Milan Fashion Week begins lavish, inclusive edition open to the city
New entries, household names, entertainment and glamour: Milan Fashion Week Women, starting on Tuesday September 20 and ending on September 26, is ready to throw down the gauntlet to the vibrant fashion week season opener that has recently wrapped up in New York. The Milan womenswear week promises to be uber-exciting indeed, featuring a host of special events, new names and designers, major come-backs and, for the first time, several shows open to the public. Beginning with Diesel which, under the aegis of creative director Glenn Martens, will welcome more than 7,000 people at the Allianz Cloud Arena on Wednesday 21.
In the same spirit, the next day, the show by Anteprima, the Japanese label by Izumi Ogino that is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be open to the public at the Arena di Milano stadium. Prada has invited to its show the customers of its latest NFT collection, and Philosophy by Lorenzo Serafini has done the same for the five winners of an Instagram competition staged by the label. Not to mention the event scheduled from September 20 to 24 by German e-tailer About You, with shows open to the general public.
The calendar of this edition of Milan Fashion Week, dedicated to the Spring/Summer 2023 women’s ready-to-wear collections, includes no fewer than 210 events, as opposed to 170 in February, with 68 runway shows (seven of them in digital format), 111 presentations and some 30 parallel events. Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala said that “this fashion week is a breath of fresh air for Milan, certainly the city’s central event in September.”
There will also be a number of off-calendar shows and presentations, with the vast majority of events concentrated over the course of five days, from Wednesday to Sunday. In other words, a super intense programme, which is kicking off on Tuesday with a focus on young designers, with Milano Moda Graduate, a collective show by students from the top fashion schools, and with the opening of the Fashion Hub by the Italian Fashion Chamber, showcasing a selection of emerging Italian designers as well as various projects, including Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion, Budapest Select, Designer for the Planet and Hope Fashion Ukraine, an initiative in favour of Ukrainian designers.
All the household names of Italian fashion are featured on the calendar, with Fendi and Roberto Cavalli showing on Wednesday, Max Mara, Prada and Moschino on Thursday, Tod’s and Versace on Friday, Dolce & Gabbana and Trussardi on Saturday, and Giorgio Armani on Sunday. Notable absentees are Marni, which this season chose to show in New York, Ambush, which made its first Milanese appearance last season, Palm Angels and Plein Sport.
Italy’s fashion capital is instead welcoming the return of several big names, such as Antonio Marras, whose label was recently bought by the Calzedonia group and will stage the opening show on Wednesday morning, as well as German label Boss on Thursday and Moncler, which will fête its 70th anniversary on Saturday. The latter two had given the February edition a miss. Also making their comeback are Vivetta and Stella Jean, who is back in Milan after several seasons, hosting at her show six designers from minority groups with the "We are made in Italy" collective.
Among the highly anticipated comebacks, that of Salvatore Ferragamo, enjoying a revival under the aegis of new boss Marco Gobetti. The Ferragamo show is scheduled on Saturday in the historic building once home to the Milan Archbishopric’s seminary, where the label will soon open its third luxury hotel. It will be a chance to discover the first collection by Maximilian Davis, the young British designer of Afro-Caribbean origin now head of style at the distinguished Florentine label.
This new season is a time of creative rejuvenation for some of Italy’s long-established fashion names. Like Ferragamo, others have turned over a new leaf, putting a new generation of designers in charge. Four of these labels will be showing in Milan, like Missoni and Etro on Friday. Filippo Grazioli, previously at Margiela, Hermès, Givenchy and Burberry, has taken over at the former from Angela Missoni, while Marco de Vincenzo, known for his own label and his work on accessories at Fendi, has succeeded Kean and Veronica Etro.
Rhuigi Villaseñor debuts for Bally
Another highlight will be Bally's first-ever runway show. The Swiss premium footwear brand will debut on the Milanese runways on Saturday, unveiling the collection by new creative director Rhuigi Villaseñor, the Californian designer of Filipino origin who founded the Rhude label. Also not to be missed, on the presentations calendar, the Benetton show on Sunday, introducing the first collection by Andrea Incontri, an Italian designer who has notably worked at Tod’s and has taken over from Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.
Among the young designers staging their maiden Milanese shows, Matty Bovan, British fashion’s rising star, who will show on Sunday backed by Dolce & Gabbana, while three new names will present their collections digitally on Monday: Durazzi Milano by designer Ilenia Durazzi, and two South African labels, MmusoMaxwell, founded in 2016 by Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane, winner of the innovation award at the 2022 Woolmark Prize, and Viviers, launched in 2019 by Lezanne Viviers, who worked for eight years with South African fashion icon Marianne Fassler. Other Milan rookies on the presentations calendar include Mtof, Themoirè, Lisa von Tang, Sara Roka, VI Valentina Ilardi, Yume Yume, Charles Philip, Vernisse and Pina G.
This sparkling edition of Milan Fashion Week will of course feature after-show parties, gala evenings, dinners and store inaugurations, and also the opening of three photography exhibitions, dedicated to Richard Avedon, Max Vadukul and Giovanni Gastel. The week will end in style with the award ceremony for the Oscars of ecological fashion, the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards, at the La Scala opera house.
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