Our Top Shows of Milan Fashion Week
Italian artisanship and heritage were high on the agenda at Milan Fashion Week. Designers sought to celebrate a return to traditional fashion values.
Face masks may have been the accessory of choice at Milan Fashion Week, but designers who defied the pandemic to put on shows dispelled gloom with love letters to Italy. The nationwide lockdown also appears to have encouraged brands to dust off their archives and remodel past pieces. Read on as we run through our top shows of Milan Fashion Week.
The most anticipated show of MFW was undoubtedly the collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. Presented virtually, screens displayed a collection that aimed to reaffirm luxury fashion’s creativity. Focussing on essentials, there appeared to be a natural merge of aesthetics between the two designers. Streamlined, 90’s-inspired trousers and elongated kitten heels accompanied by a reworking of Prada’s ‘ugly’ prints from the same decade. Simons’ personal graphics and an oversized take on the famous triangular logo were also heavily used.
“I’ve always seen it as a community that has a very specific attitude, intellect, aesthetic,” said Simons, talking afterwards about what defines the essence of Prada. “You can’t really answer what it is, but it is, it exists, it’s present, it’s clearly there”
Miuccia also revealed a new admiration for technology within fashion, which she said she “didn’t give importance before. I realised how important technology is and how impactful it is as an extension for ourselves.” Here, she highlights how fashion is in the midst of real and positive change.
The smallest fashion show to date? Jeremy Scott chose to delight in fashion fantasy as his garments moved through the runway on miniature marionettes. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop made the figurines. Lockdown-inspired creativity saw couture looks transposed onto 30-inch-tall puppets. Meanwhile, look-a-like models of industry players including Vogue’s Edward Enninful watched on. The designs, including 18th century-inspired dresses and chiffon skirts, echoed fashion’s rediscovering of haute couture. This was a far cry from past presentations for the Italian label, which has become known for its garish luxury looks and logo-heavy apparel.
” As the world seems to be splitting … something new will be exposed. “
The reason for this new direction? “As the world seems to be splitting along the seams, the bare inner workings of something new will be exposed,” Said Scott in a press release, referring to the impact of the pandemic on the world as a metaphor for his focus on the garment’s exterior boning.
However, Scott spoke candidly on his yearning for a return to physical fashion. “As much as I loved working with the marionettes and as proud as I am of this show,” he told CNN Style, “I do miss working with real models and that energy and the energy of having a real audience and everyone gathered together. And I hope very soon I can do that in person again.”
Dolce and Gabbana
D&G titled their SS21 collection ‘Patchworks of Sicily’ in dedication to resourcefulness. Croznest has identified ‘repair and reuse’ as an essential power print for upcoming seasons. As with tie-dye, items that embrace individuality will appeal to the growing consumer focus on sustainability, along with the home crafting’s popularity.
The designer duo decided to pay tribute to the diverse history of their favourite island. Single garments from elements belonging to each cultural influence were patchworked. “We realised that in ’93 we had already done this type of work, taking inspiration from a completely different world, which was the ‘70s,” Gabbana said in a video message. “So, we went into the archive and we recreated the same jacket, the same vest, the same skirt, the same shirt, the same trouser,” he explained, albeit in more contemporary cuts.
“Taking inspiration from a completely different world…”
Finally was Max Mara, who’s resort show was one of the pandemic’s fashion casualties. Initially planned to be staged in Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, it had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus. Nonetheless, the house came back fighting for SS21. Designer Ian Griffiths took the Italian Renaissance as his main inspiration, “We are being reborn. This is the third Renaissance.” Translated through pageboy silhouette, bishop sleeves and ruffs, Ian realised his vision.
Despite the challenges that Italy has faced, the 2020 MFW proved that Italian designers have truly stepped up. Through their hard work and creativity, this past weeks fashion shows have raised the bar yet again for what an audience can expect when they walk into a 2020 (and beyond) fashion show.
Remember to look out for our next blog focusing on Paris Fashion Week, up on croznest.co.uk on October 11th. Can’t wait? Read our trend report for this season’s must-have styles.
Words by Rhiannon Hudson