The Daily Front Row‘s perennially chic correspondent Sofia Achaval de Montaigu has been soaking up the glamour in Europe. Below, she fills us in on all the highlights and the unforgettable moments that took place in Milan during the Fall Winter ’23 show schedule.
Diesel is always one of the most anticipated shows at Milan Fashion Week, and once again, it delivered one of the most viral moments. The brand made a splash by including a mountain made of 200,000 condoms on its runway. Although collaborations with different artists and brands are common in the fashion world, Diesel took this to the next level by partnering up with Durex. In terms of the collection, low-rise cuts and distressed jeans were a hit, in addition to bleached denim pieces like a long, hooded dress with sleeves that was shown with sunglasses and a fanny pack over the shoulders.
Glenn Martens’ designs also included innovations like ‘denim devoré,’ a technique developed by the brand, which gives the appearance of being faded out, letting skin show beneath the clothes. Some other notable pieces were a series of coats that looked like they were made out of melted plastic. Trousers with cuffs were among my favorite designs, as well as a silver silk dress with a slit attached by chains. The entrance to the show was full of celebrities, but once again, Julia Fox stood out with a total denim look, dyed hair and bleached eyebrows. Evan Mock, Jay Park, and Orville Peck also joined her in the first row.
Creative director Marco de Vincenzo presented Etro’s cosmopolitan new collection, called Radical; a name which refered to the family brand’s roots and DNA. The chosen venue was the Palazzo del Senato, a historical building that was set to look as if it were under construction. As we arrived, we were given blankets to stay warm. The looks were very colorful and full of prints. The mix of textures was a reoccurring part of this collection and was repeated throughout several outfits, including my favorite one which was made up of a pair of off-white corduroy trousers, a silk shirt, a leather belt, and a long woolen coat. Floaty maxi dresses with ruffles and embroidered designs graced the runway, my favorite of which being a long black lace dress with a turtleneck and long sleeves. Flowers and stripes were overlaid with plaid in a colorful palette full of bright and intense hues. Maxi scarves acting as blankets were a standout feature of these looks; models wore them in a crossbody fashion over long dresses.
Max Mara’s show took place at the elegant Museo dei Bambini Milano, and was attended by a plethora of celebrities like Anne Thong, Alison Toby, Ami & Aya, Ann Kathrin, Anna Foglietta, Bryanboy, and Mariela Garriga. Ian Griffiths created a show called The Camelocracy, referring to the several sand, caramel, and mocha colors in the line. Once again, Max Mara’s creative director found his inspiration in historical women who didn’t get the recognition they deserved in their day. On this occasion, his muse was Émilie du Chatelet; an excellent mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. The collection was characterized by the tailoring, which could be seen in trousers and shirts as well as ribbed dresses combined with matching gloves and hats. The main accessory was a wide maxi belt that accentuated the models’ waists and went perfectly with the monochromatic looks in this very romantic proposal. A maxi teddy hooded coat was a star on the runway, but my own call out was a knitted dress with one shoulder that trailed on the floor. Models walked serenely to classical music, and had feminine hair and makeup with a low ponytail tied with a black bow—a touch of detail that I really enjoyed.
Less is more, and Raf Simons proved it in this collection co-created with Miuccia Prada which was showcased at Fondazione Prada. Functionality was at the core—the brand reinvented uniforms in a simple and modern way. Models walked over a long gray corridor surrounded by orange columns that made the venue look like a bunker. And as the show progressed, the roof was elevated to reveal towers of fresh lilies hanging from the ceiling. This flower could be seen in many of the designs too, for example, embroidered into skirts which were combined with oversized cardigans. Japanese culture also snuck into Prada’s runway through pleated black miniskirts, with origami-style folds. In this minimal set of clothes, a total white look stood out, made up of a long puffer jacket and a skirt made of the same material combined with a black leather bag and shoes. In terms of tailoring, everything was worthy of applause, especially a series of oversized leather blazers. Of course, the ‘it’ supermodels were there, such as Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. The fantastic cast had their makeup done with metallic-tinted lashes and they walked to the beat of Roxy Music’s classic, In Every Dream Home a Heartache. The first row was equally full of famous personalities, like Maya Hawke, Little Sims, Charli D’Amelio and Emma Roberts, who wore a light blue strapless dress. Dua Lipa, Naomi Ackie and Ellie Bamber were also there.
Gucci presented its latest collection over a great olive green canvas, and towards the end of the room, there was an elevator where models emerged from to walk the runway. In the middle of the venue, there were two sunken circles that represented “the collaborative circularity in the heart of Gucci’s creative community.” Some of the celebrities that sat in the first row were Dakota Johnson, A$AP Rocky, the band Maneskin, Florence Welch, Salma Hayek and her family, and Julia Garner. Outside the venue, actor and singer Xiao Zhan caused a great stir with his fans. In terms of the collection, it was quite eclectic: it included ’90s tailoring reminiscent of Tom Ford’s era, there were coats and dress-coats that acted as XL jackets, exposed underwear and one of the most striking looks was on a model barely covered by a crystal mini-bra and a big skirt combined with black gloves with silver details. There was an array of silhouettes when it came to the skirts, from see-through pieces to satin, metallic, and leather ones. Model Liisa Winkler wore one of the looks that I liked most, made up of a gray floor length coat, baby blue socks, and red shoes.
Elegance at its finest prevailed in Maximilian Davis’ second collection for Ferragamo. Ranging from bold prints to full-on monochromatic looks, he bet on the ’50s Hollywood aesthetic, but with a modern sporty touch. The show took place at the Allianz Mico-Milano Convention Centre. The set, created specifically for the occasion, included gigantic rounded plywood black walls and an off-white pile carpet. We could see tunics with batwing sleeves, fencing jackets, and cocktail dresses.
There was a range of impeccable coats in this collection—my favorite, worn by Lineisy Montero, was a tobacco-colored fur coat with asymmetric details. As for accessories, maxi bags with diagonal straps were the most prominent, while pointed shoes were the perfect complement for sophisticated looks. Celebrities like Uma Thurman, Hunter Schafer and Lee Jeno sat in the first row to enjoy the show.
Matthieu Blazy presented the new Bottega Veneta collection against the backdrop of a set which included a printed carpet and a Boccione statue in the middle of the runway, while music mixed carnival drums played Donna Lewis’ “I Love You Always Forever. The color palette included white, which dominated in early looks, but then, it turned into camel brown, gray for men and pastel hues for women. Sculptural coats were the main draw—my favorite was a trench coat made out of crocodile leather in scarlet red combined with off-white boots and camel and black bags in different sizes. Without a doubt, one of the stronger styling trends we’ve seen was the use of double bags; once more, models walked down the runway with two bags in many of the looks. More leather came up in shirts, trousers, and men’s coats, while it could also be seen in women’s tops, skirts, and a moss green dress with big volumes by the hips. The men’s apparel also included many square suits with big lapels, while for women, dresses came in vaporous fabrics and multilayered skirts that provided a beautiful movement to the walk. Some of the leather designs were also adorned with feathers. As for the footwear, high boots covered almost all of the legs, and they were seen in chocolate brown, red, beige and green, while low shoes stood out due to their pointed design.
Giuliano Calza presented his collection for GCDS at Palazzo del Ghiaccio. The starting point for this collection was the designer’s cat, Kittho, who inspired a round bag with the cat’s face and chokers that looked like pets’ leashes. Kittho was also the protagonist of a gigantic installation created by Fratelli Cinquini Scenogragie’s masters, which acted as the runway’s backdrop. Among the fabulous celebrities sitting front row were Dua Lipa, who showed up in a long sheer lace dress with a low back, as well as Bella Thorne and Emma Marrone. In addition, Nathy Peluso and J Balvin caught every photographer’s eye. The guests sat around the runway in mismatched chairs and sofas as they watched the show begin with a leather uniform inspired by pilots, combined with an elegant tie, a shirt, a mini skirt and a leather jacket. Suits with zippers and suede jackets in vibrant yellow hues followed, while knitwear was combined with leather jackets matched with teddy dresses with angular shoulders. My favorite one was a sleeveless dress with a zebra print in yellow and black, combined with a long yellow coat. Classic leather jackets were teamed with short dress pants, including one paired with a long leather skirt with a front zipper. Accessories were very flashy; in particular, a handbag in the shape of an old telephone. As for shoes, we saw loafers with studs and knee-high metallic boots, alongside other variations that replaced high heels with animal teeth.