Milano Fashion Week 2023

Fall/Winter 23: between reality, wearability and confusion

Milano Fashion Week 2023 shows a fashion recovered from Balenciagitis! The extremely contagious phenomenon that has affected almost every designer so far – seems gone! And finally, brands looked in better shape. However, the number of outfits presented in every single fashion show underlined the blindness of the fashion system towards climate emergency.

Highlights from Milano Fashion Week 23

Gucci: a lot of everything and too much confusion in da house. This show transitions from Alessandro Michele, who destroyed Maison’s heritage in favour of a clownish style, to the new designer, Sabato Sarno, whose first collection will see the light in September. Though waiting for the official handover, perhaps it made sense to show 30 archive clothing pieces mixed with accessories. All that confusion from a Maison like Gucci was nonsense.

Milano Fashion Week 23

Prada: the collection focused on reality, with well-balanced silhouettes and beautiful origami decorations. Indeed, wearable clothes with a purpose, like the nurse dress, had the intent to offer uniforms for daily life. But what about BOF’s title? “A plea for compassion at Prada.” Talking about compassion for a fashion show seems a stretch. Compassion for what? By the way, we still wonder if Miuccia needs Raf Simons. She can do better than stitching a logo onto a skirt.

Dolce & Gabbana: so many deshabille looks gave the impression of an underwear show. However, when the more “habillé” outfits came out, we finally could see some of the Dolce & Gabbana original designs. Indeed, this one was much better than their latest fashion shows.

Bottega Veneta: precise tailoring cuts highlighted an image of quality and clean elegance. Beautiful textured fabrics gave a sense of unexpectedness. But maybe too many themes make you lose attention.

What do all the brands have in common?

Apart from the circus of most participants at Milano Fashion Week 2023 with zero idea of style or elegance and some indigestible starlets. Still, everyone showed trillions of outfits! They persist on that. Why? Nobody is slowing down. No one hits the brake, creating and suggesting an idea of style and lifestyle in tune with the current times.
The fashion industry (as our economic system) thrives on an overproduction pattern. Even if the world is melting down, no one cares to make a change!

WAMI and Stella Jean’s controversy over Milano Fashion Week

A lack of inclusion and diversity or a matter of money?

WAMI is the acronym for “We Are Made In Italy”, a collective of BIPOC designers. Stella Jean, an Italian designer of Haitian origin, is at the helm of this group.

Early in February, while Carlo Capasa, president of “Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana”, introduced the Fall/ Winter schedule, Stella Jean suddenly stood up and denounced the lack of inclusion.

“No promises made by the president of Camera Moda have been kept.”

“We were at the opening of the February fashion show calendar but we had to withdraw because, how do we pay for the collections if the designers don’t have the means?”

Stella Jean

Wami, Stella Jean and Camera Moda: the controversy

So, Stella Jean said she dropped out of fashion week because Camera Moda didn’t keep their promise to support BIPOC designers. Also, on the same day, she started a hunger strike. Consequently, Camera Moda’s president replied they’ve supported the BIPOC collective of designers for two years, meaning four seasons. Furthermore, Capasa added they did what they could and couldn’t become entrepreneurs.

Fashion business: a matter of representation or money?

Having a certain knowledge of the fashion field, we wonder how it can be possible to set up a fashion brand in two years. Indeed, the situation is more complex than it seems, and we can identify three main problems:
First, money is the biggest issue. If you can invest in your project, whatever your race is, you’ll find a way to show your collection. Open doors in showrooms, exhibitions or fashion shows.
Second, everything has already been done in fashion, and it’s difficult for new designers to create something new or special which would make them stand out, pushing those in the industry to search for them.
Third, “black lives matter” – inclusion – diversity – disability – sustainability – fluidity – are just buzzwords the fashion industry uses for promotion. Nothing more.

Two-year support to launch a fashion brand: is it enough?

In the complexity determined by money, creativity, and representation, Camera Moda offered WAMI a two-year plan. Is it enough to launch underrepresented brands? It seems tough. Especially now.

In fact, in an oversaturated fashion market, the truth is that there isn’t much space. There are more brands than people who would purchase them. Time for a change!

Fashion week frontier

Which medium will survive

General Fashion Week Playbook
Over several decades, the fashion industry has evolved in so many ways.
The female silhouette has transformed from lung crushing corsets and 19th-century victorian buns to genderless streetstyle and avant-garde designs.

Brands have progressed in their method of garment innovation. Yet since the first catwalk show by Lady Duff Gordon in 1901, runway innovations have only advanced in the context of event design. Designers and brands had decided to keep the mediums of runway shows and video promotions completely separate.

Runway shows are so 2019

If we normalize sustainability, why is the mass waste of a fashion show not considered as a drastic factor taking part in unnecessary waste?

After seeing most daily activities turn to the remote medium, why is a runway show one of the only things left behind for deep discussion and debate?

Just because something from the past was so universally enjoyed, doesn’t mean it’s required to remain the same and be the exception to a painfully corrupted system.

The new Fashion Week medium

Fashion premiered through short films

As a matter of fact, we are in a society where creative innovation is crucial. And not only for progressing as a population but for general survival.
Aside from the world of technology, the fashion industry hosts some of the most innovative and open-minded thinkers of our lifetime.
There is no satisfaction in sedimentary and placid thinking. Consistent change is expected and embraced.
So why have we suddenly decided to halt our experiments here? At a time when it is most vital for the progression of an industry.

We are now entering a new industry era of fashion trailers. Short films, produced to showcase a designer’s newest collection in a way that emphasizes the brand image and what future they’d like the consumer to expect.

Of course, many are hesitant about this idea.
This era will be the test that determines who are the true lovers of design and creativity. And who participate just to gain social media followers and views.


A piece written by Gavriel Ewart. An American girl studying fashion and communication at Cattolica university in Milan and interning for suite123

It’s war! The world we don’t want

Can fashion stay relevant during a war next to our door?

It’s war! Yesterday we awoke with a clear feeling of insanity and disgust as the first news we heard in the morning told us that Russia declared war on Ukraine.

From the end of the Cold War to a real war

The fact sent us back to the past. Indeed, the terrible news was like a flashback that took us to the year Sting released the song Russians. It was 1985 – we were teenagers, music was the centre of our universe, and that song impacted us. By the way, the world was almost at the end of the Cold War.

Russians lyrics came to our mind evoking sad thoughts:
“In Europe and America, there’s a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets.”

Nothing has changed over time, nor can we say humanity has ever learned something from past events. The majority of which were man-made disgraces. In fact, we keep on repeating the same mistakes over and over again, and perhaps we like it too.


The background of Milano Fashion Week

Against this background of horrible facts, we should talk about Milano Fashion Week. And to be honest, it doesn’t come so easy.

The first impression we have is that the language has become cloying. All the wording, from sustainability to diversity, from inclusion to genderless, flooded the industry and flattened the proposals. These empty claims seem to depict a fake universe detached from reality. In the end, brands follow one another without having a real character that makes them unique.

“Balenciagitis” is a kind of contagious phenomenon which has affected many brands, depriving them of their core identity.

The mood so far seemed very 90’s: tank tops, layering, see-through dresses.

However, Putin’s scary words and actions today resonate with more than fashion. So we quote Sting’s song again:

“There’s no such thing as a winnable war
It’s a lie we don’t believe anymore!”

‘Rewiring fashion’ they said?

News from Milano Fashion Week 22

Rewiring fashion seemed to be the new purpose in the fashion field. But there was no trace of it during the Milano Fashion Week 22.

Back to back, physical fashion shows, digital presentations. Both, in some cases. All perfectly aligned with the pre-pandemic world. You can smell the status quo. And not for fear or lack of courage, rather because that’s the way to make money.

More than anything else, the urgent brands’ intent seemed the will to connect with the Chinese market. This quest reverberated like a scream or a cry for help in the majority of the presentations.

The only new element (in case we still want to consider it so) is the calling of a diverse flood of models. Now different silhouettes or ethnicities are well represented in fashion events, and it is clearly positive. Although it’s lovely that anyone can identify with the models and see how dresses fit on various body shapes, the problem is that many of these new generations of boys and girls have no sense of elegance. So the image of these fashion shows looks poorly.

The Roof Milano
Milano Fashion Week
The Roof Milano

Spring-Summer 22: rewiring fashion?

It is not that now the trend is more sporty, it is the comment we heard during a fashion show. It’s that elegance is dead. Culturally dead, in wearing, speaking, or living.

Most importantly, there is no shift in terms of communication. Indeed, what emerged is the same way of spreading the work. Perhaps with a further decrease of the overall perceived value. The Instagram way seemed still relevant, with all the related circus. Which, by the way, we found boring. If not annoying.
We are fed up with it, aren’t you?

The official press, or what remains of it, can only be condescending or applauding. Budgets for advertising are already cut to the bones, better avoid any further reduction.

Designers are creatives, and creatives are supposed to have views about style, life, and the future.

But what is the vision?
What kind of woman do they want to promote?
What kind of future do they want to see?

And what about the rewiring fashion idea? Apart from the empty marketing slogans, which want to represent the (fake) change, what are we talking about?