You’d be forgiven if all you can remember of Milan fashion week is the image of Jennifer Lopez in that green jungle print Versace dress. After all, it was a viral moment that gave the week’s proceedings its rousing crescendo; a textbook example of how fashion can harness the power of social media in today’s digital-driven landscape to create buzz, if you will.
Beyond those Instagram clips of J.Lo powering down the Versace catwalk, however, Milan had plenty to offer. From Alessandro Michele stripping away the layers at Gucci to Prada’s pared-back showing, here are some of our favourite stories to emerge from the Italian city:
Milan’s New Guards Solidified Their Standing
Daniel Lee is undoubtedly fashion’s man of the hour. His remake of Bottega Veneta has earned him plenty of praise from all corners of the industry. Plus, the fact that he has launched some of the market’s most sought-after accessories certainly helped his cause. For spring/summer 2020—his second for the Italian leather goods powerhouse—Lee covered more ground by rolling out a collection that comprised slick knits, languid outerwear and variations of the covetable accessories he’s now famous for.
But Lee isn’t the only one in the Italian fashion capital who has done a solid job of revitalising the brands under their charge—Marni’s Francesco Risso and Jil Sander’s Luke and Lucie Meier efforts also come to mind. Since taking over the helm in 2017, Risso has continued to emphasise the whimsical and irreverent aesthetic of the House with collections brimming with colour, patterns and textures. Spring/summer 2020 was no different, with Risso rendering graphic florals and jolts of electric colours across voluminous smock dresses and skirts.
At Jil Sander, meanwhile, the Meiers has instilled a dignified and poetic elegance to the minimalist leanings the brand is known for. The upcoming season saw them interpret raffia as if they were light-as-air feathers, applying them to the necklines and hems of sharply tailored ensembles.
Gucci’s Alessandro Michele Starts Afresh…
…well, almost. The designer reportedly told fashion scribes during a post-show conference that he’s always seeking out ways to do things differently. And it was this quest for newness which led him to create a spring/summer 2020 collection stripped of all the maximalist excess he has injected into Gucci. Make no mistake: Michele’s brand of quirkiness and eccentricity were in resplendent effect. In place of all the embellishments, however, were long and lean silhouettes and a deft lightness complemented with bold strokes of colours.
From Fendi to Moschino, Salvatore Ferragamo to Tod’s, designers and brands alike examined their DNA with renewed focus to craft collections that pointed the way forward. At Prada, for example, headmistress Miuccia Prada took a deep dive into the brand’s very core and emerged with a collection that was about “the power of women over clothing”. Inside the cavernous space of the Fondazione Prada, the celebrated designer offered a wardrobe imbued with a distinct classicism and timelessness.
At Fendi, Silvia Venturini Fendi alluded to the brilliance of the Italian sunrise with an outing that comprised exuberant florals and sun-drenched shades of honey, peach and chocolate. It was apt she saw the beauty in those precious moments when the sun’s rays lit everything in its path—spring/summer 2020 is the first ready-to-wear collection she’s designed for the Roman luxury behemoth in the absence of her longtime collaborator, Karl Lagerfeld.