The last time press and buyers descended upon Italy's fashion capital, COVID-19 was slowly rearing its head as it spread throughout the region, causing brands like Giorgio Armani to hold a digital show with no guests. But this past week it was pretty much business as usual, with the typical hordes of fans crowding show entrances, street style photographers on every corner and fashion parties every night. While brands Bottega Veneta and Gucci continue to skip out on MFW, mainstays like Prada, Fendi and Versace were the big draws for international guests. From Roberto Cavalli to Blumarine, here's what went down at Milan Fashion Week this season.
Womenswear creative director of Moncler 1952, Veronica Leoni, debuted her solo endeavor. The brand, Quira, presented a variety of silhouettes for SS22— tailored blazers, fluid draping blouses, slips skirts and loose dresses, knits with elongated collars and sleeves, and more. Leoni used textures and patterns of wool, extra light mohair, gingham tweed, and military cotton to round out the militant classics collection.
Boss and Russell Athletic's Baseball-Themed Game Day
It was game day in Milan as Boss took over a baseball field complete with a cheering squad, dancers, mascots, marching band and lots of delicious treats for their second collaboration with Russell Athletic. Model heavyweights like Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid and Joan Smalls emerged in the collection's co-branded sportswear, hoodies, tracksuits and blazers.
Dsquared2's Fairytale Grunge
Shredded sequined jeans, distressed tees with "Boy Bitch" slogans, sheer tunics and oversized cardigans? "Fairytale Grunge," the title of Dsquared2's SS22 collection, could not be more fitting. The cool street vibes were offset by sweet touches like butterfly wings and dainty florals, but still had that signature Dsquared2 fierce attitude. Dean and Dan Caten didn't hold a live runway show this season but there was no need — the clothes spoke for themselves and made one of the biggest statements in Milan.
It was supposed to be a surprise on the final day of Milan Fashion Week, but reports surfaced earlier in the week that Versace and Fendi would hold a dual fashion show to present their new co-branded collection. The show was just that, divided into two parts: the "Fendi" portion was designed by Donatella Versace, while the "Versace" portion was overseen by Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini-Fendi. Each of them interpreted the other house's archives and signatures, which resulted in a cross-pollination of logos and prints. Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid, Shalom Harlow, Kate Moss and more supermodels made an appearance on the runway in front of the likes of Addison Rae and Niall Horan.
Gucci Launches Vault, a New Online Concept Store
Courtesy of Gucci
Gucci might have stepped away from the Milan fashion show schedule, but that didn't mean they disappeared from the week entirely. On Saturday, the brand took over the Pizza Sempione to stage an IRL replica of their new online concept store called Vault, which is described as a "a time machine, an archive, a library, a laboratory, and a meeting place" with items released at regular intervals throughout the year. In addition to a selection of vintage pieces, there's also pieces from emerging designers like Ahluwalia, Shanel Campbell, Stefan Cooke, Charles de Vilmorin, JORDANLUCA, Rave Review, Boramy Viguier and Rui Zhou.
MM6 Maison Margiela: La Belle Aurore
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MM6 Maison Margiela took over a Milan cafe for their Spring 2022 runway show complete with boxed meals and aperitifs atop tables in white linens wrapped around the corner. The models, dressed in graphic chessboard-printed suits, protruding ruffled collars, furry footwear and giant bags, evoked a giddy and joyful whimsy. It was a celebration of the return to what many of us missed most during lockdown: eating out, socializing, city life.
The playful mood can be traced to surrealist women artists like Claude Cahun and Leonora Carrington, who inspired the collection. Each season there's usually a collaboration somewhere in the lineup, and Spring was no exception: the brand once again teamed up with Eastpak on the accessories, which included faux fur wheeled luggage and an oversized shoulder version of a flat wallet.
Blumarine's Y2K Butterfly Girls March On for Spring 2022
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The Y2K fashion trend has been rearing its head for a few years now, but Blumarine's Nicola Brognano can be credited with helping to really accelerate its resurgence on the runway. Since his Fall 2021 outing took social media by storm (thanks to some clever, kitsch styling by Lotta Volkova), Brognano has turned the world's love for Mariah, Britney and Christina into fashion catnip with some camp-y, early 2000's references that look anything but dated. The butterfly motifs, glitter-covered models, low-slung jeans, shorts that barely cover anything and bikini tops that hang on to dear life have never felt more of-the-moment.
Roberto Cavalli Makes Runway Debut Under Fausto Puglisi
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Jaime Xie and Daniela Santiago have each had some major fashion moments with Roberto Cavalli. Xie's billow-y leopard number from the brand turned heads at the Cannes red carpet, while Santiago (of Veneno fame) starred in its first campaign under designer Fausto Puglisi. Both ladies were in attendance at his debut runway show for the storied Italian house, known for its sexy, glamazon aesthetic.
Puglisi did not stray away from the bold animal prints and motifs he introduced for his first collection, with tiger and zebra stripes decorating everything from ball gowns to slinky cutout dresses. But he also explored some softer elements like watercolor-hued prints and light florals on ladylike dresses. Meanwhile, a reinterpretation of a body-hugging tiger dress from its landmark Fall 2000 collection (made famous by Cindy Crawford) was an homage to the brand's past while looking head on to the future.
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