“New Bottega, Prad-da.” The Milan shows are some of the sleekest of the month. From Maximillain Davis and Rhuigi Villaseñor’s polished sophomore collections at Ferragamo and Bally to Max Mara and Bottega Veneta — the shows at Milan Fashion Week Fall/winter 2023 oozed with sophistication (as well as the color red, which we keep telling you is the color of the season). Lots of delicious leathers, tons of bags *we want right now*, chic overcoats, ultra femme skirts (see; Prada), a Kelela front frow spotting at Bottega, and models crowd surfing at Sunnei; there was a lot to unpack.
Gucci this season, designed by an in-house team while we await the debut of new Artistic Director Sabato De Sarno in September, was a modernized retrospective, turning out re-contextualized interpretations of past Gucci collections and eras. From the uber-sexy camp of Tom Ford to the eclectic maximalist designs of Alessandro Michele. We even got an ASAP Rocky (sans rih) sighting, as he
Let’s discuss a few standout collections from the Fall/Winter 2023 Milan shows.
Rhuigi Villaseñor has done it again — presented an ultra-sleek and equally alluring collection. Oversized leather bags, luxe furs, a color palette of maroons, tans, buttery yellow, leather trousers and shirt dresses, and classic white button-ups paired with sleek white trousers. Rhuigi has firmly tapped into merging that classic luxe American sportswear (which brings to mind early Tom Ford) with the Italian luxury house’s sensibilities. This season we also saw the expansion of logos and branding for the house through belts, bags, and coats.
One word; luxury! For his sophomore collection, Maximillian Davis delivered a collection that oozed Italian luxe. The tailoring, the refinement, the styling, THE BAGS! Davis is in full swing, and this collection only heightened that. Structured coats and blazers, beautifully draped dresses, the tasteful use of his signature red, and, yet again, the bags. We all know accessories help, in part, keep the lights on at some of these mega brands, and this season’s offering of bags only further cement that Davis has that on lock. The bags, a combination of new silhouettes as well as styles introduced last season (like the Wanda East-West top handle), are just so good. There’s a magic in Davis’ work that few designers are able to tap into; this juxtaposition of quality/craft and just that undeniable ‘it’ factor. We all want to be the Ferragamo woman.
I mean, it’s Prada. This season it was all about uniforms. Lace appliqué skirts in a myriad of silhouettes paired with basic jumpers, oversized suede blazers, suiting (including a red leather pencil skirt suit that we’re sure to see everywhere), and pillow/duvet skirts and dresses. The dynamic thing about the partnership between Mrs. Prada and Raf is that you get a bit of both of the design heavyweights’ sensibilities every season. This season was no exception. There was a focus on tailoring and jackets (a la Raf) and n intellectual dive into the history of dress for women (Prada).
Where do we start? Smart, exemplary tailoring, leather manipulation (continued from last season), sumptuous coats, the bags, oversized earrings, leather shopping bags, the styling, It’s just too much fashion. Designer Matthew Blazy is 3 for 3 at this point. His Bottega is relatable, wearable clothes but designed with the most luxe fabrics and the utmost attention to quality and construction. Sure, the closing look may be a pair of “jeans” and a white tank with a shirt tied around the waist (which echos the opening look of Fall/Winter 22′) but look closer, and it’s entirely constructed out of leather. That’s the magic and brilliance of Blazy’s Bottega; it may seem minimal and extremely simple, but the quality is top-tier.
The way Glenn Martens manipulates denim should really be a case study in itself. Season after season, we discover new ways to interpret and wear denim, and this season that brief continued. Shearling denim, patchwork, denim hooded dresses, denim bags, thigh boots, etc. Denim, denim, denim — we want it all!