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Our fall 2023 trend takeaways from MFW: Sexy or strict, come as you are

With his FW23 collection, Antonio Marras paid tribute to the Italian Nobel Prize winner writer Grazia Deledda

With his FW23 collection, Antonio Marras paid tribute to the Italian Nobel Prize winner writer Grazia Deledda

Milan Fashion Week kicked off with Antonio Marras, who, after the Calzedonia Group acquisition, seemed to raise the bar with a collection that showcased the Sardinian designer’s signature romantic and ethereal aesthetic.

Look from the FW23 Diesel by Glenn Martens fashion show

Looks from the FW23 Diesel by Glenn Martens fashion show

Renzo Rosso’s Diesel showed a completely different atmosphere, where models walked with a mountain of condoms and moaning sounds in the background. As imagined by the brand's creative director Glenn Martens, Diesel joined forces with Durex for a freer and more conscious future.

Finale at the FW23 Fendi by Kim Jones runway show

Finale at the FW23 Fendi by Kim Jones runway show

Conversely, things looked calm at Fendi’s. Kim Jones was once again captivated by the beauty of the Roman house, offering a new vision of femininity inspired by masculinity and the brand’s past. His message conveyed a sense of cleanliness and linearity that harked back to the ‘90s but also included an element of deconstruction to highlight Mr. Jones’ innovative approach. In creating this show, everything that symbolises the rigour of a classic men’s suit becomes a crucial reference point, drawing from Jil Sander’s clean aesthetics and Miuccia Prada’s minimalist approach. 

Look from the FW23 N°21 by Alessandro Dell'Acqua fashion show

Looks from the FW23 N°21 collection by Alessandro Dell'Acqua

N°21’s creative director Alessandro Dell'Acqua created a similar atmosphere, showing one of the brand’s most successful collections. The 1960s were the reference point for the collection’s minimalism, which left behind the exuberance of the previous decade. Suits were worn inside-out, symbolising mobility and reinterpreted familiarity with the body.

Finale at the FW23 Prada show by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons

Finale at the FW23 Prada show by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons

For Miuccia Prada and her co-creative director Raf Simons, strictness and the slight perversities that can arise from it are a given, as is the sense of embracing the “ugly” and the study of uniforms. This time it was nurses in a collection that explored uniform dressing, voluptuous femininity, and archetypes rethought. It couldn’t be anything but Prada.

Looks from the FW23 Blumarine show by Nicola Brognano

At Blumarine, the fire of passion burned the iconic “B,” where Nicola Brognano injected a strong dose of Y2K as his winning formula.

Look from the FW23 GCDS show by Giuliano Calza

Look from the FW23 GCDS show by Giuliano Calza

Meanwhile, at GCDS, Giuliano Calza departed from the popular logo-centric trend and delved into more sophisticated styles, featuring gowns, tailored suits, and elegant bags. It was a bold step forward for a brand rising from the uncertain waters of emerging labels.

Details from the FW23 Act N°1 show by Luca Lin

Details from the FW23 Act N°1 show by Luca Lin

At Act N°1, the now-only Luca Lin brought a romantic deconstruction with his tulle to the catwalk.

Although Gucci has already welcomed Sabato De Sarno as their new creative director, the design team fronted this fall-winter 2023/24 collection in Milan

Although Gucci has already welcomed Sabato De Sarno as their new creative director, the design team fronted this fall-winter 2023/24 collection in Milan 

One of the week’s most anticipated shows was Gucci’s, the last before Sabato De Sarno’s arrival. Although the Florentine brand has already welcomed De Sarno as their new creative director following Alessandro Michele’s departure in November, the design team fronted this fall-winter 2023/24 collection in Milan with a nod to Tom Ford’s iconic ‘90s slimline tailoring.

Backstage at the Gucci FW23 show

Backstage at the Gucci FW23 show

The collection was without a clear and consistent vision but surely easy to sell, because “a collection cannot be designed by a committee,” as fashion critic Angelo Flaccavento declared on his Instagram story.

Looks from the FW23 Cormio show by Jezabelle Cormio

Looks from the FW23 Cormio show by Jezabelle Cormio

At Cormio, Jezabelle Cormio's catwalk was in a women’s soccer field, which inspired its narrative: why in sport – as in society – do women have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously? Good question.

A moment from the second mainline Ferragamo show as imagined by creative director Maximilian Davis

A moment from the second mainline Ferragamo show as imagined by creative director Maximilian Davis

For his second mainline Ferragamo collection, Maximilian Davis aimed to continue his mission of reviving the Florentine house’s historical links with Hollywood by making them relevant once again: Ferragamo’s red is now sexy. 

For Sunnei's FW23 collection, Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina asked models to crowd surf in the crowd of guests

For Sunnei's FW23 collection, Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina asked models to crowd surf in the crowd of guests

But Sunnei’s crowd-surfing presentation provided a promising outlook for the future of Milan, thanks to the innovative and upbeat collection by creative directors Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina. With their “trust fall,” they perfectly served their modular, playful clothing.

Finale at the FW23 Dolce&Gabbana show by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Finale at the FW23 Dolce&Gabbana show by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Dolce&Gabbana offered another standout show featuring a sultry and seductive theme imagined by the Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. At Dolce&Gabbana, Sicilian widows were seen hurriedly leaving their lovers’ beds while wearing maxi coats over their lingerie, but some didn’t have enough time to do it. The creative duo also supported up-and-coming Japanese designer Tomo Koizumi by hosting a catwalk presentation of his latest collection at the company’s Milan headquarters during MFW.

Look from the FW23 Bottega Veneta show by Matthieu Blazy

Look from the FW23 Bottega Veneta show by Matthieu Blazy

Bottega Veneta provided a chaste atmosphere, as creative director Matthieu Blazy asked the models to walk alongside Boccioni’s “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space,” in minimal, simple, stripped-down items allowing the viewer to admire the superior craftsmanship in every little detail.

A moment from the Giorgio Armani FW23 show

A moment from the Giorgio Armani FW23 show

Giorgio Armani’s collection was truly Armani in its sleek and sophisticated, tailored pieces and elegant silhouettes.

Supermodel Gigi Hadid walking the catwalk at the Versace FW23 show in Los Angeles

Supermodel Gigi Hadid walking the catwalk at the Versace FW23 show in Los Angeles

And what about Versace, notably absent from the Milan Fashion Week catwalks? Well, who needs the Oscars when you have Donatella Versace and her celebrity entourage taking Hollywood and the fashion world by storm? Showcased on the Los Angeles runway, her mix of seductive and minimal design set a new tone for the fashion industry, reminding us that sometimes, less is more. But sexy.

 

 

Sofia Sarandrea
Fashion Business, Digital Communication and Media, 3rd year, Milan 
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postgraduate-Master's Degrees • Master's Courses