Miuccia Prada said it best backstage at the Prada show when she articulated that she was sick of talking about ideas and wanted to focus on the clothes instead. “We did not want to philosophise, to propose stories about clothing,” she said. “… We wanted to focus on the work — the methods and techniques, the value… There is a respect for our work as designers, and the act of making clothes. The clothes say everything.”
Indeed, it felt like a tact taken by many of the designers who unveiled their Spring/Summer ’24 collections at Milan Fashion Week, where runway spectacles and over-the-top looks were nowhere to be seen, replaced with spectacular clothes instead; clothes that felt decidedly grounded in the now, made to carry us into what feels like a promising future (and that mercifully took a break from the never-ending 90s nostalgia that has been so prevalent on runways of late).
Some highlights included Matthieu Blazy’s joyful collection of looks fit for global jet setters (inspired by the very idea of travel and with a runway set on a tiled world map) at Bottega Veneta, as well as Sabato De Sarno’s hotly anticipated debut at Gucci, which marked a bold new era for the brand. It was a clear departure from the eccentricity and showmanship of De Sarno’s iconoclastic predecessor, and placed focus, instead, on the essence of Gucci, on cut and proportion and on reimagining house signatures into a whole new code — one we’re predicting will become as sought-after as the previous Gucci eras from which it derived inspiration.
Prada was, unsurprisingly, one of the best shows of the week, where Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons evolved the brand’s codes into a new everyday uniform and offered party-ready ensembles that felt just as wearable. Dark suiting, high waists, long sleeves, oversized workwear jackets and floaty organza looks saw the bold and the brazen collide beautifully with the delicate and dainty. While accessories (including a new bag, reimagined from one of Mario Prada’s 1913 designs) still held a central role on the runway.
Elsewhere, Fendi saw designer Kim Jones come into his own on the ready-to-wear front, sending an exceptional collection of looks inspired by Roman statues and the effortless luxury of Roman women down the runway, while Versace delivered a signature line-up of sleek minis, figure-hugging, pastel-toned ensembles and glamorous looks that fused subtle nostalgic details with elegant 60s silhouettes. Dolce & Gabbana dabbled in peignoir, with lingerie-inspired looks that were designed to highlight the beauty of women in a sultry but ultimately elegant parade of sheer dresses, stockinged legs, corseted torsos and tailored moments.
A celebration of some of the most iconic fashion houses on the planet and about the best barometer of trends to come over the next season, Milan Fashion Week pulled out all the stops for Spring/Summer ’24, and these were some of our highlights.