Fendi, Gucci, Prada, so many vowels, so many good looks to choose from. BAZAAR does the hard work for you, distilling the shows down to their essence with 5 standout looks from each of the major collections. See what’s happening on the runways of Milan this week.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
For round three of Bottega Veneta‘s salon shows, following stops in London and Berlin, Daniel Lee showed up in the Motor City to showcase his latest—and many notable names followed him there. Mary J Blige, Lil Kim, Burna Boy, Kehlani, Selah Marley, Zazie Beetz, Slick Woods, and Sasha Lane were just some of the major players in attendance. Set to techno club music at the Michigan Building (a gilded former theatre), the runway was also star-studded, with Lourdes Leon (offspring of one Madonna) casually taking a stroll down the catwalk. The palette was mostly black and white with hits of orange and Bottega green (a color so synonymous with Lee’s Bottega it is now being referenced this way). The look is street sporty—think parkas and denim sets—against 90s influenced halter necks and sparkly little dresses and shirt and skirt sets. Bodycon, a look that was pervasive all season, also showed up on this runway on one shoulder and short dresses. In other words, these are ‘fits that are made to dance the night away to some techno beats.
If you find yourself in Detroit, Bottega’s reign isn’t ending with one runway show. The brand set up Bottega Firehouse on 1201 Bagley Street. It will be open until January and features a reading room by Asmaa Walton, design works by Chris Schanck and Aratani Fay, Underground Music Academy, Substudio textiles, Donut Shop furnishings, Hamtramck Ceramck ceramics, relief sculptures by Sophie Eisner and printed matter curated by Ruben Cardenas. –Kerry Pieri
Stop everything: the internet is officially broken and we are living in a parallel fashion universe. Donatella Versace, Kim Jones, and Silvia Venturini Fendi switched places tonight for an epic fashion event that was something far fresher than the industry’s collaborations of yore. Fendace, a 50-look Frankenstein collection comprised of Jones and Venturini Fendi’s riff on Versace and Donatella’s take on Fendi was conceived as a “celebration of Italian fashion and a to-hell-with-it disruption of the established order of things.” This merging of competitors, particularly two iconic houses not under the same ownership, just “isn’t done” in fashion —until now. Fendi, Versace, and Jones are friends and colleagues; and after a tough year, they crossed party lines to have a little fun. The creative directors invited one another into their family archives for inspiration and designed their take on the other’s DNA, honoring the work of Gianni Versace and Karl Lagerfeld in turn. Versace for Fendi melded the Fendi double F monogram with its own Grecian key motif, while Fendi and Jones’ take on Versace used the brand’s signature safety pins and sexiness with more of a punk rock edge. The event of Milan Fashion Week (which will no doubt be followed by an all-nighter after party) was, refreshingly, about fashion for style’s sake; “it’s about the need for sincerity in fashion today rather than strategy.” —Carrie Goldberg
Versace is all about new interpretations of signature codes, whether it be the new Grecian key motif, La Greca—launched last season—or the brand’s signature Medusa emblem. For Spring 2022, Versace began with its foulard, a silk scarf that can be worn as a headscarf, knotted top, constructed into a bustier dress, or worn freely as pajama-esque sets. How, you may wonder, does a simple silk scarf lead you to Dua Lipa, Emrata, Lourdes Leon, a neon color palette, and some of the sexiest looks of the season? That would be the magic of Donatella Versace. From Dua Lipa’s opening look of a slashed, tailored suit-cum-party dress to the prints, bold fluorescent shades, and all the way to the pop star’s hot pink, two-piece sequin set for the finale, Versace’s vision for Spring 2022 is part red carpet, part internet sensation and a great night out in Miami and Milan—all in one.—Carrie Goldberg
Most can spot a Pucci print from across the room—or the beach. That’s what the design team was musing on when they went back to the resort-forward way of thinking exemplified by founder Emilio Pucci for spring 2022. The spirit of kaleidoscopic beachwear goes hand in hand with a certain sort of bold freedom, especially when those signature swirls come embroidered. Also on the label’s mind? The iconic shape of the silk scarf, which has become so synonymous with Pucci for decades. We saw its core shape reappear in the form of halter neck cut-out dresses and maxi gowns constructed of wide swaths of flowing fabric. The difference between the Pucci of your mother’s closet and today however is a newly sharpened and structured impact that’s graphically intriguing. Patterned mini dresses may seem like they’re for maximalists only, but when they’re cut so cleanly, they have a wide appeal even for the print-averse minimalist. —Kristen Bateman
Quality, utilitarianism, and craftsmanship all come to mind immediately when thinking of Tod’s—but bold uses of color, platform loafers, and crop tops are a fresh take. The Spring 2022 collection wasn’t short of luxe, wearable pieces, but the lightness evoked by the bright, new elements were intended to evoke the world of sports and an airiness that’s intended to help us all forget the troubles of the past year (and counting) and look towards a brighter future. As for the accessories, sandals and sneakers were meant for pounding the pavement, although they had a chunkier, cool-kid energy. Boots and loaders came with a heftier, higher platform and sat in contrast to daintier kitten heels and the label’s signature asset: super-luxe handbags. —Carrie Goldberg
You know that saying, “He’s playing chess and they’re playing checkers?” The latest collection from MM6 Maison Margiela kind of does both. On the surface, it’s a checkerboard motif that takes literal riffs on pizzeria tablecloths, The Queens Gambit and the commedia dell’arte costumes of the Italian Renaissance. But look a few moves ahead, and the slouchy slacks, layered suiting, and high contrast color pops aren’t just here for a good time—they’re going to remain in your wardrobe for the long haul. As for the kooky spiderweb worn as a tank top? I mean… we’re knot mad about it. —Faran Krentcil
Well, that’s new! Missoni‘s latest show marks Alberto Caliri‘s design debut, and a true change of the guard. Gone are the stretchy zig-zag clings with long sleeves and maxi hems that covered everything except the wearer’s excellent taste. Now that same iconic fabric has been slashed and stretched into bodycon cut-outs, neo-Britney triangle tops, and a real reverence for underboob. Some fashion shakers wondered, for a female-power-and-ease brand like Missoni, what’s bare flesh got to do with it? Others (including our own Nikki Ogunnaike) loved the vixen vibes, and the idea that TikTok teens can covet the same textiles as their ’70s idols. (The DIY potential here is also off the charts, especially for all that Missoni x Target lurking on Depop just begging to be slashed and re-sewn.) Meanwhile, purists can skip ahead to the final looks: metallic maxi gowns for everyone. —Faran Krentcil
Seafoam green, oceanic blue and calming shades of cloudy white: these are just a few of the hues Giorgio Armani delved into for the spring 2022 show. As a fixture of the Italian fashion world for decades, the label has become known for its singular shapes and streamlined aesthetic. Set against the backdrop of an endless ocean with a runway that mimicked the color of a sandy beach, the label showed all of the signatures of its household codes, from oversized suiting to immaculately tailored, embellished gowns in frothy fabrics that seemed to float down the catwalk. Armani’s most surprising takeaway this season? Harem pants are back. But this time around, they come in delicious silk and chiffon fabrications, with dreamlike prints on jewel tones.—Kristen Bateman
We can always count on Philosophy for a few things each season—an unbridled dedication to romanticism, a heavy dose of femininity, and an unwavering and unexpected punch of prep. For spring 2022, creative director Lorenzo Serafini took us on a trip to the ‘70s, as he envisioned it. Models wore plush leather fringed jackets in shades of periwinkle and cognac, alongside flared floral sets, lamé button-down dresses, and easy deep-neck tops with simple bikinis peeking out. Vibrant hues like carnelian, emerald and royal purple were a nod to the loud and individualistic style of the ‘70s, but for the dedicated Philosophy fan there was no shortage of ruffled dresses, romantic frills and all, in subtle shades of lace-y white. —Kristen Bateman
Leave to Prada to make sex intellectual. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’s Spring 2022 collection may be titled “Seduction, Stripped Down,” but there were none of the bra tops and naked dresses seen on other runways in this show simulcast from Milan and Shanghai. In the Prada-verse, the heels are always kitten height and sex appeal is all about suggestion. The co-creative directors reduced tropes of classical femininity like lingerie and corsetry to their most pure form and recontextualized them. So the curve of an underwire was applied to a polo-collar sweater, while graphic tees and jackets came embellished with corset laces. Many of the aforementioned looks trailed anomalous strips of couture silk, which the show notes poetically called “the memory of a train.” —Alison S. Cohn
For every instance of cottagecore romance spotted on the Sportmax runway there was a dose of unapologetic, here-to-take-up-space attitude for counterbalance. Corsetry, scooped-out necklines, raw-edged tulle, and dainty florals are the stuff of sublime sweetness—and best taken in small doses. The presence of that tougher stuff is what adds interest and intrigue, making you wonder what the woman behind the clothes is all about. Wide-leg trousers and oversized jackets are ready to work, though the softness that’s inherent with such a slouchy fit doesn’t ape at menswear. Rather, it’s sensual and soft, clearly for her and not stolen from the boys. Paired together, both sides of the coin present an interesting take on modern femininity. —Leah Melby Clinton
The Y2K style renaissance was out in full force for Blumarine’s Spring 2022 collection. Butterfly motifs emerged on necklaces, supersize belts and tie-on tops while a symphony of pastels were revealed through gossamer-thin V-cut gowns in buttercup yellow or rendered in bubblegum pink halterneck dresses printed with roses. Nicola Brognano’s creations look a lot like something the pop stars of the early ‘00s would easily gravitate to—Britney and J. Lo included—but we think Gen Z would be equally enchanted by a pair of chiffon low-waist cargo pants and a baby crop top. You only have to scroll through TikTok to see that. With the transparent oversized glasses, silk head scarves, big hoop earrings and low-slung belts against patchwork denim and shrunken bomber jackets, there was proof too that styling has a lot to do with Blumarine’s early aughts aesthetic. Lotta Volkova, the stylist behind Vetements fast rise, was behind it. Slap on one of the brand’s bedazzled logo belts and consider it a celebration of more is more. —Kristen Bateman
We didn’t quite get a “revenge summer” of carefree travel to far-flung holiday destinations thanks to Delta, and what next summer will look like is anyone’s guess at this point. But Max Mara makes a very chic case for escape being a state of mind. The brand took cues from author Françoise Sagan’s uniform of workwear classics like fisherman smocks, laborers jackets, mechanics overalls, and carpenter pants, which were given the runway treatment in gabardine, canvas, poplin, and indigo denim with contrast top stitching. You may recall her novel Bonjour Tristesse from college French. But did you know that Sagan wrote the existentialist masterpiece as a 17-year-old forced to spend the summer of 1953 at home in Paris while her family went away on holiday, after failing her year-end exams? Time to start preparing our writer’s wardrobe for summer 2022. —Alison S. Cohn
Say “magic carpet ride” and you either get Disney’s Aladdin (1992) or Steppenwolf’s hit song (1968). Both apply to Etro’s newest collection, which sews its signature textile mix onto hippie-approved rainbow crochet and rave-worthy vinyl jackets alike. Veronica Etro did some denim-and-track-pant fusions, too, which will hopefully inspire DIY fashion fans worldwide to remix their old clothes instead of chucking them entirely. A whole new world? Not exactly; Etro’s sticking pretty close to its DNA. And with both runway newbies and megastars like Joan Smalls on the catwalk, the brand makes the case that boho chic isn’t going anywhere, and that it’s just as appropriate on a new mom (we see you, Grace Elizabeth!) as a teen starlet whose wish is every fashion brand’s command. —Faran Krentcil
Lucie and Luke Meier are designing clothing that women want to wear—intellectual women, chic women, choose your elevated adjective. The palette for Spring 2022 is soft, as if filtered, pale greens, peach, buttercup yellow, ivory. There are strong jackets layered over trousers or jeans, oversized pieces, nipped and tailored pieces, a perfect sweetheart neckline white dress, knitted separates, and a crochet series. Blouses are wrapped and textural—nothing is as expected. To wit, there’s even a zebra print and some sequins. In accessories, the brand’s new Cannolo bag is cylindrical, mirroring jewelry that leverages circles in gold and geometric patterns. Mule boots will be a winner this season, they look cool and are easy to wear. The message is this: appears simple, probably isn’t. Still waters run deep, as they say. —Kerry Pieri
Today was a big one for the Roberto Cavalli label— it marks the first runway collection under the creative direction of Fausto Puglisi. Puglisi is a dream fit for the brand—an Italian designer who embraces sensuality in clothing—and clearly appreciates an animal print. Puglisi dug into the extensive Cavalli archives, and came up with many references to the ’70s—dresses are slim and cut on the bias, with cut-outs and one-shoulders. All ripe for after-dark. If the Cavalli girl needs a break from the dance floor, boxy suits look just as cool. As the show notes say, the collection, “shouts ‘I’m the party.’” There’s never been a better time to bring back some fun and remember you had it in you all the time. —Kerry Pieri
For many women, the current vibe is “love thy loungewear as thyself.” Brunello Cucinelli is cool with that—but he’s going to give you a major upgrade. The Italian label went into full slouch mode with his latest collection, which mixes slinky metallic knitwear and silky pleated separates that feel like PJs, but look like you’ve consulted a famous Italian tailor. (Maybe because one made these clothes…) And though some models did wear sweatbands and tube socks as part of their looks, these pieces are made to be so easily cool, you can get dressed for work without breaking a sweat. Pay special attention to the suiting and square-toed ballet flats, along with a red embroidered varsity sweater that’s truly game for anything. —Faran Krentcil
Kim Jones had nearly zero ramp up to creating his own Fendi ethos. His Fendi woman has been unabashedly glamorous and achingly cool since he debuted his first collection in the depths of the pandemic. While she has an appreciation for the past, she most certainly doesn’t live there. That throwback mentality showed up for Spring 2022 with a collaboration with the estate of illustrators Antonio Lopez and Juan Ramos. The ’70s have been enjoying a bit of a renaissance, and Studio 54-worthy dresses that leverage Lopez’s iconic drawings feel right on time. “While I’ve been looking at Karl’s legacy at the house, I’ve also been looking around him, at his contemporaries – at who he was interested in,” explained Jones. “Lopez was a friend of Karl’s, and has always been someone who inspired me. He was forward thinking; inclusive; looked up to by everyone from Andy Warhol to Steven Meisel and David Hockney. I wanted to introduce him to a new generation.” In keeping with the era (through a modern lens), there are also fringe dresses, suiting with bikini inspired tops layered underneath, bold patterned furs with matching bags, and sheer black lace gowns. It’s smart dressing that makes a statement—and it’s the perfect start to a week in Milano. -Kerry Pieri