MILAN FASHION WEEK: SPRING SUMMER 2023: EMPORIO ARMANI, ALBERTA FERRETTI, MOSCHINO, GUCCI and PRADA.
Welcome to a Mixed Bag of Wondrously Eclectic, Thought-Provoking Offerings at Milan Fashion Week. We Saw Double at GUCCI, Took on Board MOSCHINO’s Tips for Staying Afloat in Stormy Waters and Heeded the Call for ‘Back to Basics’ at PRADA. Oh, and We Thanked our Lucky Stars that Romance and Old-School Elegance were Still Alive and Well at EMPORIO ARMANI and ALBERTA FERRETTI!
In stark contrast to London Fashion Week and its subdued mood, Milan Fashion Week was feisty and ebullient, with the Italian fashion industry aiming to celebrate its highest revenue ever, in 2022. In an ambitious line-up of the legendary Italian stalwarts as well as some exciting newcomers, to arguably the most influential fashion event on the fashion calendar, we saw show upon show of unrivalled, unlimited and outrageously flamboyant extravagance. Boy oh boy, we’re still reeling from all that glitz and glamour … some dizzying event it has been!
There were many trends on tap at the shows. Above all, it was a celebration of the body and of exposed skin, a trend that has been doing the rounds over the past few seasons. There were copious quantities of lingerie-inspired pieces (another seasonal trend), and in turn plenty fabulous sun-kissed skin on display. Sticking with the trend for flesh on display – rips, fringing, cutouts, transparent garments and body-hugging lycra also kept appearing. Surprisingly, black played a key role in many collections (Prada, Moschino, Versace etc) – perhaps a somewhat unconventional trend for Spring/ Summer, a season where traditionally bright shades and pastels take centre stage. Sky blue, one of the key colours of the season, kept alluring us, as did tangerine, ochre, lavender and sunshine yellow. Sensual beige and nude were to be seen in many places too.
With so much choice on offer our fashion genes were in serious overdrive and we’ve had to be brutal in our selection as to what would make the cut! Sit back, sunnies on (you’re front row, remember?), earphones on, watch, listen, dream and enjoy! Oh, and be sure to have your notepad on hand to jot down your ‘must-haves’ for Spring Summer 2023.
Maverick designer Jeremy Scott went all out for Moschino. It may at a first glance look like a pool or seaside party, but there’s much more to it … Says the designer, we’re surrounded by doom and gloom, the cost of living crisis, fuel prices, wars … we’re in turmoil, it feels like we’re drowning and need rescuing! Hence all the inflatable details on many of the pieces: rubber ducks as accessories, tiny red hearts with nozzles as embellishments on little black dresses, trench coats with raft handles, lilos as stoles and pool floaties as headdresses and shawls. If buoyancy and stability are what we crave right now, this collection is spot-on! Light-hearted, tongue-in cheek signature Moschino, as beautifully tailored and infinitely desirable as ever. Bring on the stormy seas!
Watch Moschino’s SS 2023 show here:
Alessandro Michele literally saw double for Gucci. In a collection entitled ‘Gucci Twinsburg’ (Incidentally, Twinsburg in Ohio is where the largest gathering of identical twins take place every year), identical twins sported inimitable ‘new’ Gucci – as has been Alessandro Michele’s signature design ethos since taking over as creative director at Gucci in 2015.
Amidst mirrors amplifying and doubling, trebling, quadrupling everything, identical twin models walked hand-in-hand, in a show of solidarity, showcasing clothes from the four corners of the globe, from Chinese to Mexican, West African to Indian. Leopard-print tights, cowboy boots, oversized jackets, tribal headgear played their part in a show that was so spectacularly eclectic, it’s literally only Gucci that can pull that off.
Watch Gucci’s SS 2023 show here:
Miuccia Prada and co-director Raf Simons showed a paired-down version, stripped further of all excess, of what was already pretty minimalist a season ago. Says Miuccia Prada of the collection, “There is a sense of the life of women… Life and humanity crafts the clothes—not superficial embellishment, but traces of living, leaving marks. This idea of clothes shaped by humanity excites us.” The naked truth then? Some of the pieces most certainly displayed the purest form of simplicity, a grey dress, for example – no frills, no straps – just a piece of fabric covering part of the body; similarly a grey onesie with no seemingly redeeming features – simple, wearable, unassuming. Other thought-provoking pieces in the collection include skirts with raw-edged slits and coats worn with nothing underneath – no blouse, scarf or accessories. Likewise sleeveless shift dresses that appeared ‘pinned’, as if they’re a work in progress. This collection is one for the ‘intellectual’ Prada wearer (but perhaps the rest of us could easily take these pieces and personalise them – is that perhaps what the design duo might be suggesting?)
Watch Prada’s SS 2023 show here:
As stars and influencers sporting Armani lined the front rows of Armani’s highly anticipated show, the anticipation was palpable. As ever, the Armani silhouette and ethos that we’ve come to love and expect over the decades, was right there. From a press statement, “The strong influence of non-Western cultures…he uses elements inspired by faraway ethnicities and interprets them with his signature style. Africa, China, Japan, Persia, Arabia, Syria, and Polynesia are some of the places that have inspired the designer.” Floaty, bejeweled skirts and gowns and the signature raglan-shouldered tailoring that we’ve come to identify with this classic brand worn by androgynous-looking, statuesque models reminded us exactly why Emporio Armani is such a legend. Soft lavender in combination with leaf-green is a winner, as are the other soft jewel-like colour options on display.
Watch Emporio Armani’s show here:
Alberta Ferretti has always showcased the ultimate in elegance, sensuality and femininity. A magician when it comes to floaty and transparent organza and chiffon, this time around she’s included a measure of raffia too. Exotic, floor-sweeping gowns were the standout pieces of a collection that exploited Ferretti’s expertise at creating the quintessential classical silhouette for evening. Colour-wise, burnt orange was juxtaposed with sky blue, and cut-outs, asymmetry and rhinestones made for a collection that is beyond dreamy. We see balmy nights in rooftop restaurants overlooking the ocean – in Italy’s very own Capri of course!
Watch Alberta Ferretti’s SS 2023 show here: