Lines of luxury cars form in front of the shows where the stars of fashion and entertainment step out. The crowds wait vigilantly for the arrival of their favorite model, actress or influencer, eager to make their dream of a selfie with them come true, crystallizing a smile with him or her into an image allowing the taker to possess a part of the beauty and fame.
I experienced the Fashion Week in the lively and multifaceted world “outside”, amongst the crowd of photographers all waiting for a famous person or a perfect shot, along with the aspiring models hoping to show themselves to the world and the beautiful and elegant women and men who simply want to see and be seen.
The end of each fashion show inside brings its models down to reality from the rarified fantasy world of the catwalk. The models, with noble humility, all come outside and mingle with the waiting audience, where they pose for hundreds of anonymous photographers who take thousands of shots.
Of the 65 shows scheduled for the women’s spring and summer 2022 seasons, 43 of them were done in-person and 22 virtually. Prada decided to combine both formats. It used a double catwalk– one in Milan and one in Shanghai– simultaneously presenting exactly the same clothes in the same order, 9,000 kilometers apart and shown virtually in each location. The week also saw the return of the iconic Roberto Cavalli after a period of absence, and long- established brands such as Luisa Spagnoli officially held their own shows for the first time.
Because fashion reflects life and society, the visions of the designers and brands have undoubtedly been influenced by the “Covid era”. Some designers made the choice to recenter themselves around their traditional styles, proposing a classic and timeless concept of feminine style. Alberta Ferretti is one such designer who was loyal to his classic collections, much like Armani, who nevertheless instructed his models to smile on the catwalks to acknowledge the optimistic new era.
For other designers however, the end of confinement and social restrictions kindled a desire to “teach, celebrate and liberate the body” in a spirit of renewal. This was seen in the Missoni show, with very brief bikinis and silhouettes that recall Dolce & Gabbana and the hyper-sexy 2000s, with necklines descending below the navel. Versace, the house that made sensuality its hallmark, was not far behind with tiny bodices and rubber skirts.
Milano once again did not disappoint, and gave us a strong and vital dose of creation, beauty, and glamour, allowing us to embrace the best of the past while looking to the future with confidence and bright hope.
Pablo Munini, © Milan September 2021
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