An Ongoing Guide to Milan Fashion Week

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Prada Raf Simons first show S/S21
Prada Spring/Summer 2021Courtesy of Prada

Milan Fashion Week takes place this week, combining digital and physical presentations. Here, we pick the highlights


  1. Concept: A short film titled My Brother’s Keeper, previewing the Spring/Summer 2021 collection, which unfolds over three acts: “isolation”, “a journey back into the working world” and a final part which “gestures towards the future”. The film is a collaboration with creative director Pierre Debusschere, stylist Robbie Spencer, and composer Afrodeutsche, as well as Wilson Oryema, who wrote an accompanying poem
  2. Collection: The three sections nod towards elements of the collection – act one, for example, provides “sophisticated clothes for our new living-working environments”, while act three propositions a future-ready wardrobe of precise, technical tailoring and signature gilets and vests. Material innovation and utilitarian design elements, long at the heart of the brand, remain a focus
  3. Quote: “This season more than ever before, it felt important that A-COLD-WALL* be hyper-responsive to current circumstances,” says Samuel Ross. “This collection is the result of a sincere and honest dialogue about these changed priorities – it’s democratic, it’s adaptive. It’s what people want to live in now”


  1. Concept: A co-ed runway show – featuring a cast of cross-generational Fendi muses – which marked Silvia Venturini Fendi’s final collection before Kim Jones takes on the role of artistic director
  2. Collection: A light and breezy offering from the house saw a focus on the pureness of linen – much of it intricately embroidered – which the designer said evoked the Italian idea of passing on knowledge and craft from generation to generation
  3. Quote: “In my family we have always put great meaning into what we do,” she told American Vogue. “Here I wanted to achieve clothes that are about the moment, but which also are part of your life, for your life”


  1. Concept: A film of the S/S21 collection, followed by a post-show Q&A with co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons
  2. Collection: The designers’ first joint collection riffed on the idea of “uniform” – “a requisite component of uniform is simplicity: recognition, reducing clothing to an essence, to the essential,” read the collection notes, featuring prints by Peter De Potter, Simons’ longtime collaborator. (Read our five takeaways from the duo’s first show here)
  3. Quote: “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” 


  1. Concept: An IRL runway show staged in front of a limited number of guests at the Palazzo del Senato, alongside a global live stream and simultaneous event in China
  2. Collection: A “younger, sportier” iteration of the BOSS man and woman, encompassing hoodies, trainers and bomber jackets alongside easy, roomy tailoring – styled by AnOther’s fashion director Ellie Grace Cumming. A collaboration with London-based artist William Farr saw floral motifs recur throughout, signalling “creativity and renewal”
  3. Quote: “We were one of the last ones who showed last season, and we are one of the first to show now,” creative director Ingo Wilts told American Vogue. “Coming back to Milan is a show of optimism”


  1. Concept: An ambitious global event, ‘Marnifesto’ which saw an international cast of models and creatives broadcast live from each of their home cities wearing looks from the Spring/Summer 2021 collection
  2. Collection: A typically eclectic outing from Francesco Risso saw the designer look back into the house’s archive, taking his favourite pieces and reformulating them for a musing on Marni past, present and future
  3. Quote: “This one is a collective effort. The WE of the studio. The WE of the Marni community. Not models, but human beings with their lives in all their unexpectedness,” said Risso via a press statement. “Real people who have received outfits from the collection before the collection has been actually presented, tasting it before the recipe was even completed, adding their own interpretation to the final result, thus making the final result uncontrollable”


  1. Concept: A show held in Milan’s Fonderie Macchi, a metallurgical factory originally built in the 1930s
  2. Collection: Pierpaolo Piccioli spoke of “re-signification” at Valentino’s S/S21 show, held in Milan rather than Paris this season. Worn by street-cast models, the collection promoted a radical romanticism: florals appeared as blousy prints, in chunky lace pieces and knitwear; and light chiffon dresses and blouses spoke to the couture-like drama we’ve come to expect from Valentino, this season simplified 
  3. Quote: “Fashion for me is a way to talk about the values that matter today,” Piccioli told American Vogue. “The true acceptance of diversity. Tolerance and kindness. This is the world I want to tell through my work as a designer”


  1. Concept: A guest-less runway show staged in the imagined utopian, underwater settlement of Versacepolis
  2. Collection: A S/S21 offering inspired by the natural and underwater world, featuring wave-like hemlines, the house’s iconic Trésor de la Mer print, depicting sea creatures, and surf-style rash guards. Imagine the love child of an inhabitant of the lost city of Atlantis and someone from 90s Miami
  3. Quote: “I wanted to create something disruptive, something that could be in tune with what has changed inside all of us,” said Donatella. “To me that meant dreaming of a new world. A world made of popping colours and fantastic creatures and a world in which we can all coexist peacefully. This collection has an upbeat soul and is optimistic, dreamy, positive … These are clothes that bring you joy”