Milan Fashion Week: Etro’s Journey, Cavalli Classics, Fendi’s Failsafes, And Blumarine’s Secret Sauce

by Freya Drohan


Marco De Vincenzo might have called his third collection for Etro ‘Nowhere’—but he was absolutely steering the ship with a clear direction in where he intends to go forward. The creative director appeared to really hit his stride with the offering, which emerged to a White Lotus-type soundtrack. A fitting choice, as the garments that followed echoed the notes the TV show strikes so well: mystery, a hodgepodge of personalities that shouldn’t work together but ultimately make for very compelling viewing, and in the end, being left with a feeling of wanting more. While the house was always synonymous with its paisley print and bohemian-leaning silhouettes, De Vincenzo seems to be re-casting that archetype, arming customers with more structured pieces too, like fish-tail maxi skirts, denim and leather cargo pants, oversized blazers, and a sleeveless take on a Letterman jacket. Alas, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and there was certainly plenty for the haute hippies who rely on the brand. Think: slinky silk slip dresses embroidered or emblazoned with prints, feather-trimmed knits, floor-sweeping blanket coats, and a captivating use of shimmering thread and beaded detailing on some of the finale looks. In terms of accessories, she’ll also fall for asymmetric earrings, belly chains, yin-yang style chunky chokers, and, dare we say it, start pairing her pointed-toe flats with logo socks.

Roberto Cavalli 

Fausto Puglisi showed his Spring Summer ’24 collection at the Italian Stock Exchange—and he was right on the money. Sex does sell! In a steaming-hot room kitted out like a makeshift jungle (the irony was not lost that there was more animal print in the room than you’d probably typically find in the actual tropics), his scintillating Amazonians sent temperatures soaring even higher. You’ve probably seen headlines on shopping websites by now that sales of vintage Y2K Roberto Cavalli numbers are soaring, and Puglisi undoubtedly knows that he’s been blessed with an incredible archive of era-defining pieces. Like last season, the creative director set out to pay homage to those almost-hedonistic seeming silhouettes, dialing up the sex appeal with a Tequila Sunset color palette, plunging necklines, low-rises, shimmering snakeskin, itsy bits bikini tops, cut-outs, and no shortage of ensembles inspired by prevailing ’70s disco queens like Cher. For those who bowed down at the altar of Matthew Williamson and Peter Dundas at Cavalli during the aughts, it was a tantalizing time machine, while staying true to additional maximalist codes Puglisi has been working on in past seasons.


Speaking of noughties’ whiplash, no-one is doing it quite like Nicola Brognano. A quick peek at the Blumarine creative director’s personal Instagram feed inadvertently explains what spawns his Blumarine of today: Posh n’ Becks’ airport style of the 2000s, Guy Bourdin, Marie Antoinette, Virna Lisi, and baby Kate Moss. The designer, a Giambattista Valli alum, has been surrounded with buzz since taking the reigns in 2019, catapulting the somewhat-sleepy brand back into the zeitgeist with his ultra-desirable pieces that capture the same spirit as that Blumarine dress Brittany Murphy wore in Uptown Girls. This season, fans were served up an update to his viral Spring 2022 B-logo bedazzled panties, with some new embellished butterfly iterations in black and neutral—we can see the TikToks already!—and some equally destined-for-online-content-moments including studded plastic sheath dresses, rhinestone and perspex accessories, and not to mention angel wings (will they be sold?! Who knows!). The butterfly appeared everywhere of course—it is the house logo after all—but it’s a symbol that’s particularly resonating right now as the world continues its metamorphosis post-pandemic. While Brognano definitely has an eye on the prevailing influences of bygone decades and continues to cherry pick their best bits, it still feels so of the moment too.


From the outset, there was nothing that seemed to nod to the past on the Fendi runway, as Kim Jones presented a collection of fresh, ultra-wearable ensembles for the modern-day multi-hyphenate designed for whatever the day may throw at her. Jones had been thinking of the women he passes on his way to work in Rome in the present day, studying what it is about their innate style that is so captivating. But his famous predecessor Karl Lagerfeld was also on the brain underneath it all; specifically a 1999 outing that highlighted the many ways that make the women of the Italian capital city so formidably stylish. What did the class learn? How can we be more regal & Roman? Well, it was all in the little things really: how the extended neckline of a dress met a sleeve to knot together casually around the shoulder (a detail that’s actually been on a lot of runways these past few weeks), the masculine-esque folded-over waistbands on trousers, pumps and ballet slippers with elegant gold anklets attached, casually-exposed zippers on pencil skirts, and shirt dresses fixed with just one button over a pair of slim-leg pants. So too was it in the choreography: a hand in the pocket here, a hand casually hooked into a shirt lapel there, or a hand cradling one of the many covetable new and evergreen Fendi handbag styles. Alexa, play ‘Who run the world?’

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