Luxurious. That’s the best word to describe the fashion you’ll find in Milan. As Italy’s fashion hub and the third stop during fashion month, the city’s fashion is split into two camps. There’s the polished old-school elegance of labels like Max Mara and Tod’s, then there’s the bold, almost campy feel of Versace and Roberto Cavalli. But, for Spring/Summer 2022, both ends of the fashion spectrum are focused on dressing powerful, successful women in ways that make them feel like the most important person in the room.
Some of the city’s heavy hitters, namely Gucci and Bottega Veneta, have shifted to showing on their own schedules, but there were still plenty of trendy pieces to lust over. Prada chose to simultaneously put on shows in Shanghai and at the Fondazione Prada, offering what co-designers Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons named “Seduction, Stripped Down”. It was elegant, powerful, but still sensual. Kim Jones’ second ready-to-wear collection at Fendi imagined re-emergence style as a hybrid, between the formality of workwear and the comfort of underwear and silky separates. And on the streets, women in attendance showed the same affinity for melding a free-spirited attitude with capital-F Fashion. As women across the globe adjust to a lifestyle that requires a certain return to old mores, they’re looking for clothing that can still give them the comfort and imagination they’ve adopted into their wardrobes over the last year and change. Below, discover six trends from the Milan runways that will help you embrace the joyful power of putting on clothes.
There’s no denying the rise of homespun techniques like quilting and crochet in mainstream fashion. In Milan, major labels embraced the ‘60s-inspired technique with woven tops, skirts, and dresses in both colorful iterations (at Etro and Jil Sander) and monochromatic at the likes of Tod’s and No. 21. The difference: this isn’t your cutesy craft trend, these iterations feel sophisticated and grown-up.
Swim & Suits
There are suits and there are swimsuits — for spring, those two radically different concepts are coming together in unexpected harmony. Bikini tops and one-pieces are replacing traditional tees and button-downs as a layering option beneath more formal separates. While it may not be couth to wear this ensemble to the office, if you’re tuning into Zoom from the pool, go for it.
Blumarine is a brand that industry insiders tie to the recent return of aughts-inspired fashion, but in Milan, there were a number of powerhouse labels championing low-rise, leopard prints, and even wide belts. In fact, many of the houses looking back to the ‘00s had their own powerhouse moments during the time, too — hello, Cavalli. Bottom line: you’ll want the new collections, but these brands likely have some enviable vintage worth seeking out too.
The rise of beaming, bright yellow was apparent throughout Milan, and the hues of choice spanned the spectrum from pale butter at Sunnei and Sportmax to Prada and Versace’s neon. But, the tint worth wearing come spring is a deep, lemony yellow that Milan’s more minimalist brands brought out to play. Max Mara and Jil Sander put the focus on impeccable tailoring, making for a bright look that still feels polished.
While going out clothes in London meant lots of sheer fabrics, Milan took a different approach, debuting party looks that shone on the runway like a parade of decadent disco balls. Separates and dresses made appearances in silver, gold, and even shimmering shades of orange and purple. Celebratory (and sensual) dressing isn’t going anywhere next year.
Italians are known for their trim suiting and luxe outerwear, but this season they're eschewing the more is more mentality when it comes to layering. Instead, there’s something subtly undone about the polished pieces found in the collections of brands that vary from quirky-cool Prada to in-your-face Versace. It’s no longer about being buttoned-up, it’s about loosening your collar and stripping down the pomp.