A dash of sex and a lot of reality at Milan Fashion Week

When Diesel designer Glenn Martens opened Milan Fashion Week last Wednesday amidst a mountain of 200,000 Durex condoms bearing the Diesel logo, the stage seemed set for an revealing and sensual Milan Fashion Week. . But instead, most designers in the Italian metropolis exercised restraint. This season, the most extroverted of fashion cities has become a hotbed of pragmatism, reality and usability – albeit with a hint of sex.

While last season was marked by designer debuts and new orientations, many brands used Fall/Winter 2023 to focus on the essentials: everyday wearables.

The concept itself should come as no surprise, but amidst the TikTok trends and media spectacles of recent years — a spray-on dress at Coperni and couture lions at Schiaparelli — “ordinary” clothing almost feels like a revolution.

Modest fashion in times of inflation

“For me, the most important thing now is to make sense of the modest, to value simple and humble professions and not just extreme beauty or glamour,” Miuccia Prada told media representatives after Prada’s fashion show on Thursday, which coincided with the anniversary. of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Since the war began, the world has changed remarkably, and fashion has also been affected by inflation and the unpredictable economic and political situation. Now the situation seems to be shaping the runways and future storefronts, too, because in uncertain times, few people seem to want to flaunt their disposable income on their own bodies — at least that’s the theory of Prada and co-designer Raf Simons.

Prada AW23. Image: Spotlight Launchmetrics

Visually, the desire for modesty and restraint was expressed in uniforms of all kinds – military jackets became modern parkas, dresses resembled nurses’ work clothes, and wedding dresses became everyday wear in the form of white skirts – minis and flared , ankle-length A-lines – with floral appliqués. Less inspired by uniforms than a standard office uniform, the design duo also offered in the form of suits and blazers with detachable oversized collars that already caused a stir in the brand’s menswear show. They were accompanied by simple crewneck jumpers in camel and anthracite.

Fendi designer Kim Jones also created “real clothes” for his autumn/winter 2023 collection. For this, the designer was inspired by an equally “real” woman, Fendi’s daughter Delfina Delettrez Fendi. inspired Jones especially in the choice of colors – blue and brown – and the “deconstruction of feminine sophistication” with a touch of fetishism and punk, said parent company LVMH. with asymmetrical cutouts, dresses and silk lingerie and skirts reminiscent of school uniforms over suit pants. The collection is both simple and sophisticated, reflecting the type of woman that Fendi represents under Jones’ direction. “This is about real clothes: the Italian, sophisticated woman you know is going global,” Jones told Vogue.

Fendi AW23. Image: Spotlight Launchmetrics

At Max Mara, the focus was not just on the famous camel-colored coat, but also on the woman who wore it. In search of modernity, Max Mara designer Ian Griffiths traveled to the 18th century and was inspired by French philosopher Émilie du Châtelet, Max Mara said on Monday. The resulting “Camelocracy” collection consisted mostly of warm-toned knits. Historical references can be discovered above all in the style. Elbow-length gloves — both knit and leather — found a shoulder strap incorporated into dresses, which Griffiths said was a “style trick” of soldiers in the military. After the autumn/winter 2023 show, the designer told the British newspaper The Guardian that his collection “shows the beauty of the wearer and is designed with the comfort and convenience of the wearer in mind”.

Max Mara AW23. Image: Spotlight Launchmetrics

All good things come in threes and Matthieu Blazy’s third collection for Bottega Veneta is proof that familiar, wearable fashion is not synonymous with anything spectacular or even boring. The starting point for autumn/winter 2023 was the street, a place where people of all kinds and from all walks of life meet. The 81 looks were as diverse as the inspiration. From loungewear looks with knitted leather socks, to oversized wool jumpsuits as dresses and leather jeans with a tank top, to elaborate evening gowns, Blazy has come up with a collection for every situation in life.

Bottega Veneta AW23. Image: Spotlight Launchmetrics

Reality meets excess – sex is still a blockbuster

The unusually subdued mood for Milan may have something to do with Versace’s absence. The Italian luxury brand led by stylist Donatella Versace will present its AW23 collection on March 10, two days before the Oscars in Los Angeles, where some women are sure to fall back on the brand’s sensual designs. But even if realism and pragmatism set the tone in Milan, excess and sex – even without Versace – are by no means forgotten.

Diesel opted for sex positivity, not only with the Instagram-worthy mountain of condoms, but also with a collection that lived up to Diesel’s modified tagline “For Sucsexful Living.” Never have models in head-to-toe denim been less dressed and covered at the same time. Y2K, including low-waisted hipsters with sheer cutouts and see-through tops, dominated the red runway. Added to this are dresses with crystal piping and frayed jeans in the form of jackets, trousers, long skirts – a trend that was also reflected in transparent and “torn” dresses made of silk.

Diesel AW23. Image: Spotlight Launchmetrics

Elsewhere, Blumarine, under the creative direction of Nicola Brognano, has continued to focus on ultra-miniskirts, fitted dresses and crop tops that will find particular favor on TikTok and Instagram. Brognano remains true to himself, his vision for Blumarine and his clients, while many designers this season – on the runway at least – seem to be focusing again on a more adult target audience, away from Gen Z.

Blumarine AW23. Image: Spotlight Launchmetrics

Gucci, on the other hand – still lacking creative director Sabato De Sarno – is somewhere in the middle. The collection, created by the house’s design team, was practical, maximalist and sexy at the same time. It had a little bit of everything, mini bras made of crystals, heart-shaped faux fur collars on the jackets, fitted black dresses, oversized pantsuits that wouldn’t look out of place in any office, and simple button-down boyfriend jeans. bottom shirts. Many looks recalled Tom Ford’s era as creative director of the Florentine fashion house, a horse-bite bag from his era was also revived, and yet no concrete direction was apparent.

Gucci AW23. Image: Spotlight Launchmetrics

Sensitive or sexy, it will be De Sarno’s job to decide when he takes the reins at Gucci.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.DE. Translation and editing by: Rachel Douglass.

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