The Best of MFW AW22
Milan Fashion Week was a tumultuous time this year. The excitement of MFW was dampened thoroughly by the news that Russia had decided to finally invade Ukraine, and it felt utterly stupid to be excited about clothes in a time where people’s lives were changing inextricably for the worse. But as we could only watch in horror, fashion marched on, and people tried to look at MFW as a minor bright light in a time of horror and shock.
My man Kim Jones at Fendi again hit us with the pastels, and sheer stretch silk outfits with a frilly finish. Mixing in the tailored businesswomen look, his skirts had an asymmetric overlay, which works simultaneously as a belt and a peplum, drawing attention to the waist and making a serious skirt more feminine. Also in that same style was a bustier – something we’ll be seeing a lot of this season. Layered over sheer, frilly-seamed pants were closed lapelled blazers which created a great juxtaposition of covering up as opposed to the sheer dresses and trousers underneath.
Pointy-toed heels also seem to be back in after the rounded toes of seasons past, making sometimes clunky looking shoes look more feminine and elongating the legs (however bad news for our poor toes).
Roberto Cavalli was intrigued by the cut-out memo this season, and spun a little bondage twist onto the trend with black leather straps connected to thick chokers. However, to lighten the BDSM mood, Cavalli added either a multitude of leather roses onto the garment or added some flowy chiffon for the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
Prada were taking it back to the 90’s with their white tank top and sheer below-the-knee skirt combo. Alongside Cavalli, Prada also had plentiful appliquéd flowers dotted on skirt hems and growing all over puffer jackets like a weed. The sheer panelled skirts were overlayed by statement coats – some femininely boxy black dress coats, some bright pink leather trenches. Cosy herringbone coats were jazzed up with fun fluffy armbands consisting of pastel pink or lime green shaggy fur, or fuzzy shearling. Some pea coats even had feather armbands to really push the boat out!
Not a trend per se but at least something to notice, on both Emporio Armani’s and Maison Margiela’s runways we saw many a thigh high boot (for men too!). Did Bottega Veneta spook the herd with their thigh high Lugs? Are we going back to the days of those Stuart Weitzman boots? True to form, Bottega came out with some thigh-high leather woven stomping boots, so maybe it’s here to stay.
Another non-trend were cool shearling jackets, perhaps back on the up? Prada, Etro, and Ambush both have done great ones, among other brands which don’t immediately come to mind (that’s called lazy journalism, my friends). Ideally, we’d head back to the days of the Burberry Prorsum A/W 2010, when oversized shearling aviator jackets were worn over barely-there silk chiffon dresses… Fingers crossed!
On Blumarine’s runway we either had the itsy-bitsiest, tiniest models I’ve ever seen on a runway, but we also had some in-betweenies (yes! Long live the size 10!) and nothing in between (no pun intended) – and they were all wearing roses. I like to think they were inspired by Magda Butrym – my new favourite designer – who favours roses on almost everything.
Versace showcased bustiers all-round, with some fitted into dresses, some fitted into coats, and some simply by themselves. Donatella’s collection didn’t blow me away clothing-wise, although I have already mentally purchased her platform pointy-toe stompers – the more cut-throat, time-for-business cousin of everybody’s favourite Medusa platform heels from last season.
Bustier’s seen almost everywhere, from Sportmax to Fendi. Expect to be cinched up tight – restrictive femininity is back.
Hold-up stockings were a big hit, with sultry banded stockings shown on Dolce & Gabbana, Sportmax, and Blumarine – I’ll have to dig out my old Agent Provocateur’s…
Ginormous shoulders were also a hit, perhaps D&G took a leaf out of David Koma’s book and decided that big American Football shoulders were à la moment.
A large talking point of MFW was Bottega Veneta’s new designer after Daniel Lee’s mysterious exit last year… Mattieu Blazy took over the helm, and although his accessories (always Daniel’s strong point) weren’t as cult material, they certainly didn’t disappoint. Leather woven baskets, and woven over the knee boots were hits, but the star of the show were the leather fringed skirts swishing down the runway. (Also pro tip: Bottega showed an extremely similar herringbone coat to Prada – check which one costs less and buy the cheaper version! Probably going to be Bottega…)
Diesel took Miu Miu’s tiny-tiny skirt and took it one step further. Big belts and waist details are a big trend this season, so what did Diesel do? Made a belt into a skirt. Yep. There’s no way Kim K stans will ever fit their ample bottoms into those – frankly, I have doubts I could fit my size 10 ass into there. Godspeed to whoever is keen to don those, I salute you. Diesel also sent some fabulous iridescent pastel minidresses down the runway, with models dusted in similar coloured pigment to match the dress, creating an intergalactic hottie strutting down the high street on Mars.
Gucci finally launched its Adidas collaboration this season, complete with Gucci x Adidas silk headscarves and triple-striped purple berets. Relaxed tailored suits mirror the signature Adidas tracksuits, perfectly combining casual and business at the same time. Groovy trousers in what looks like a 70’s floral design at a closer look turn out to be a retro play on the Adidas lotus logo. A monogrammed Gucci bustier with an Adidas front panel worn over a cream latex dress with triple stripes down the side were some of the great women’s looks, although I felt the men’s looks were much stronger than the women’s this season.
Stand out trends seemed to be bustiers, and roses, although Mary Janes are coming back, being favoured by Ambush and Versace. Also it seems that almost every designer has done a sheer-ish black catsuit à la Alaïa at some point in their collection – apt as Batman has just come out in cinemas and god knows Zoe Kravitz stole the show in the movie, and all over the world on the red carpet.
I’ll see you in Paris, ma chérie…