Milan Fashion Week AW22 – Round-Up
MFW returned with some big debuts and amazing collections
Milan Fashion Week was back in (almost) full force, with most designers opting for physical shows – but still with a strong sense of digital as we start to cement the new normal. The shows and the collections themselves seemed to embody a different, energetic vibrancy as fashion looks to embrace what’s come. The boxy fit was a strand that ran through a lot of collections; if you can see the back of your hand when you put your arm through the sleeve this winter, then you’re probably very tall. But this is Milan we’re talking about, so nothing is going to be hanging off you. It’s structured, considered and beautiful. Of course.
These are some of the highlights from MFW AW 22:
1. BOTTEGA VENETA
Bottega Veneta begins a new chapter with Matthieu Blazy in the creative director’s chair for the first time for AW22. And, it would be fair to say, there were few people who didn’t want to see this debut; perhaps the biggest of the season. As with a number of collections this for the autumn months, it was the illustrious past that was informing the exciting future for Blazy. That excitement came with unique silhouettes, like the yellow pant suit with the cropped hems with wide turn-ups, and the delicious curve on the back of the jacket all the way up to the popped collar. Of course, the leather goods tell the stories of heritage. Yet, the rope bags slung over the shoulder with the thick signature Intrecciato weave feels like the beginning of something fresh and new.
For Kim Jones at Fendi, the recent past has been the key to the immediate future with his AW22 collection. The great Karl Lagerfeld’s SS86 collection for Fendi and the AW2000 collection both get conceptually sewn together for something completely new, for something that hits both the nostalgia spots and the new discovery centres in equal, happy measure. Tailoring with interesting cuts and showing acreages of leg recalled ’86, while barely there sheer dresses adorned with delicate ruffles and chain link prints favoured the turn of the century. Everything held perfectly in balance through Jones’ keen eye for contemporary design. As the man himself said, “The best way to explore the Fendi archives is through the Fendi wardrobes.”
3. GIORGIO ARMANI
In respect of those affected by the evolving tragedy in Ukraine, designer Giorgio Armani opened the AW22 show with a statement detailing his decision to not use any music to show the new collection, Signs of Light. However, as a result, a softness and stillness conveyed through the surroundings mirrored the silhouettes in unexpected ways. “I think the clothes became even more powerful through the silence,” said Armani. The location was a small, intimate theatre that encapsulated the aura: the inside of a jewellery box. The focus was on softness, fluidity and movement – signatures that identify Armani like a fingerprint. Lestine Manduakila.
Jeremy Scott took us back to the classics for the new Moschino AW22 show, with almost every look incorporating an element of a traditional grand home. It was the ultimate transition from Work From Home to Wear Your Home. The collection took inspiration from the cutlery brooches of the late 80s and early 90s, introduced by Franco Moschino’s ready-to-wear. Representations of chandeliers, silverware and antique furniture were worn as garment details and as accessories, while musical instruments, a vase and a velvet settee were improvised for elegant gowns. Even the ‘catwalk’ was more like a stately drawing room, with models criss-crossing to each corner to play for the camera (it’s been a while since we saw that). And then came Scott in a bright red full astronaut suit. And, if you were trying to make sense of it, you didn’t know Jeremy Scott. Ebonee Emani.
It feels like a long time since Alessandro Michele brought Gucci to a catwalk. But, the AW22 collection was a welcome return to the calendar. The show took place against the backdrop of a wall of warped mirrors that seemed designed not to reflect, but transform, enhance and sometimes distort what we think we’re seeing. In real time, we could see the creative vision that has made Michele the designer he is. Daring colour contrasts, familiar tones, experimental cuts, beautiful construction – there’s a lot to indulge in from Gucci this winter. Perhaps most eye-catching of all is the tailoring hybrid collaboration with adidas. The classic Trefoil logo combined with the Gucci branding as a badge on the breast pocket of sports blazers is a trend in the making.
As soon as you saw the skin-tight, deep red latex leggings and the spike-heeled boots, you knew who Versace’s woman was going to be for AW22. Strident, confident, powerful, unapologetic. There’s a confidence that’s prerequisite for the looks based on the famous Atelier Versace bustier throughout the collection. Silhouettes are generous here as well, with imposing shoulders teamed with miniskirts for intriguing contrasts. When the colours came they were in take-your-breath-away moments, as with the oversized Scarlett red puffer coat with the inviting large puff collar. The Versace tweeds came in an array of colour combinations and young cuts – with hems and edges frayed to reinforce the sense of energy present the collection. As Donatella herself put it, “The looks built on contrast and tension – like an elastic band pulled tight and about to snap back with a build-up of energy. That feeling is just irresistible to me.”
Alfredo Cortese was another designer making his debut at Milan Fashion Week with the new AW22 collection for AC9, MARZO 2010. The title refers to the date Cortese first arrived in Milan to follow his design dreams. Twelve years later, the world has the opportunity to discover what those in fashion have known about for years. The young, disruptive aesthetic that sets the brand apart from other Italian designers is seen in looks like the oversized, off-the-shoulder faux fur sweater – familiar yet compelling in its execution. The long lemon-yellow boots perfectly off-setting the wildlife green of the sweater. Elsewhere, the beautiful knit dresses with raw edges and a multitude of hanging ribbed trims tells the story of the confused energy the designer felt when he first hit Milan.
8. PORTS 1961
Transcending boundaries for AW22, artistic director Karl Templer presented the new PORTS 1961 collection after being “inspired by a new era of self-expression and a subverted take on traditional dressing codes”. In awe of Irreverence: a way of looking at familiar things in unfamiliar ways, breaking rules and disrupting tradition. Templer used the creative process to indulge in a type of sampling technique; taking ideas from a shared collective memory, transforming them and putting them back together in new, innovative ways. Subverted classics in this new collection represented the contrast and similarities of the past and present. It’s evident the younger generation were his muses for the coming winter and, with the looks on display, they are set to repay his faith. Lestine Manduakila.
Who doesn’t love Prada’s near-architectural approach to fashion tailoring? The AW22 collection again leaned into that story with sculptural pieces that balanced on the razor’s edge between evening wear approach and tailored construction. Muted colours gave way to intriguing shapes and silhouettes that were always sized to be just the right side of generous. Along with the overlong sleeves, embroidery was another recurring theme to the collection. Seen on a variety of metallic mesh skirts, the colours captured the eye in response to the movement on the catwalk. AW22 continues Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ compelling dual exploration of life and creativity through fashion.
We’ve now entered the universe of creative director Glenn Martens for Diesel’s first runway show for AW22. The collection itself was divided into four chapters: denim, pop, artisanal and utility. Experimenting with a new playful and rebellious approach to denim, giant hyperreal sculptures dotted around the winding catwalk were also ‘dressed’ in the collection and set the stage for what was to come. Logo emblazoned sports belts were worn as miniskirts and oversized coats and jacket were covered in shredded denim mimicking faux fur. Vivid colours, metallic sheens, hip-high boots and overwhelming silhouettes – young, fun and yet, deliciously disruptive. It’s Glenn Martens’ Diesel now. Ebonee Emani.
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To see our last round up for Milan Fashion Week SS22, click here