Fashion / Fashion News

The highlights from Milan Fashion Week

milan fashion week ss23

Everyone knows Italians do it better, bolder, even brighter. When it comes to fashion month, this fact remains unchanged. The Milanese are turbo, which is why the week is always a highlight. From luxury favourites like Fendi, Prada, Giorgio Armani and Bottega Veneta to our forever crushes like Blumarine, Diesel, Jil Sander and Maison Margiela, these are the shows we'll be keeping an eye out for as the SS23 collections are unveiled at Milan Fashion Week.



Glenn Martens has been tasked with the job of democratising Diesel, and if you were to glance about the SS23 showspace, where the runway alone breached a Guinness World Record, you would say it's a job well done. Almost 5000 people attended the show, 1600 of which were students and save for around 200 seats reserved for those in the industry, the rest were regular citizens. The collection itself felt fresh and sexy, despite the fact that not a single piece of denim lay unscathed. Everything was distressed and faded, but this only added to the collection's wearability. We'll be seeing the 1DR bag everywhere soon enough, and as for that belted mini skirt? I'll take four. Glenn Martens has found his audience, and they're 25 and under.



Some clothes are more wearable than others, and for SS23 Kim Jones delivered a collection that looks like it was dug directly from our brains. Models like Sofia Steinberg, Nora Attal and RUSSH 100 cover star Julia Nobis, stepped out in a sorbet-colour palette of watermelon, pistachio and is that nocciola or almond granita? Styling saw sheers draped over technical silks, giving us the confidence we needed to layer a dress over pants like it's the early aughts. Interlocking F hardware appeared on cargo pants and mini skirts, their pockets nodding to the shape of the Fendi Baguette. And stacked sneakers and barely-buttoned cardigans are our new MO this summer.



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Clothes that embody quiet, is how I would describe Prada's SS23 show. On first glimpse you would think the collection erred on the side of simple, but when Ms. Prada and Raf Simons are involved things are not always what they seem. Simplicity creates a blank slate for the small disturbances to be fully seen. "Human gestures animate surfaces... traces of life shape the forms of garments," reads a press release. It's in this way that the collection is hopeful, a crinkled grey mini dress points not to destruction, but the action that made it so. Dresses that flutter and peel at the hems call on the gesture of tearing paper, and a showing of black night gowns speak to the interior, women alone at home. All signs point to life.



milan fashion week ss23

Look 39, with its dangling crucifixes and drapery, references a bridal look Naomi Campbell famously wore at Gianni Versace's final Fall 1997 collection. Nicola Brognano remembers The Little Mermaid cartoon wore a dress exactly like it, and embedded this inspiration into the show. In fact, the collection is layered with mermaid motifs. Flared silhouettes dominate everything from dirty denim jeans, sheer bell sleeves and asymmetrical jersey hemlines that dance around the feet. Hair is long, lank and windswept, calling to mind a gothic-marine mashup. This extends to the colours which are ocean-inspired, sure, but dark and moody all the same.


Bottega Veneta

One of the most anticipated collections of Milan Fashion Week, Matthieu Blazy’s Bottega Veneta was a dynamic collection spanning all occasions, all style preferences. Taking off where last season finished – the denim-look leather pants – the opening looks were awash with denim, alongside casual pieces ideal for carrying out day-to-day tasks. Yet, while pieces may look simple to the eye, it is a showcase of Blazy’s technical workmanship across womenswear and menswear, the showing a combined presentation of both. While Kate Moss’ look may seem ‘simple,’ dressed in baggy jeans and a flannel, the shirt itself required 12-layers of print to achieve the colour desired. A celebration of simplicity and artistry, coming together. 


Giorgio Armani

For Giorgio Armani, looking back at what the designer does best was all the inspiration needed for this collection. Ample sparkle and the quintessential Armani charm at a show aptly name “Fil d’Or” (Golden Thread), models wore elongated coats and loose trousers, along with gold bags and shoes. Shades of blue were employed in fringed tops and dresses, styled over trousers, and a variety of beaded gilets paired with fluid skirts for a whimsical effect. Armani himself said the collection was inspired by “other worlds,” even if it appears “very Armani.”


Max Mara

Swimming caps are back in 2023, proclaim Max Mara, an accessory many were not expecting to have its high fashion moment in the sun. A collection of refinedm, considered basics, it is the best of what Max Mara is: simple clothes, done well. Leather short suits, luxe long coats and blazers were abundant, in mainly neutral hues and muted tones. Yet, there was room for colour, with pistachio green and floral printing also walked down the runway, jutxpaosing their minimalist cousins.



Of course, the moment of the weekend came from Versace, truly tapping into the Y2K trend in the most literal of senses. None other than Paris Hilton closed the show as a pink, mini-dressed bride to round out a presentation of eclectic pieces. Not was all Barbie pink throughout, with grunge motifs peppering the collection in the form of black and charcoal pieces. Yet, there was room for colour, with Bella Hadid swathed in  a purple corset and veil, and vibrant pink hues permeating through black accents. For Versace, it is the best of both worlds. 



We had our eyes on two debuts this week, Maximilian Davis at Ferragamo and Rhuigi Villaseñor at Bally. Both were promising, with Villaseñor delivering sleek evening wear oozing with sex appeal. The minimal cuts, thigh high boots and exposed hips was redolent of Tom Ford's tenure at Gucci. There was python print, metallic belted jackets, thigh slits and flattering body-skimming dresses that would feel at home in the late 90s.

For more news from the spring summer 2023 season, see our highlights from New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week.

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