Expect the unexpected. A lesson to be learned from designers in Milan this season as they focused on updating timeless staples with surreal silhouettes, textural fabrics, and handcrafted details. Adapting their offerings for the next generation, brands like Bottega Veneta, Prada, and Versace found ways to appeal to the modern consumer without losing their established identities.

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Twisted Tailoring

Bottega Veneta | Jil Sander | Prada | No 21

“We really wanted to focus on sculptural tailoring, almost couture-like,” said Lucie Meier of Jil Sander’s latest collection. Opening with a wool skirt suit, its jacket sculpted with an hourglass volume, the collection did just that. Other designers in Milan also focused on tailoring this season, adding unexpected elements for a somewhat surreal take on tradition. At Bottega Veneta, models sported curved coats and whimsical platform heels in fur and woven leather. Prada featured tailored coats decorated with rings of faux fur and feathers.

Unsettled Escape

Sunnei | Etro | Marni | Brunello Cucinelli

“Where do we go after? Where are we bound, beyond what binds us to each other?” Francesco Risso wrote about his Fall 2022 collection for Marni. The deliberately incohesive collection combined shearling coats with printed pantsuits and overdyed dresses. With handmade crowns and headwraps decorating their heads, models emerged from a dark runway into a sunlit Alice in Wonderland tea party where they ate, laughed, and conversed in the clothing–representing what could be Risso’s prediction for the future as we all strive to find the light in a time of darkness. Veronica Etro imagined aliens coming across her brand’s archive and drew inspiration from their imagined perspective in a collection–called Etro Remix–fit for the next generation.

Not As It Seems

MFW Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta

Leather was the star of Matthieu Blazy’s first show for Bottega Veneta as creative director. The collection’s very first look makes the audience do a double take, appearing as a classic white tank top and blue jeans, but created entirely of leather. In a way, this reliance upon leather was a return to the brand’s roots as a leather good company, but also represented an interesting direction forward for the brand–telling us to expect the unexpected for Blazy’s future at Bottega.

Couture Knits

Ports 1961 | Brunello Cucinelli | GCDS | Gucci

Designers in Milan brought knitwear to the forefront this season in elevated and unexpected ways. Brunello Cucinelli’s collection experimented with elaborate mixed-media techniques to achieve what the designers called “couture knits”–open-work textures, delicately inlaid with luminous beads or sequins. At Ports 1961, Karl Templer created graphic marinière knits and Arans built up with undulations of ruffles.

Fur Forward

Fendi | Gucci | Sportmax | Versace

Fur was everywhere in Milan, from coats to trims to bags. At Fendi, models sported luxe fur coats and oversized fur clutches. Searches for fur bags–also appearing at Blumarine, Dsquared2, and Max Mara–are currently experiencing accelerated growth, +29% to last year. Sportmax presented pink fur coats layered over revealing corsets and leather pants, and paired with fur adorned heels. Gucci styled a mustard fur coat over lingerie, while Versace’s patterned fur coat offered a new interpretation of the seasonal staple.

Don’t miss out on a more in depth analysis of MFW, including trending colors, materials, key items, accessories, beauty looks, and more.

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