Everything going down at Milan Fashion Week SS22

Starring BOSS x Russell Athletics, Emporio Armani, GCDS, Prada, Versace, Fendace (!), Giorgio Armani, Y/Project x FILA, Blumarine, MSGM and Dolce & Gabbana. Phew.

5.00pm, September 26th
5.00pm September 26th

Dolce & Gabbana SS22: 00s glamour for a new generation

Dolce & Gabbana, like so many brands synonymous with the early-’00s, has found fans in a new generation. Click on Depop and you’ll find them: low-rise jeans, D&G halter tops, sparkly belly chains, sexy tube dresses. For Gen‑Z, it’s a playful, if a little rose-tinted, ode to a time when, well, they were about seven years old. But isn’t fashion about fantasy, anyway?

Taking notes, Light, the Italian house’s SS22 collection, took cues from a time of high-octane music videos, celebrity gossip, fake tan and body glitter, rejigged for a whole new generation. With a staggering 102 looks in total, silhouettes were often slim with the odd camo cargo snuck in – a staple of the brand’s 00s collections. Waists sat low, while mini skirts were paired with stiletto heels to elongate the legs. Minimal beachwear turned into full-blown outerwear, with cut-out costumes worn with a formal blazer. Embroidery hit a confident high, too, studded onto a leather biker jacket, lining a pair of tight trousers and a two-piece bikini.

If the 00s references weren’t clear enough, none other than J‑Lo was plastered on a series of hyper-coloured, tie-dyed vest tops. This collection might be looking back to a time of optimism, celebration and outré style, but D&G’s mission is always remembering, never repeating. Same ethos, new gen.

2.00pm, September 26th
2.00pm September 26th

MSGM SS22 is all florals, fruits and frills

MSGM creative director Massimo Giorgetti gave us a peppering of summer optimism for SS22. Set against the backdrop of the city’s shimmering skyscrapers, Giorgetti transformed Milan’s breathtaking botanical garden, Biblioteca degli Alberi (or Library of Trees), into a celebration of the outdoors where he sent models down the runway adorned in his signature acidic palette.

Paying homage to Milan in the 80s, a vibrant era that celebrated bold, artistic freedom, Giorgetti presented an energised and colourful collection of neon gingham prints, floral co-ords and bold tailoring adorned with fruits, frills and flowers.

Flashes of bare skin made an appearance, too: cropped neon bralettes exposed midriffs worn underneath tailored blazers (or styled over gingham shirts for a more modest look), off the shoulder floor length dresses; clavicle-baring racer tops contrasted over floral midi dresses. Intricate criss-cross crops and colour clashes also reigned supreme, and figure complimenting bodices came complete with sweeping plissé skirts.

This is Giorgetti’s al fresco picnic, and we’re all invited.

9.00am, September 25th
9.00am September 25th

ANDREĀDAMO SS22: a knitwear metamorphosis

In the third collection under his namesake label, Andrea Adamo makes a sultry statement: the more skin on show, the better.

Calabria-born creative director Andrea Adamo brought his namesake brand ANDREĀDAMO to life last year in the midst of the pandemic. Having previously worked at luxury Italian labels Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana, he’s since carved out a niche for designing lightweight, figure-hugging womenswear in a totally neutral colour palette. This season was no different, as Adamo presented his collection via models standing atop and against stacks of seaside rocks. This only brought its main elements into sharper focus: a v‑neck, cropped cardigan with elongated sleeves and matching mini-skirt complete with a button-up slit were equal parts skimpy and seductive, as were a selection of cream, crocheted pieces, spaghetti-strapped one-pieces and sensual, wrap-around bikinis. From the laid back to the sophisticated, ANDREĀDAMO is an ode to the body in all its glory.

4.00pm, September 24th
4.00pm September 24th

Blumarine SS22 pays homage to Y2K divas

Blumarine’s SS22 show was basically Mariah Carey’s 2002 Cribs episode retold through the medium of fashion. Confused? Well, there were plenty of sumptuous textures, with fur trims on crop tops and silky ruffles on mini dresses. There were plunging necklines à la the first outfit she wears for the house tour. And there were fluttery butterflies, all blinged out on belts, necklaces and earrings.

The only difference between the collection and Mimi’s pad? For the most part, Blumarine eschewed non-jarring colours” and went for the brightest colour palette possible, sending baby pink and neon green co-ords down the runway. Patent baker boy hats and oversized sunglasses added the finishing touch to the Y2K vibe, as low cut mini skirts and jeans dared to reveal all. What a sweet, sweet fantasy.

7.30pm, September 25th
7.30pm September 25th
6.00pm, September 26th
6.00pm September 26th
2.00pm, September 27th
2.00pm September 27th

Y/​Project x FILA: an experimental direction for classic sportswear

Perhaps not observant to the naked eye, but a collaboration between Y/​Project and FILA makes perfect sense. Presented in Milan this weekend, the collection takes the playful proportions Glenn Martens has long-established with Y/​Project, and merges them with the innovative design sensibilities of Italian sportswear brand, FILA. Martens, with his knack for uncovering the darkest corners of Paris’ avant-garde, has also spearheaded the streetwear revolution, offsetting luxury with genuine comfort – and never compromising on either.

Here, Martens takes simple FILA staples like a T‑shirt, hoodie, polo neck dress and windbreaker and deconstructs them, warping silhouettes and building on key elements; collars are doubled, necklines are bent, snap buttons are cheekily placed on the inside of legs, not out, and buttoning on jackets are asymmetric – a signature for Martens who often sets out to defy gravity, with shoulder straps that look as though caught in the wind. The crux of the collection is possibility, much like Y/Project’s foundations. Here, wearers are encouraged to interpret, mismatch and go a bit bold.

I see this collaboration, really, as a marriage of Y/Project’s experimental spirit and FILA’s innovative drive grounded in sportswear,” says Martens. For the designer, the process was as easy as it was fun” – no denying, the optimism of the sportswear collection is pretty stellar. And with styling adding strappy heels, knee-high socks and skirts that wrap around the waist, it feels like a new, wholly effective, direction for sportswear. There is a fresh, happy vibe to the endeavour that I think is right for this moment,” Martens finishes.

7.30pm, September 26th
7.30pm September 26th

Fendace: Donatella Versace and Kim Jones do swapsies

The era of blockbuster fashion collabs is well and truly upon us. Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed the sartorial union of some of the industry’s most iconic brands, from Balenciaga’s hook up with Gucci in April, to the introduction of Raf Simons as Miuccia Prada’s collaborator at her legendary fashion house last year. And who can forget the Kim Jones-helmed Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection from 2017 that arguably started the trend? Hoodies are still going for £10k on the resale market.

Last night in Milan, Jones steered yet another colossal collab – well, actually, the show’s notes began with This is not a collaboration…”, but you know. Now the Artistic Director of Fendi womenswear and couture (in addition to his role as Artistic Director of Dior Men’s), teamed up with Donatella Versace to present Fendace”, a sort of luxury fashion Wife Swap, with each designer creating 25 looks for the other’s illustrious Italian brand. Anyone who’s anyone was there to witness the event, from Dua Lipa to Niall Horan, Luca Guadagnino to Cole Sprouse.

The clothes, as you might expect, were just as glitzy, with Jones designing the first 25 looks and Donatella taking charge of the rest. Across the board, Versace’s baroque and Fendi’s monogram combined to create a flamboyant franken-print, which found its way onto mini dresses, shirts and swimsuits. Gold, Fendi-logoed hardwear added edge to lace maxi dresses and seductive glamour when worn around the neck as a choker. As for the colour palette, Jones veered more towards monochromatic looks in black and white, with the occasional pop of pastels, while Versace favoured technicolour ombrés and acid-house pinks and blues. Want to stand out next season? Donatella and Kim have got you covered.

3.00pm, September 24th
3.00pm September 24th
Style

Prada SS22: practical power dressing

If there’s anyone who can design for utility as we almost return to normality, it’s Miuccia Prada. And when Raf Simons casts a vibrant net over her practical pieces, they both hit the sweet spot.

10.00am, September 24th
10.00am September 24th

Tod’s SS22: slick and sexy fashion, the Italian way

Creative director Walter Chiapponi collaborated with artist Carlota Guerrero on a performance piece which evoked everything his collection was about: quality, freedom and heritage.

For SS22, Tod’s carried forward one of its new traditions under the creative direction of Milan-born designer Walter Chiapponi: collaborating with artists in tandem with the heritage brand’s fashion shows. This time round, Spanish artist Carlota Guerrero filmed a performance piece to accompany the collection, where models stood atop high stacks of clay or giant, elongated feet, as though floating in mid-air.

Soundtracked by Rosalía, the piece evoked freedom and lightness, both themes which were echoed throughout the show. Outerwear was often worn without trousers – a cream, zip-up coat with luxurious leather panels and a Tod’s embossed logo, for example, or a sporty, structured bomber jacket accessorised with reflective shades.

Intricately crocheted dresses with elongated tassels helped offset the more slick, serious pieces while still feeling refined, as short trench coats, masculine jackets and lightweight parkas made for a utilitarian, airy feel throughout the collection.

The SS22 accessories affirmed Tod’s legacy as one of Italy’s finest heritage brands. Sandals and trainers featured its classic macro rubber soles, while loafers and slender kitten heels were complemented by splashes of cyan blue and striped holographic patterns.

8.00pm, September 23rd
8.00pm September 23rd

GCDS dives into the dream for SS22

Hedonism, fantasy and, um, Italian mermaids inspire a high-energy departure from the dreariness of the pandemic.

So far this fashion month, themes of nautical escapism and seaside fantasy have run deep across collections. GCDS SS22 is no different, as the brand’s creative director, Giuliano Calza, invites us to imagine the myths of Italian mermaids and underwater garden worlds that inspired him this season.

These fables from Southern Italy have influenced my imagination over the years,” the Naples-born designer says in the show’s press notes. With this collection, I’m letting you dive into the dream with me – and splicing it with a high fashion fantasy.”

Diving into Calza’s SS22 dream, as it turns out, is akin to spending a few hedonism-fuelled days on the Amalfi coast (one that particularly resonates with us Brits, as London’s autumn air begins to bite).

The collection evoked an aquatic adventure of sorts, as draped, rewashed denim was paired with a diamanté-encrusted, super skimpy bra and protruding thong to match. Crochet, floral-embellished dresses and heavily logoed knitwear (all made in Italy) lent themselves to the playful sensuality GCDS is known for, while creamy lightweight robes and macramé vests provided a sense of effortless practicality.

Accessories included straw hats, elongated tassels, clogs made from recycled and compostable materials, as well as glistening stone chains. Presented via a short film, the effect was a high-energy departure from the repetitive dreariness of the pandemic.

5.00pm, September 23rd
5.00pm September 23rd
12.00pm, September 23rd
12.00pm September 23rd

Game on! BOSS x Russell Athletic’s all-American, future-facing collection

TikTokers, influencers, NFTs, models, you name it – this show had the lot. In a pioneering collaboration bridging the gap between physical and digital realms, BOSS x Russell Athletic nailed an interactive collection via comfort and style.

This season, BOSS teamed up with legendary American sportswear brand Russell Athletic to bring fashion firmly onto the gaming pitch, by delivering a Pre-SS22 collection that saw models transform into jocks and athletes.

The star-studded catwalk included the likes of Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls and Adut Akech, all of whom made their way across Milan’s 1,300 capacity, floodlit Kennedy Sport Center in Milan, megaphones in hand.

Not only was the BOSS x Russell Athletic show designed to capture the community spirit inherent in team sports, it also introduced a pioneering phygital” experience for attendees.

The digital crossover event included food trucks, mascots and cheerleaders, and put BOSS’ favourite social media creators front and centre: TikToker Khaby Lame, who has 113 million followers and counting, closed the show as a marker of his first ever partnership with the brand and surely not the last.

The collection, which is already shoppable on Instagram, included five unique BOSS x Russell Athletic NFT varsity jackets available to win via TikTok – if your dance moves are up to it.

As for the physical show, BOSS made sure there was plenty of action on the field, too. References to retro Americana were soundtracked by the 90s-influenced Triuggio Marching Band, as the German luxury brand’s reputation for tailoring was blended with Russell Athletic’s sportswear legacy.

A colour palette of vibrant orange, camel, heather grey and navy was established from the get-go. Jersey shorts with boxers peeking out were paired with a cream varsity jacket and crop-top, all of which were embellished with appropriate collegiate badges and topped off with knitted beanies.

Relaxed, checkered slack trousers and a matching trench coat were offset by a pared back hoodie. And BOSS x Russell Athletic wasn’t afraid to present proper loungewear, either. Neon leggings and a sports bra were worn underneath a lightweight puffer jacket, which stood in contrast to the occasional double-breasted suit or smart, button up long-sleeve.

Off the shoulder knitwear was presented too, adding to the collection’s overall sense of informality and ease. Novelty garments like a fleece, camo varsity jackets with black leather sleeves and matching skirts put a fresh spin on classics, and luxurious knee-length wool coats were regularly worn over co-ord tracksuits. It was a true all-American, high-low mashup for the ages.

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