Could it have been more apt that the invite to the city’s first big show – Gucci’s – would include an image of a clothing label stitched with the words Faconnier de Reves, Italian for dream maker? For the seven days that the bustling design centre in northern Italy played host to the world’s fashion press and VIPs mid-February, it certainly seemed like it.
Cue the mega celebrity wattage – or, more specifically, K-celebrity wattage. Prada’s special guest was Blackpink’s wildly popular Lisa Manoban. Song Hye Kyo made a surprise appearance at every street style star’s new favourite label Bottega Veneta while Hwang Min-hyun of the boy band Nu’est rubbed shoulders with Will Smith at Moncler’s reveal of its 12 drops for the year under its Genius initiative. (Introduced in 2018, Genius sees the skiwear specialist team up with various names on capsule
collections with JW Anderson and Rimowa joining the line-up for the first time in 2020.)
Then of course there was the glamour on the runway, albeit a Gen Z strain of it. By that, we mean plenty of made-for-Instagram moments. (Cue Versace’s first co-ed show where the audience was as much in the spotlight as the chainmail and leather-clad models, thanks to an LED screen that ran down the middle of the catwalk and captured guests pre- and post-show.) Social consciousness was also a key theme with Fendi using an age- and size-diverse cast to parade sensuous, ’40s-inflected tailoring and Emporio Armani flashing messages about sustainability on screens as models – dressed in romantic, Victorian-tinged suits – walked by.
So what did Gucci show? True to creative director Alessandro Michele’s fantastic eye: a pastiche of influences spanning grunge to prairie all set on a giant carousel that doubled up as the dressing area, exposing all the goings-on behind-the-scenes. The city today is a far different sight and needs very much a dream maker. Say what you will, but fashion can be a part of that answer.