Fashion shows continue to see new forms of presentation and out-of-the-box ideas as we’re in the midst of slowly returning to the world as we knew it. The recently concluded Milan Fashion Week was proof of that, as designers such as Jeremy Scott managed to generate much talk and excitement around Moschino’s “show-ception”. Elsewhere, Onitsuka Tiger made its debut at the Italian fashion capital for the first time, growing its presence and positioning in new markets.
Before we look to Paris and other out-of-season shows (Versace’s is coming up on 5th March), here are the highlights of Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021-22.
While his second collection for the house of Fendi didn’t feature a star-studded cast like last month’s couture show, Kim Jones continued to dive into the heritage and stories of the Roman house in a manner that adds his own articulation into the narrative. Referencing the wardrobe of the five Fendi sisters and drawing from Karl Lagerfeld’s legacy as well, his vision for the Fall/Winter 2021 season offered a series of washed mink coats and double cashmere and camel outerwear, followed by silk shirts and draped dresses before concluding with utilitarian jackets and jumpsuits. This is a collection that’s personified by strong women who don’t necessarily attribute fun and femininity to bright colours or delicate fabrics, but to a sense of self-indulgence and sophisticated elegance.
In true Jeremy Scott fashion, Moschino’s FW20 presentation had no lack of theatrics. Calling the concept a show within a show within a show within a show, the “Jungle Red” short film opens at a salon show with ever-changing sets which (spoiler alert) turns into another show of its own. The collection is as diverse as it gets, with clothing, bags and accessories designed to match the sets – ranging from practical pinstripe suits for city, to prairie dresses with printed cows for the countryside, to sequinned giraffe dresses for the jungle, and midcentury ball gowns recalling the sophistication and grandeur of early Hollywood for the salon. It helped to have a star-studded cast carrying the bizarre looks, among which included Winnie Harlow, Hailey Bieber, Miranda Kerr and Dita Von Teese, who may or may not have closed the show with some extra cheek (the literal, bottom kind). Trust Jeremy Scott to bring back the thrill of (dying) fashion shows in a pandemic-stricken era.
Inspired by the idea of change and transformation, Prada co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons presented a collection that merges disparate themes with the intention of mirroring the nature of humanity. Reusing the same digital format and set of “non-spaces” for the menswear show back in January, the presentation explores the space between conventional polar opposites – the point between simplicity and complexity, elegance and practicality, limitation and release – through a multi-layered collection. Knits were aplenty, as were faux fur coats and wraps, worn over turtleneck tops and long tunic dresses. Ease and movement were the central themes, subtly alluding to society’s preparation to reemerge into the world after a year deprived of social interactions.
To move forward, you have to think forward – and so Paul Andrew did, by dabbling into the world of sci-fi. The Ferragamo creative director embraced the future by shaping what it might look like and presenting it in the form of a pre-recorded runway show with LED screens for backdrops in lieu of fancy sets or green screens. The futuristic CGI effects worked to fuel a spirit of imagination and fantasy, echoed by the bionic-looking bodysuits, clear ponchos, tanned leather coats and fluorescent ensembles. Merging the worlds of military and sport, the looks are designed to be unisex and are made with sustainability in mind, using materials such as post-consumer recycled polyester, recycled pre- and post-consumer wool and cashmere.
Recommended for you: Stop greenwashing: Stay informed with our green glossary
For the first time ever, Japanese fashion brand Onitsuka Tiger showcased its Fall/Winter 2021 collection at Milan Fashion Week via a digital fashion film titled “UNFASHIONSHOW”. While the brand has been a regular at Tokyo Fashion Week since 2014, its move to Milan is closely related to creative director Andrea Pompilio, whose home and studio is based in the Italian capital. The show reflected the three key pillars of Onitsuka Tiger’s DNA: music, movement and art – where the collection is brought to life simultaneously with performances by performer M ¥ SS KETA, dancer Gabriele Esposito and visual artist OZMO. Pompilio worked together with Toyoki Adachi, designer and artistic director of the textile graphic brand “nowartt,” to incorporate textile graphics on to down jackets, trousers and backpacks. The PAW line also made a return with references to 1970s trekking, offering a selection of track and field sportswear combining contrasting concepts, namely “vintage x art” and “analog (hand drawn) x digital”.