Milan Fashion Week A/W 2022: Prada at Max Mara
In this extended report, Scarlett Conlon reports live from the Milan Fashion Week A/W 2022 shows, with continued coverage as they unfold on the catwalk
After two years in shallow waters, Milan Fashion Week is back for Fall/Winter 2022 with a full capacity schedule of 67 physical shows and a host of heavy hitters and newbies keeping the fashion pack on its toes. As well as welcoming Alessandro Michele’s Gucci to the program after a break, the hot ticket is Matthieu Blazy’s debut at Bottega Veneta.
Elsewhere, stalwarts Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana are joined by young talents at Ferrari, Blumarine, Roberto Cavalli and Diesel. As they say, it’s all in the mix; here’s everything you need to know about Milan Fashion Week A/W 2022, in real time.
Milan Fashion Week A/W 2022: Blumarine
Blumarine F/W 2022
Nicola Brognano, the new darling of the Milan fashion scene, is the man to thank for the current early 2000s revival in all its understated, butterfly-adorned, glittering glory. The Blumarine creative director garnered a cult fan base after his last show in September and they were out in force to support him this season. For this show, his third for the house, he brought a level of sophistication that shows he can do bespoke luxury and it’s a very deliberate direction to take him in a direction that pays homage to the heyday of Juicy Couture. Here, catsuits were accessorized with rhinestone bows, waterfall “going out” tops met handkerchief skirts, and satin chemises with built-in corsetry were worn with straight-leg jeans and bodice-embellished heels. Elsewhere, heavily loaded thigh-high stockings and leather suspender belts were countered by the house’s signature cropped cardigans giving Cruel Intentions vibes that will have cult new Blumarine coming back for more.
Prada A/W 2022
“A commemoration of life and life – of the occasion of the everyday, giving importance to every moment.” Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons presented “An Ideology of Prada” which looked at the codes of the past and presented them through a pragmatic shared vision that achieved a balance between delicacy and determination. The classics – white tank tops, delicately embroidered sheer skirts, leather bombers and bomber jackets, and rich intarsia knits – came with a fresh attitude and new proportions, with allover sequin embroidery and space-age silver boots giving a strong hype kick. “Tradition passes on culture between generations – a conduit from past to present,” read the show’s notes, a time frame that was echoed in the cast and crowd as well. Alongside Kaia Gerber, Kendall Jenner and Euphoria star Hunter Schafer on the catwalk were Erin O’Connor, Liya Kebede and Arizona Muse, with Kim Kardashian – in head-to-toe A/W 22 Prada menswear – in the FROW.
Sunnei A/W 2022
Breaking news: Running is the new walk. At Sunnei, the dynamic Milanese youth brand run by designers Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo, models sprinted to the outside catwalk (catrun?) after being dropped off by a line of Milan city taxis as we, invited , were asked to record the event on the slow motion setting on our phones. The idea was to engage us in the “performance…a moment of irony amidst the Fashion Week craze, a little break from the frenzy that drives us through these times”. Both hugely entertaining and fascinating to watch, it did the trick. Reviewing the images, guests were able to study the garments in detail: the designers had honed their penchant for 1990s and 2000s nostalgia through tight jerseys with diagonal zippers, 3D knits and technical backpacks with fringes. “Crystallize the moment,” they told guests. How smart.
Max Mara F/W 2022
“How can we motivate people to want to invest in our world if there’s no magic out there?” Max Mara’s long-term creative director Ian Griffiths asked backstage after the show. “I especially think that with what we’ve been through for the past two years and what we’re still going through, people are looking for a magic ingredient.” The A/W22 collection he just presented certainly had plenty of magical moments: seeing the Max Mara teddy bear coat reimagined as track shorts, huge skirts and even bigger fanny packs, and a line of exquisite tuxedos. Inspired by modernist designer, dancer and architect Sophie Taeuber-Arp, the collection embraced the idea of “rationalism and pragmatism but with a folk fairy tale magic,” Griffiths continued; cue chunky intarsia knits with built-in arm plates, wraparound balaclava dresses, and the famous modernized camel coat with quilted inserts that featured the idea of protection.
Seduction, individualism and freedom were the hallmarks of Fausto Puglisi’s second outing for Roberto Cavalli on Wednesday evening; stimuli that took him in a bondage-meets-grunge direction of the 1990s with a strong influence from Queen Elizabeth and high society. If that sounds like throwing a lot of stuff at a wall and seeing what sticks, it turns out most are stuck. House signatures like her cut-out dresses were given a new invention with silver hardware; its animal print has largely ditched the “gala” territory it is synonymous with and arrived in a structured suit with green and yellow velvet accents; and a new Cavalli tartan appeared in mohair coats and capes, bolstered by chunky biker boots. Puglisi couldn’t resist a heavy line of ceramic floral appliqués and all-over encrusted rhinestones – an ode to the “porcelain boudoir of the Royal Palace of Capodimonte”, which we can just leave there – but it was a strong second outing that stuck.
No. 21 A/W 2022
Oversized pea coats, bias-cut trench coats, gathered sheath dresses with ruffles and ladder knit, corseted shirts and sequined skirts: the creative director of No21, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, proposed a collection “to be shared entirely between women and men”, said the designer in order to “rewrite in an updated key the now age-old techniques and vocabulary of fashion”. So lightweight chiffon met substantial tweeds as rhinestone chains swayed under wool-intarsia outerwear and chunky woolen trousers and drop-waisted pleated skirts made for plush wintry foundations balancing the little the. Dell’Acqua’s pursuit of “updating the language to achieve female and male figures that best reflect the times” came across as fresh and eternally wearable.
You never know when a blister moment might occur; for Fendi’s creative director Kim Jones, this season it was Delfina Delettrez – the brand’s jewelry designer and daughter of longtime menswear creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi – entering the atelier in the one of his mother’s printed silk shirts. “This brings me right into my family story,” enthused Fendi in the show notes. “I saw those prints on myself, Kim saw them on Delfina…there’s always a story behind every piece.” The print in question is from former creative director Karl Lagerfeld’s S/S 1986 collections for the house, which Jones – an archival enthusiast – ‘searched’ for inspiration. He paired it with Lagerfeld’s Fall/Winter 2000 offering, resulting in a collection of contrasts: sheer chiffon dresses sit alongside starker corseted counterparts; shearling shaved outerwear that gave the impression of flirty fur with leather trench coats and asymmetrical boleros; and peplum pants and skirts introduced a utilitarianism into this otherwise delicate display.
Stay tuned for more Wallpaper* coverage of Milan Fashion Week A/W 2022 as it happens. §