Crowd Surfing, Condoms, Tom Ford Throwbacks: Inside Milan Fashion Week
Another week of Milan shows have wrapped, where we saw the sophomore runway outings of Maximilian Davis at Ferragamo, Rhuigi Villaseñor at Bally, Marco de Vincenzo at Etro and Filippo Grazioli at Missoni, each designer crystalizing their vision for their respective heritage houses. Gucci's show was designed by an in-house team as we await the new designer's debut in September. And Versace won't show until March in Los Angeles just before the Oscars. Below, a recap of the biggest standouts of Milan Fashion Week.
Courtesy of Avavav
Designer Beate Karlsson has been using her Avavav shows as commentary on fashion and its relationship with wealth, fakeness and failure. After last season's stunt, where models stumbled and fell down the runway on purpose, her sophomore Milan runway outing has the clothes literally tearing and coming apart the model's body as a commentary on fashion's seriousness and ideas around bad quality and shame.
"It’s a way of showing authenticity and strength," Karlsson says. "I wanted to create a moment of embarrassment and shame to see if it can coexist with, or even generate luxury."
Courtesy of Bottega Veneta/ Stephane Feugere
BTS' leader RM made a surprise front row appearance at the Bottega Veneta show, sitting next to Kelela in an understated look from the brand's Spring 2023 show. Could he be the Italian label's next brand ambassador from the K-pop group as its members continue to go solo? (Dior, Louis Vuitton and Valentino have each signed on Jimin, J-Hope and Suga, respectively.)
Courtesy of Sunnei
Sunnei sure loves a good ol' fashion stunt. After having twins walk its last show (where one sibling came out from the audience with the other emerging from backstage), the brand had it models (who were its employees) walk an elevated platform runway, turn their back and drop into the audience concert-style as they crowd-surfed away.
The show notes said of the performance: "Each season, the aim is to forge an interaction between [Sunnei designers] Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo, guests, models and location."
Courtesy of Gucci
With its new creative director not presenting her first collection until September, Gucci's Fall 2023 was entrusted to their in-house studio team. This season they sent out looks inspired by several chapters of the brand's history, with plenty of Tom Ford-isms and a few of Alessandro Michele's codes mixed in between. Speaking of Tom Ford, the horsebit handbags he introduced for the brand in 2003 got the oversized update here in bold colors with curvy corners. Some styles also come with built-in gloves for your fingers.
While a lot of the attention at the GCDS show was directed at VIPs like Dua Lipa (and Bella Thorne, and Dixie D'Amelio, and Aron Piper), the accessories Guiliano Calza showed on the runway deserved just as much buzz. There were metallic chrome boots, bags with telephone-shaped handles and cat-shaped crystal balls. But the standouts by far were the heel-less platform shoes, including one in the shape of a paw with claws sticking out.
"The collection relies on the face-off of the sweet and the darkly seductive, with accessories blowing the claws of domestic felines to human proportions, turning them into sensual weapons," the show notes said of the shows. Purr!
Courtesy of Diesel
The show invite to Diesel's Fall 2023 show featured a co-branded condom with Durex, hinting at a possible collab to come, and sure enough, the set featured a giant pile of boxed condoms in the middle of the space — 200,000 to be exact. (Some of the looks on the runway also featured Durex logos.)
The brand said an additional 300,000 Durex condoms would be handed out for free in April in Diesel stores globally. “Sex positivity is something amazingm" Dieswel's Glenn Martens said. "We like to play at Diesel, and we are serious about it. Have fun, respect each other, be safe. For Sucsexful Living!”
Photo via Getty
Japanese wunderkind Tomo Koizumi, known for his exaggerated tulle confections, made his Milan Fashion Week debut with a collection that showed off his knack for manipulating tulle into colorful, couture gowns. Koizumi is the latest emerging designer to show at Milan thanks to Dolce & Gabbana's program, following past names like Miss Sohee and Matty Bovan. He even used some of the brand's fabrics from past Alta Moda collections and reworked them into his signature tulle looks.