The 5 best shows of Milan Fashion Week

Milan Fashion Week between statements and unexpected events, recounted through five brands

Perhaps it will be remembered as "Coronavirus Fashion Week", which began with the usual mix of mundane events and ended with closed-door runway shows. What we know for sure, is that the autumn-winter 2020/2021 ready-to-wear collections were presented

The third edition of Moncler Genius was presented with great success; the brand welcomed to its already rich design collective the great JW Anderson. Bottega Veneta re-entered the Olympus of fashion by becoming a contemporary landmark: inspired by brutalism, artistic director Daniel Lee transformed rigorous, geometric lines into elegant minimalism on the occasion of the men's fashion show. Prada brought a radical and feminine elegance to the catwalk and, when the fashion week was almost over, surprised everyone with an announcement that fashion insiders had been expecting for quite some time: in April, Raf Simons will join Prada as co-creative director.

The whole week's constant seems to have been "the surprise effect": Alessandro Michele amazed us by turning the runway "inside-out" and Donatella mixed things up, making men and women parade together for the first time in Versace's history.

Even though everyone was expecting a grand finale, the marvellous atmosphere of the catwalk was prematurely spoiled: the fashion world, caught between frantic races, fast changes of look, photographs and interviews, also had to face the challenge represented by the outburst of the Covid-19 in Italy, so much so that Giorgio Armani was forced to hold his fashion show behind closed doors as a precautionary measure; Moncler Genius also cancelled the Public Opening of Moncler Genius in Via Molise, and Laura Biagiotti preferred to hold the fashion show behind closed doors and make insiders participate via streaming.

Moncler Genius

Moncler, Craig Green, Fashion Week Milano 2020/21

The brand inaugurated its third edition of Moncler Genius: twelve designers for twelve different installations, working together to create an experience that explores the boundaries of fashion. Moncler opens up to new possibilities; from the collaboration with Rimowa, they created a suitcase fitted with an LED screen that works through an app; and by joining the forces with the Danish brand Mate Bike they designed new innovative bikes.

On the occasion of the event, the former slaughterhouse in via Molise welcomed about 4000 guests: the atmosphere was turned upside down and completely transformed, the guests entered an experimental and sensorial dimension. The designers united by the slogan "One House, Different Voices" combine experimentation, eclecticism and creativity with the intent to overcome any convention in a dynamic and surprising project.

Jonathan Anderson, who recently joined the creative workshop of Moncler, made his debut with a collection inspired by an innovative aesthetic; through studs, color contrasts and chains, the designer reinterpreted pure abstraction. Craig Green, on the other hand, designed contemporary armours that alternate two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality; Richard Quinn revisited the "space mood" of the 60s. Simone Rocha got his inspiration from dance and quoted Fellini, in a romantic context decorated with embroidery, embossing, tulle and ethereal fabrics. Sandro Mandrino personalized the new white puffer jacket with graffiti. Veronica Leoni redefined outerwear in a singular imaginary: an army of women looking for a lost paradise.

Prada

Prada, Fashion Week Milano 2020/21

Prada's minimalism has always represented a victory for Italian fashion: at Prada, expression and effectiveness, volume and body, aesthetics and practicality coexist.

Miuccia Prada brings a pure and genuine femininity to this year’s MFW. The fashion house isn't lacking iconic pieces; the black nylon, the decorated coats, delicate transparencies, fringe skirts that uncover the legs at every step, the Linea Rossa shirts and the austere suits; they don't represent the armour, but the extension of a strong and courageous character. In such a glamourous way.

Gucci

Gucci, Fashion Week Milano 2020/21

"Hi, how are you, everything okay? I was thinking that if you were in Milan next Wednesday, it would be great if you came to the Gucci Hub for the fashion show. Let me know. Kisses." That's how Alessandro Michele, Gucci's creative director, surprised everyone: with a Whatsapp Voice Note.

The brand has long since become part of a forward-looking scenario. Michele tells us about "A liturgical action that suspends the ordinary, loading it with an excess of intensity. A procession of epiphanies and expanded thoughts that settle into a different partition of the sensible."

But from the very start of the fashion show, you understand that the main goal is to surprise: we can see the behind-the-scenes action of the hair and makeup teams defining the last details before the show begins; a tribute to the history, dedication and work that distinguish the brand's philosophy.

The lights fade and in the darkness, you can hear Federico Fellini's voice: "cinema that was just that, it was hypnotic, ritualistic suggestion, that is something religious. Everybody queued for all the ritual processions… Then the lights dim, the cinema screen turns on and the revelation begins. The message. An ancient ritual same as it ever was: you are there to listen". Michele, to the tune of Ravel's “Boléro”, shows the formulas and rule complex that regulate the development of a sacred action, between flounces, lace velvets and tricot.

 

Versace

Versace, Fashion Week Milano 2020/21

Versace "exhibits" equality and parity: "Who are the man and woman today? I chose to present the men’s and women’s collections together on the catwalk to emphasize how much their strength is equivalent" says Donatella Versace. For the first time, the fashion house makes men and women parade together. The garments are pure expression and take their distance from radical thinking, underlining the importance of free interpretation. Man or woman has no relevance, the emphasis is on the being, the focus is on feeling the dress without worrying about which faction to join.

A statement that in an age of opposition becomes a spokesman for unity and optimism. In a game of volumes through structured dresses and oversized jackets, mixed with tailored cuts and sportswear hints, Versace supports equal opportunities. Both sexes are enveloped in "whispered and never shouted sensuality" in a 70's revival, with a retro and sometimes disruptive taste.

Moschino

Moschino, Fashion Week Milano 2020/21

The party's at the palace! Moschino's flair proposes a loose reinterpretation of the eighteenth-century rooms, and immediately we find ourselves in Versailles. On the other hand, the creative director Jeremy Scott, as well as the residence wanted by the Sun King, represents the personification of magnificence and extravagance. The character of reference is Marie Antoinette, not so much the historical character as the one we know through the direction of Sofia Coppola: whimsical, eccentric and singular. The models are dressed up "to great effect"; between cheeky and impertinent smiles, the keywords are Dare and Wear.

Vain and brave women walk on the catwalk with pride and confidence, wearing clothes that certainly cannot pass unnoticed. They look like they came out of a manga, with impressive hairstyles and noteworthy accessories, such as the handbag in the shape of a cake box, the crunchy "baguette bag" under the arm and large mirrors to please even the vainest ones. The dresses are decorated like cakes, rich pastel-coloured glazes, cream curls and layers of sponge cake are transformed into fabrics and embroideries.

As always, Jeremy Scott leaves us breathless and boldly transforms Marie Antoinette into a pompous pop icon envied by all the court ladies.

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