Milan Fashion Week is underway, where brands are presenting their Spring/Summer 2023 collections. Here, we’re looking at what’s new from Prada, MM6 Maison Margiela, DSQUARED2, Max Mara, and BOSS.
A sequence of realities unfolded on the runway of Prada’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection from Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada, touching on different experiences of humanity. An uncomplicated set (imagined by AMO) with dark walls and the occasional paper window framed the presentation as a reality in itself, with ideas of memory, fragility, reflections, and paradox becoming just a few of the concepts that arose. The show space doubled as an immersive art experience, inviting the film director Nicolas Winding Refn to introduce a series of short films during the show looking at the fluid nature of modern femininity, layering additional realities atop the initial experience. Inhabiting the space were designs that considered a spectrum of realities from occasions to everyday or public and private, blurring the lines conceptually along the way. This approach brought a new vocabulary of purpose through elements like crisp poplin shirting turned into full bodysuits, previously intimate styles made to be worn outside the home (we’re thinking of a delicate sheer trapeze silhouette reminiscent of a night dress), and combined details of intention and spontaneity—seen in pieces like tailoring with fabric trains and a series of dresses with fabric that appears to be torn by hand, mirroring details of the set.
The process behind the performance was the concept in which MM6 Maison Margiela’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection and presentation were rooted, treating its audience to a new vantage point during the runway show at the Auditorium di Milano Fondazione Cariplo. Seated on the stage itself—normally the perspective of the performers—attendees looked out at the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano as it played the composition by Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring, conducted by Wladimir Schall. The cast of models revealed thought-provoking silhouettes with a dancer’s attitude, proposing a new approach to the typical uniform. Leotards were worn over pants with snaps left unfastened, shrugs and boleros added layers, sports bra styles were left folded around the waist like belts, tights melded with futuristic footwear, and variations on warmup attire were transformed into pieces like vests with drawstrings, distressed cargo pants, and long fuzzy skirts.
DSQUARED2’s collection “Soft Swell” transported us oceanside, where beach attire and summer activewear were imagined anew for the Spring/Summer 2023 season. Saturated hues, bold prints, and recurring transparencies infused a sensual but fun flair to garments you might expect to see riding the waves, lounging by the pool, or sipping cocktails with salt in the air. Details from scuba suits were deconstructed, reappearing as zips on dresses and other garments, see-through PVC material became jackets and skirts with opposing seams, and bikini tops were layered over shirts and dresses. Cover-up style slips could be found paired with loose pants, gauzy, flowing blouses were worn under wetsuit vests, and board shorts were paired with micro tops. Looks were accessorized with pieces like heeled clogs, large sunhats, single statement earrings, and shades that looked like swimming goggles.
The signature poise of Max Mara was informed by summers spent on the Riviera for its latest collection “The Blue Horizon.” Considering both the beauty of the location and those who have inhabited its shores (especially the muse and fashion icon Renée Perle and the architect Eileen Gray), the collection was one of sun-soaked romance and elegance that lightly recalled fashion of the 1920s and 1930s. Styled in monochrome and brushing a palette of neutrals, inky navy blues, and pastels were exaggerated sun hats, high-waisted sailor pants, rompers reminiscent of vintage swim attire, and effortless pairings of blouses and skirts. The house’s outerwear appeared as overcoats with soft lines (perfect for wearing over the shoulders on a cool evening stroll), easygoing blazers, and dusters with minimal structure. The collection also included a special unprocessed, undyed linen that looks like burlap, which made up a series including an elegant fishtail skirt with raw hems, a slouchy tote with a leather strap, relaxed pantsuits, and a halter-neck dress with an effortless silhouette.
Opting to present its Fall/Winter 2022 designs in Milan this week, BOSS’s new collection was fittingly titled “Soft Power,” reinventing notions of the power suit as inspired by the brand’s motto, “Be Your Own BOSS.” The runway show hosted at the Velodromo Vigorelli welcomed a cast of stars like Ashley Graham, Naomi Campbell, Future, Adut Akesh, Anthony Joshua,and Alicia Schmidt, wearing a selection of men’s and women’s designs. The presentation began with a show of BOSS-clad bikers in cages, who performed gravity-defying acts on motorcycles before the looks were unveiled—revealing the collection’s origins to be rooted in the power sport as well as notions of suiting. Treating power as a quality of strength that is best when arises from softness, we saw variations on suiting in quintessential business hues, ranging from slouchy to sharp, and classic to moto-inspired. A few of our favorite looks included a take on suiting featuring a tailored bomber with moto-padding and a helmet, a black dress with a quilted top and leather riding gloves, and a taupe suiting look where the duster coat was updated with a high neck and visible sports-inspired seams.