The third day of Milan Fashion Week, 23 September, holds many surprises. For those who were wondering where supermodels and stars ended up, here is the answer: directly on the catwalks of MFW 2022. Like Paris Hilton, Barbie in the flesh at the Versace fashion show. She is echoed, at Tod's, by Carla Bruni and Naomi Campbell. The stars, at Gucci, are twin models; while new creative directors make their debut on the same day at Etro and Missoni.
The dress does not make the man, goes an old saying. But the catwalks overturn the myth: the monk makes the dress.
Indeed, the last few seasons have marked the return of stars and top models to the catwalk. Iconic stars who single-handedly launch messages and champion entire collections.
Paris Hilton, Barbie bride for Versace
Just as happened with JLo in 2019 in a jungle dress, we will remember Versace's Spring-Summer 2023 show above all for the surprise appearance of Paris Hilton, a modern Barbie in a dress of yesteryear. Specifically, a micro mesh dress covered in pink crystals, with a soft neckline, worn with a matching bridal veil and tiara: a remake of the same model worn by Madonna in the 1995 Atelier Versace campaign. Along with her, brides for one night Gigi and Bella Hadid, Irina Shayk, Rianne Van Rompaey and Emily Ratajkowski.
Rebels, starting with the personality and ending with the look: not only wedding dresses that are in truth hyper sexy petticoats, but also skinny trousers, miniskirts and maxi leather jackets, cut-out tops, sheer lupettes. The 3D knit spikes are mixed with floral prints on a dark background, the satin cargo jackets with the elegant overcoat. A celebration of the diva woman, capable of 'divining' everything she wears.
Gucci's different cufflinks
Seeing double. At Gucci's Spring-Summer 2023 show, Alessandro Michele relies on a casting of only twins, who reunite at the finale in the same clothes after having walked separately. The dress is replicated, as is the similar pair: and indeed the show has the programmatic title of Gucci Twinsburg. "A reminder of the fact that we are more than one in the world – we are many," explains the designer, who in the show note recounts his personal experience grappling with two mothers, twins and different, but extremely similar.
Hence the fascination with the concept of dualism, towards what in appearance seems to reflect the same. "The deception of similarity" is perfectly represented by the choice of showing 68 pairs of models who resemble each other but are distinct beings, while the clothes inspired by China, one of the designer's favourite countries, turn out to be connective fabrics. In sarongs, micro kimonos or sensual hangfu, in utility jacket or leather biker, in garter belt or animal tights, the clothing has the power to unite different destinies, tastes and personalities. Proof that fashion 'thrives on serial multiplications that nevertheless do not hinder the most genuine expression of each individuality'.
Carla Bruni and Naomi Campbell for Tod's
At the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, amidst Anselm Kiefer's seven imposing towers, Tod's Spring-Summer 2023 collection designed by Walter Chiapponi goes on stage. A solid wardrobe my light, made up of soft, solid colours and daily garments to be worn in a layering key by the brand's typical woman, who has always been a fan of the beautiful and wearable. On the catwalk, Carla Bruni, 54, who opens in a powdery total look and loafers, and Naomi Campbell, 52, who closes in a leather trench coat and comfort cage sandal.
The two supermodels of the past present themselves as the old/new interpreters of a style that has been updated, but with a timeless character. Thus the classic gommino sits on the trendy satin ballerinas, the maxi and tailored gilet is worn like a t-shirt, the python skirt with the tank top. A current wardrobe, which, on the strength of Made in Italy quality, strikes and plays it safe, generations apart.
Marco De Vincenzo for Etro, Filippo Grazioli for Missoni
Couples of super tops, but also of novice creative directors. There are two talents making their debut on day 3 of the Milan fashion shows: the 40-year-old Sicilian Marco De Vincenzo, at Etro, and Filippo Grazioli, born in 1981, from the Marche region, at Missoni. Each is called upon to bring his experience and personality to brands with a rich and powerful heritage, and the results, like their stories, are different.
The journey just begun by Marco De Vincenzo is aimed at lightening the origins of the Maison. Simplifications of form that convey the complexity of expertise, using hand-dyed tie-dye cashmere, embroidered brocades on denim, degradé stripes to embellish classic cotton shirts with the Pegaso logo. The destination is uncertain, between satin cocktail sheath dresses with citydine fascinations and batik-flavoured ankle boots: but in the end, what really matters is starting out on a new path.
For his part, the designer formerly Riccardo Tisci's right-hand man at Givenchy and Burberry demonstrates what he has learnt during his young career, making a few small changes to a brand that was already strong in its own right, thanks to the widespread return of knitwear. The work is evident in the sharp, vertical, body conscious silhouettes; but also in the use of new colours, from yellow to magenta to cyan to the primary black and white. Transparencies and cut-outs, knots, micro sequins are the new style details that make the graphic motifs dear to the Maison, such as the ever-present Zig Zag, shine. More than usual.
The Alice in Wonderland of Sportmax
Bouba/Kiki. Words that evoke sounds and inspire shapes: the first rounded, the second pointed, according to an experiment conducted in 2001 by two neuroscientists on a sample of Tamil-speaking students.
Proof that sight and hearing are connected in a totally instinctive way: and this is exactly how Sportmax conceives the new Spring-Summer 2023 collection, according to a mix of cuts, prints and lengths that is creative, energetic, at times illogical.
Childlike imagination comes to life in the wardrobe of a modern Alice in Wonderland, based on lively dualisms: micro tops, blazers and trousers with very long sleeves, acid tones combined with each other, trompe l'oeil effects embroidered on knitwear or applied like studs at breast height. Bags are reminiscent of Mary Poppins' trunks, boots are modelled on the leg like a second skin.
In the face of imaginative and dreamlike styling, the individual pieces are highly wearable. Shapes that resonate and stand out in the wardrobe.