From hints of the maximalism trend in New York, to adventurous street style in London, Fashion Week is a catalyst for established and emerging designers around the world. Before turning our gaze to the streets of Paris, let’s reflect on Milan’s eruption of significant debuts and influence that has paid homage to the 90s and early 2000s. With nearly 70 runway shows and 90 designer presentations, Milan was a quintessential composition of heritage and audacious looks that will no doubt contribute to the next array of global trends.
Signs of Milan’s incandescent nature were evident right from the get go with a powerful charity showcase raising awareness for breast cancer prevention and championing of women affected by the disease. Staged in Bocconi University’s Aula Magna, born from the brilliant minds of the American not-for-profit group Cancer Culture, and sponsored by the Italian National Chamber of Fashion, the catwalk featured 20 women who have battled breast cancer and prevailed. The collection was crafted by a selection of up and coming Italian designers and compellingly demonstrated how beauty can flourish from the darkest of times. A radiant reminder that fighters and survivors of breast cancer aren’t defined by it.
Swimming in the abundant pool of talent in Milan this year were a collective of artistic minds that delivered breathtaking presentations. Such presentations include Fabiana Filippi’s Spring Summer 2024 collection designed by Lucia De Vito and styled by Alex Carl. The collection represents clothes as “gestures, or that accompany gestures”. A fusion of delicate shapes, sharp lines and graceful forms, the collection was brought to life by director and painter Luca De Santis, art director Antonio Piccirilli, choreographer Yoann Bourgeois and musician Hania Rani. Models were positioned on a rotating platform that signifies the Earth’s orbit and changing seasons. Described as a “blossoming in movement”, De Vito’s presentation was a memorable ode to the birth of spring and honouring of life.
Italian luxury bag brand Borbonese combined avant-garde art exhibitions with the interconnection and social craze of parties by hosting their enchanting presentation at Flash Art Italia. The installment featured a series of environmentally savvy, recycled woven nylon bags with gold hardware, strung up by a forest of chains that dangled from the ceiling. The night was topped off by a special performance from visual artist Ambra Castagnetti.
Sara Wong drew inspiration from Chinese heritage entitled, “The Rhythm of China”. As an admired storyteller, Wong has a unique gift of giving life to ancient tradition with a feminine, playful and imaginative touch. “The Rhythm of China” is reminiscent of Chinese ceramics, a tradition that can be traced back over ten thousand years. Wong’s collection boasted bold colour and curvaceous lines, adorned by desirable statement pieces including sculpted, glass-like bags with curved handles and bubble-esque heels. Beyond this collection, Sara Wong encourages women to delve deeper into their culture, explore the world, and embrace the kaleidoscope of femininity.
Gracing the vast majority of shows in Milan was an enthralling nod to classic design, coupled by a futuristic, refreshing and unconventional peek into the future of fashion. Sifting through the archives appeared to be a treasure-trove this year as houses like Versace, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana plucked gems from the past, polished them up and revived them down the Milan runway. In his debut for Gucci as Creative Director, Sabato De Sarno expressed his desire to maintain Gucci’s rich Italian heritage and thus crafted a collection with the intention of making people “fall in love with Gucci again.” Following the 90s revival trend, Donatella Versace drew inspiration from Gianni Versace’s 1995 Fall Collection and graced the runway with pastel, checkered print, shimmer, striking silver hardware and oversized silhouettes. Dolce and Gabbana fueled 90s nostalgia with their show titled, ‘Women’, which stood as a celebration of diverse femininity that stands the test of time. The cast of ‘Women’, was a significant detail in expressing beauty at every age and size. The show was intended to resonate not only with the social media generation, but across a broader spectrum of women globally.
Industry News – The Attico Shut Down The Streets of Milan
The Attico shut down a residential Milan Street to showcase a lacey, sheer, shimmery and bold collection of day-to-night wear entitled, “The Morning After”. The collection speaks to women everywhere who unapologetically embrace their femininity in all its sensual forms. While steeped in feline, sultry glamour, Ambrosio and Tordini simultaneously and impeccably grounded their collection in the casualness of reality. The collection featured alluring sequined dresses, anything but timid molten silver pants and feathery embellishments. Those feminine, statement pieces combined with oversized forms and the revival of cargo pants placed The Attico in the sensational era of Y2K. Ambrosio shed some light on the purpose behind the chosen location stating, “the street is the most democratic of places and the stage for real life,” further solidifying The Attico’s unconventional and refreshing stance on womenswear.
Peter Hawkings Ode to the 90s at Tom Ford
Peter Hawkings made his highly anticipated runway debut as Creative Director at Tom Ford. The fact that this was the first show following Ford selling his brand to Estee Lauder for a whopping $2.8 billion only fueled the already raging anticipation. Hawkings didn’t disappoint with his collection seamlessly converging the bold nature of women and menswear. It was a celebratory dive into the 90s archives with pieces such as a sheer black dress paired with a bold, signature gold belt. There were velvet suits to die for, nostalgic fringes and exaggerated frames. The entire show went down a treat with critics applauding Hawkings for his brilliantly executed balance between old and new.
Simone Bellotti’s Playful Luxury at Bally
In May of this year, Simone Bellotti was awarded a leadership role at Bally in hopes of providing a fresh spin on the extensive history of the luxury fashion house. The SS24 runway proved just how versatile Bally can be. From playful, summery, strawberry printed designs, eye-catching ruffles and bold colours, to classic and timeless pieces anyone can wear. Bellotti has solidified himself as an innovative designer that upholds the respective values of a heritage brand.
Beate Karlsson’s Chaotic Mastery at AVAVAV
Amongst the ode to classic runway, designers like Beate Karlsson for AVAVAV made waves over social media. In her second runway show at Fashion Week, Karlsson placed emphasis on the urgency and high demand of the fashion industry by crafting a show that captured the attention of a global audience. All the pieces seemed to be unfinished with chaotic notes such as “ADD BACK?!”, “ADD SHAPE” and “WRONG SIDE?!”. Models would rush out frantically, some in the process of getting dressed before dashing back. Tear stained makeup and unruly hairstyles fed into the stressful nature of the show. Beate Karlsson continues to win critics over with her relentless transparency, offering a not so glamorous peek into the fraught nature of Fashion Week. The collection entitled, ‘No Time to Design’, was a prodigious conclusion to Milan Fashion Week that will linger in our memories for quite some time.
GLITCH’S TALENT TO WATCH
Brisbane based stylist, photographer and designer Rovel Hagos stepped into the spotlight at Milan Fashion Week for the first time with his 2024 Collection titled, “Rudyard Apathy”. Hagos’s affinity for style led to his experimentation with shapes and shades proving that fashion isn’t gender specific. This fascination with shapes was axiomatic throughout his SS24 Collection with dramatic, oversized puffers, trench coats, exaggerated turtle necks and patchwork denim skirts. Rovel Hagos has solidified himself as an up and coming world-class innovator in the world of stylistic design and elevated streetwear.
The spooky season is fast approaching and one designer that truly harnessed the ghoulish spirit is none other than creative director of Han Kjøbenhavn Jannik Wikkelsø Davidsen with this “Enlightened Particles” Collection. A vampy, brutalist assembly of gallant silhouettes, handcrafted metal details and sharp edges. Wikkelsø’s designs in collaboration with Mathilde Machowski (founder of Sinful), is an explorative take on human desire and untapped potential lying dormant within. The elegance expertly woven into the Han Kjøbenhavn collection has put a provocative spin on menswear. With his fascination with darkness and secrecy, Kjøbenhavn continues to push boundaries, uniting the elements of art, aesthetic and human desire.
As we gear up for Paris, we celebrate the union of classic beauty, diversity, heritage, innovation and transparency seen in Milan. Here at GLITCH we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Written by Ashley Jade Callajan from GLITCH Magazine