everyday wear.
GUCCI – A Pallet cleanser
Gucci’s latest collection can best be described by comparing it to eating limoncello sorbet after a fine dining meal of 3 courses. Cleansing your palate for the next course to be served. While preparing for the newly appointed Sabato De Sarno to succeed Allesandro Michele as Creative Director, the fall – winter 23 collection was left up to the internal design staff to leave their mark. Many have worked for the company for years, mining “their memories of collections and the history of Gucci as they experienced it first-hand. With a “Y2K mood” still in high demand, skimpy chains of diamanté, oversized office chic, and 70s maximalism riffed on the work of Tom Ford, Frida Giannini, and Alessandro Michele before them. Seeing the design team’s innovative approach to combining these three Gucci legends’ work and creating a refreshingly original collection is truly inspiring. This collection brought on some nostalgia for the 90s and early 2000s glossy page magazines.
MISSONI – Sassy
Filippo Grazioli is beginning to find his foothold in his new role at Missoni. His latest collection for Missoni had a hotter, more assured vibe. Variation and sass were present. Missoni’s signature minimalism was combined with a touch of glamour. Grazioli experimented with the zig-zag and the fiammato, two of Missoni’s most recognizable knitted designs, puffing them up to give them room to breathe in new patchwork configurations. Grazioli’s unique spin is becoming more apparent; based on this collection, a hotter, racier, and more alluring Missoni can be anticipated.
BALLY – Inherited Luxury
Rhuigi Villaseñor said he was straying from the Los Angeles theme that had dominated his debut spring–summer collection last September to emphasize Bally’s inherent luxury for the fall–winter collection. The luxurious touch of leather, metallics, knitwear, and lace across menswear and womenswear evokes a duality of power and sexuality, heightening everyday feel-good drama. Every outfit, garment, and accessory dripping with sophisticated luxury.
CAVALLI – Eccentric & Feisty
Cavalli is known for animal print, but edgy, seductive sensuality and tease are the soul of the brand. Since Fausto Puglisi debuted as creative director at Cavalli in February 2021, we have witnessed a reawakening of the fashion house. Once again, Fausto delivers a collection that strikes the perfect balance between relevant and modern while still capturing the true essence of Cavalli. That tease, the intense, feisty Diva, who reveals just enough to evoke temptation. A wild one, but not an entirely vicious one. This season, Fausto sends the Cavalli woman to the American Southwest, following in the footsteps of Millicent Rogers and Georgia O’Keefe. One is eccentric and outgoing, while the other is austere and plain-clothed. Fausto likes strife. A cheeky collection that can be taken straight from the runway to be worn at Coachella.
DOLCE & GABANNA – Raw D&G
Like the collection, the Dolce & Gabanna runway show this season had a sense of sensual “rawness” It was like watching the fashion channel back in the 90s. Back when runways and Ready to Wear collections were devoid of noise and unnecessary extravagant drama. This is exactly what Dolce & Gabanna aimed to achieve with their Fall – Winter Collection. The collection feels like it was stripped bare to reveal the essential core of THE Dolce & Gabanna, a brand ahead of its time. Lingerie as outerwear was a big part of the collection, a trend now popular among many designers, but D&G was ahead of this particular curve by 30 years. A fact proven by the exposed corset from 1991 that was paired with a tuxedo suit, a cropped jacket, and cigarette pants. The red crystal embroidered wiggle dress Anok Yai wore to end the performance is the highlight of the collection
© Dolce & Gabanna
ERMANNO SCERVINO – Quiet eroticism
Ermanno Scervino’s collection for fall/winter 2023/2024 was inspired by a conversation he had with a Cinecittà costume designer who was still in awe of Ava Gardner’s legendary beauty, elegance, glamour and empowered femininity. The Hollywood diva sparked a seismic shift in how women were viewed, and that idea served as inspiration. The collection focuses on the wearer intimate apparel, emphasizing undergarments that exude a quiet eroticism. Ermanno Scervino’s fashion vocabulary is infused with a deep affection for women, and these qualities are at its core.
© Ermanno Scervino
MOSCHINO – Luscious Punk
Jeremy Scott is well known for delivering anything but ordinary or boring collections. His designs are always so detailed that they can describe as “fashion braille.” Scott, always finding inspiration from the most unexpected places, was inspired by Salvador Dali’s Melting Clocks for the Moschino fall-winter collection. Tweed Suits, dresses, and coats with hemlines that imitate Dali’s drippy melting clocks styled with belts and accessories with the same drippy characteristics. The collection mix between the mode of expression of the non-conformist Jeremy Scott and perhaps a nod to the late Vivienne Westwood had a luscious punk vibe. And was there a hint of Christian La Croix?
Most talked about shows…
SUNNEI – Expect the unexpected
When invited to a Sunnei show, leave your expectations at the door. Sunnei shows are always unpredictable, creative, and fun. In the stark white showroom of their headquarters, they squeezed the audience like sardines around a tall white box catwalk, at the end of which their whole team—assistants, designers, web whizzes, product managers, accountants—wore outfits from the fall collection and dove into the friendly mosh pit of the exhilarated, delighted, exultant audience. The crowd was overstimulated by fluorescent hues, crocheted fur textures, and flocked denim. It gave Sunnei vigor for simple, wearable, fabulous fashion.
DIESEL – Let’s talk about sex Baby
Fall-Winter 23 DIESEL show invitation? Diesel-branded box of Durex condoms with the runway show date, time, and location. The runway? A mountain of 200 000 Diesel branded condoms. The Music? Ecstatic, erotic moaning music. Belgian designer and creative director Glenn Martens encourages experimentation and sex positivity with his latest collection. The Y2K trend spring-summer collection carries through. Dresses with torn silk strips hung precariously from fine chain fittings. Cheeky low-cut jeans, Devore denim, and Distressed jeans featured printed motives. The new collection just once again affirms Diesel’s reputation for innovative denim.
KEY TRENDS FOR FALL/WINTER 23/24
10% Percent of all collections featured leather. Milan designers set the trend for next season with a 13% increase in grey in their collections. Different versions of Maxi, leather, and faux fur coats were everywhere. The trench coat in leather, beige, animal print, etc., went viral, with 13% of designers including the trench coat in their collections. Fitted knits increased by 77% vs. fall – winter 2022. 33% increase in shades of red compared to last fall/winter. There is a +20% increase in wearable luxury. With + 145% of Y2K looks compared to the previous fall/winter, it is clear that the Y2K trend is still going strong. Over-the-knee boots and oversized bags are back.
In the Diesel front row, seated next to Anna Della Russo, was Alexis Stone channeling “White Lotus” star Jennifer Coolidge. The resemblance was deceiving. Many attendees thought Coolige was in the house! Stone is known for dramatic transformations. Julia Fox returned to her hometown for Fashion Week and attended the Diesel show with her two-year-old son Valentino as her date.
Notable guests at the Prada Show Sienna Miller, Emma Roberts, Maya Hawk, and Dua Lipa. Kim Kardashian attended the Dolce & Gabanna show in a red custom column skirt and bra entirely embroidered with crystals. Deva Cassel, the daughter of Monica Belluci, walked the Dolce & Gabanna runway wearing a sheer dress. Ashely Graham was also one of the models walking for D&G, wearing a gorgeous red figure-hugging dress. Adrien Brody arrived at the Bally show with the co-founder of the fashion label Marchesa, Georgina Chapman on his arm. The two have been a couple since 2020. Among the many VIPs attending shows in Milan was model and Author of “a Woman makes a plan” Maye Musk. The 74-year-old Mother of Tesla CEO Elon Musk walked for Phillip Plein in 2020 wearing six-inch heels and was back in Milan this season taking her place on the Phillip Plein catwalk.
Among the front-row guests at Gucci were Rapper DDG and Halle Bailey, who have fiercely denied breakup rumors. DDG turned to social media, blasting the breakup rumors and not in the most classy manner. Other guests sitting front row at Gucci were A$AP Rocky, Måneskin, and Dakota Johnson. Florence Welch attended the Gucci show in a stunning boho floor-length grey pleated chiffon dress.
Florence Welch ©Gucci Måneskin & A$AP Rocky ©Gucci
Best Dressed Celebrities
Chiara Baschetti ©Ermanno Scervino Olivia Palermo ©Ferrari Elisabetta Gregoraci ©Gucci
Asley Graham ©Etro Isabelle Huppert ©Giorgio Armani Leonie Hanne ©Max Mara
The article originally published on FACES.CH