From Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ first in-person debut to Fendi and Versace’s “giddy, escapist fantasy”, catch up on the best moments from Milan Fashion Week
Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ latest collection for Prada was presented simultaneously in Milan and Shanghai – no small undertaking, it saw models in each country walk the runway in the same look, at the same time, aired side-by-side on screens in each venue. The impressive spectacle was a statement on the ongoing relevance of the physical fashion show for the pair, using the moment to explore the idea of seduction – “a language of seduction that always leads back to the body,” as they said in the collection’s notes. In practice, this meant clothes instilled with an innate sensuality, a suggestion of sex: dresses left open at the back to reveal a line of bare skin, knitwear crafted with lingerie-style cups, and distressed leather jackets, worn with nothing beneath. “The memory of a train, the bones of a corset, the curve of a brassiere,” as they described.
An uplifting mood permeated Kim Jones’ latest collection for Fendi, drawing inspiration from the illustrations of Antonio Lopez for a disco-tinged offering which forged a link between the designer and forebear Karl Lagerfeld (Lopez was part of the late Lagerfeld’s close circle of friends). Lopez’s colourful illustrations adorned the collection, in whole or part – from intarsia and jacquard looks imprinted with his portrait of model Jane Forth to a more abstract brushstroke motif, elegantly reimagined across kaftan dresses or dramatic feathered jackets, inspired by a lesser-known part of his oeuvre. The result was a collection which conjured Lopez’s glamorous stomping grounds – namely, Studio 54 and 1970s Saint Tropez – for a new generation embracing dress-up.
Fendi x Versace
An invitation to Palazzo Versace on Sunday evening – the house’s show having already happened, two days prior – seemed to confirm a longstanding rumour, a fabled Versace Fendi mash-up which had percolated since Donatella Versace and Kim Jones were photographed together earlier this year. “A giddy, escapist fantasy,” as AnOther’s Alexander Fury described, attendees to the intimate show witnessed what once might have seemed impossible – a “Fendace” show in which each designer momentarily swapped houses to create a series of mashed-up looks, melding their distinct signatures into a dizzying celebration of Italian fashion worn on the runway by a litany of supers past and present. “It’s the beauty of togetherness,” said Jones – a collaboration for the ages.
A tight-knit community, inside and outside of Milan, has always been central to Francesco Risso’s vision at Marni which is why – despite novel approaches to the digital show during the pandemic – his latest collection was a celebration of physicality, the magic of being together in a room. In this spirit, each of the 400 guests was fitted for an individual numbered Marni look to wear, creating a joyful spectacle of Risso’s vision before the show even begun – “an action of trying on, fitting in and fitting out that connects the audience and the show, the observers and the observed”. The show itself – creative directed by Telfar collaborator Babak Radboy, featuring performances by Mykki Blanco and Zsela – was a jubilant return to the format, an apt backdrop to a typically creative and eclectic collection, which here riffed on motifs of stripes and flowers.
“The bliss of a new awakening,” read the press release for Lucie and Luke Meier’s latest outing at Jil Sander, a sentiment influenced not only by their return to the runway but the birth of a baby daughter earlier this year. “Feminine, masculine, vulnerable, strong”, they said of the soulful, almost dreamlike, collection, which added depth to their vision for the house with an embrace of colour, from pastel shades of pale peach, mint and yellow to bold tiger and zebra prints. It signalled a loosening up of their signature look, which previously erred on austere – “we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously,” they said, signalling an optimistic new chapter in their tenure.
MM6 Maison Margiela
A similar mood was struck at MM6 Maison Margiela, which looked towards Milanese cafe culture – namely, neighbourhood bar La Belle Aurore where the show was held – as an emblem of people reuniting en masse, the joy of “seeing faces from different walks of life once again come together in the same place”. It led the design team back to the Surrealist movement and its leading women artists, Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanning – each now getting their due with a slew of recent museum shows and exhibitions, and who too would gather in cafes to discuss and debate new ideas. In the collection, there was a play off between the familiar and the surreal – most notably in a series of off-kilter accessories, from knee-length pearls to a riff on the tudor ruff, or the faux-furred wheeled suitcase (a collaboration with Eastpak) carried as if a handbag.
Moncler once again brought together a bevy of international designers – both established and emerging – for the latest chapter of their Genius project, this season presented as an international digital happening titled MONDOGENIUS. Led by musician Alicia Keys, viewers were transported from Milan to Shanghai, Tokyo to Seoul, then to New York, allowing Moncler fans worldwide to see the new collections from designers Jonathan Anderson, Craig Green, Palm Angels, 1017 ALYX 9SM and more in an impressive demonstration of the brand’s global reach. “I truly believe in the power of connecting communities around experiences and creative visions,” said Moncler chairman and CEO Remo Ruffini.