This past Milan Fashion Week brought back a powerful resurgence of many brands that have taken the back seat in the ever-rising intersection of fashion and popular culture. As a result, the fashion industry as a whole is experiencing what seems to be a complete change of creative direction within the larger houses, with notable new leadership at Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Gucci, as well as the loss of icons like Vivienne Westwood, Virgil Abloh, and Thierry Mugler.
Starting with Ferragamo, Maximilian Davis presented his sophomore collection that featured timeless silhouettes while keeping a consistent color palette. In the past, large maisons have relied on over-the-top gimmicks or viral Instagram moments to draw traction to their shows, but Davis truly has proven that minimalism can be modern and exciting. As one of the youngest creatives in his category, his clothes speak for a younger generation that appreciates quality design and chic simplicity.
With no prints or monograms in sight, the collection emphasized the designer’s focus on minimalism and took inspiration from its Hollywood roots. The “Cinema” collection reimagined popular silhouettes from the 1950s in a more romantic and clean-cut manner. Think ball-shaped skirts with cropped bombers, low-waisted trousers, and precise tailoring to modernize vintage garments for today’s generation.
Gucci’s highly anticipated show, which continued with the theme of ditching theatrics for minimalism, paid significant homage to their 90s and Y2K Tom Ford era. Following the departure of former creative director Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s design team worked together without a creative lead for this collection. The show still incorporated the bright greens and purples that Alessandro was known for but refined them into a much sleeker palette with simpler designs. The show opened with a mini crystallized monogram GG bra paired with a black low-waisted a-line skirt. The new vision was clearly peeling back some of the more exaggerated layers and playing into more skimpy looks popularized in the 90s. Sheer tops, fur coats, and tights peeking out of waistbands were consistent down the runway, accessories with classic accessories. The infamous Gucci monogram belt made its appearance again, this time reverting to the interlocking GG logo that circulated throughout the early 2000s. In addition, they reintroduced the revival of Tom Ford’s horse-bit clutch in various colors and fabrics.
These aspects of minimalism were refreshing, but what made Milan Fashion Week so notable were the viral presentations displayed by some of the most current and famous brands that have already undergone a Gen-Z transformation led by new, young creative directors.
Glenn Marten’s Diesel revival is one of the most impressive and notable transformations I have seen from a brand. The clothes remained ultra sexy and raw, displaying ripped jeans, printed skirts, and tiny Y2K style tops. The models walked around a mountain of over 200,000 Diesel x Durex condom packets, which will be distributed for free across Diesel stores for their collaboration, promoting pleasure, play, and safe and positive sex.
Blumarine is a brand that, as of very recently, has been sported by an abundance of celebrities and in editorials. However, the brand has existed since 1977 and underwent creative change at the end of 2019 after appointing Nicola Brognano as the creative director. Last season showcased a rougher Y2K image as Brognano told Vogue that “[his] Blumarine is more dirty, bitchy, sexier” – this collection is undoubtedly a testament to that. Models strutted the runway in dangerously low-rise, acid-wash denim jeans, paired with sheer tops, body-hugging corsets, and even shredded denim cowl-neck tops revealing bare flesh underneath.” This season’s collection took note of that, as Brognano designed the models for battle, or “a modern-day Joan of Arc,” as the show notes read. With a blazing Blumarine logo lit on fire in the background, skin-tight metallic dresses and shearing skirt sets effortlessly blended with the frilly dresses and baggy pants that the classic Blumarine girl wants.
Milan Fashion Week 2023 showcased what hopefully will continue to be an exciting resurgence as larger maisons appoint young creative directors. So be on the lookout for the big names tapping back into simplicity while more contemporary brands continue to make huge waves in the fashion realm of pop culture.
Featured image via University of Fashion Blog.