Milan Fashion Week: Fashion Designers to watch & Spring Summer 2023 Trends by A Stylish Story

Milan fashion week is a biannual event that takes place between January-February and then again in September-October each year. MFW occurs in the third week of Fashion Month. The fashion month of madness always opens in New York, heads then to London, next to Milan, and finally wraps up in Paris.

The Milan Fashion Week is organized by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, Milano Moda Donna, and is one of the most anticipated fashion events of the year.

Industry insiders, VIPs, and the press all flock to the Italian fashion capital to attend exclusive events, runway shows, and fashion presentations. This said, if you happen to be in Milan city at the time of the event, there is a Fashion Hub that is open to the public, which means you can still experience the artistic and fashionable ingenuity of MFW.

Milan Fashion Week

Italians are known for their style, craftsmanship and ability to combine clothes to look impeccably chic. Famous Italian fashion brands include Prada, Loro Piana, Tods, Gucci, Alberta Ferretti, MaxMara, Fendi, Bottega Veneta and Schiaparelli. Prints and textiles are also incredibly important emblems of Italian heritage. Luxury Italian fashion brands known for this include MISSONI, Pucci and Versace.

Milan Fashion Week: ones to watch

Of course, the big names are very exciting and generate a lot of buzz and press coverage. There are also smaller and lesser-known fashion brands that present their collections. With this in mind, here is a quick breakdown of the emerging designers at Milan Fashion Week with innovation and forward-thinking fashion lines to keep an eye on: 

DHRUV KAPOOR

DHRUV KAPOOR the dreamer presentation: This Prêt-à-Porter line was founded by the Indian fashion designer Dhruv Kapoor. Think mesh sets, floor skimming flared sheer trousers and graphic, oversized athletic pieces. My favorite aspect of the new Spring Summer 2023 collection were the circular, crystal-embellished top handle mini bags.

YUME YUME

YUME YUME means “dream” in Japanese. Just like its name, the Dutch brand, founded in 2018 by Eva Korsten and Dave Hendriks present at Milan Fashion Week, offers shoes with a style that are at the same time futuristic and inspired by Japanese traditions. What is truly innovative about their footwear, is that they feature insoles and outsoles made entirely of reused materials such as recycled nylon and rubber or samples of unused products. With an environmentally conscious framework, YUME YUME uses its traditional craftsmanship to ensure sustainability in an innovative manner.

SHUTING QIU

SHUTING QIU – AS A BUTTERFLY CHASING THE SUN. Fashion forward and fun: A complex contradiction in each piece with bold prints combined with softer touches of ruffles and tulle. Colour, textures, and print combinations are all combined in a feminine yet sporty manner. Each piece in the collection is worthy of a conversation with dramatic silhouettes that stand out.

Fashion Fun Fact: The designer has collaborated with Uggs changing the soles and adding hand-sewn sequins in her capsule collection. So her work stretches to footwear as well as fashion.

What to Wear in Milan during Fashion Week?

Of course, Italy is slightly warmer and milder than its other two European counterparts where Fashion Week takes place. Paris and London are freezing and rainy by comparison and you really have to plan your outfits in terms of warmth and comfort if you want to survive there. This means that in Milan, during Fashion Week you can get away with fewer layers and really rock out the latest trends you’ve been itching to try on. In terms of Street Style, you do not need to wait for Milan Fashion Week to get inspired in the city. Simply sit outside a coffee shop in a busy street and sip an espresso whilst watching the incredibly stylish Italians trot past each one oozing more class than the last. This said Milan Street Style Trends that will be making some noise this season include:

What to Wear in Milan during Fashion Week?
  • Noughties nostalgia: 90s Grunge, think Kate Moss meets the Matrix. Everything that made the 90s what they were: Latex leather, cutouts, thin straps, platform sandals, chokers, With this trend, the return of the cool girl is well and truly here.
  • Gilded glamour: sequins, rhinestones and feathers on everything. Euphoria eye makeup is the easiest way to adopt this trend. I tried and loved it personally but “il faut oser !” You might look like your crying glitter tears but that’s the idea. It is such a fun look for an evening fashion event for example.
  • Child’s Play & Y2K are here to stay: Barrette clips, baby blue eyeshadow, lipgloss and plastic jewelry are the easiest way to hop on this trend. Think Moschino fruits, low waist jeans and cartoons – this childhood daydream is what makes this playful trend so easy to adopt.
  • Gucci Grandma: I am not sure how I can name this trend, basically imagine an incredibly stylish grandma who rocks her designer oversized glasses, costume jewelry, and couture on a daily basis. Think lacy frills, chiffon with sequins, prints on prints, ruffles, pearls, and chunky gold with gelato hues.
  • Fashion Faux Pas Made Mainstream: Lastly (and possibly most questionably) Pants paired with dresses, visible lingerie, socks with sandals – essentially all the fashion rules you can imagine, break them. In my days at art school they actually had a themed party exactly in line with this trend (talk about avant-garde!). This anti-fashion fashion in certain circumstances, can be just the look you need.

Who to follow on Social Media during fashion week

Even if you are not able to attend Fashion Week, in this digital era you can happily hop onto your preferred social media outlet and enjoy the digital version of the show. Both TikTok and Instagram are official Fashion Week partners. Many of the Fashion Houses also host live runway streaming sessions. So you can tune in no matter where you are in the world.

There are also all the behind the scenes and street styles which are fun to look at. Here are the top bloggers and fashion accounts to follow:

Who to follow on Instagram During Fashion Week

Fashion Month
New York Fashion Week
Milan Fashion Week
Paris Fashion Week

A Stylish Story pro tips for Fashion Week:

Want to know how to survive fashion month? No stranger to fashion shows, I have worked at Paris Fashion Week, and Couture Week, illustrated live at fashion shows, captured runway looks in the fashion pit as a fashion photographer and attended my fair share of fashion shows around the world as a member of the press, as an art director and a fashion influencer. With that in mind, here’s my two cents if you are headed to fashion week and want some prepping tips:

  • Mini miracles: always have a small mirror compact, a flat comb, your favourite lip product and a hair pin or two handy (easy to add into all your handbags and pretty useful for a quick pic op)
  • The holy grail: A phone charger, because there is nothing more heartbreaking than being at a show with a dead phone. This has happened to me one too many times!
  • Stomping ground: if you absolutely want to wear heels then opt for heeled boots with chunky heels, platforms also support well – you’ll thank me later.
  • Power pack: protein bars, a mini water bottle and chewing gum are going to be your best friends along with a ton of coffee.
  • Logo mania is dead: You would be very much mistaken if you’re planning to wear head to toe designer logos. Unless you are representing a designer, the majority of fashion week people wear unbranded, edgy looks rather than plastering themselves with visible logos. It’s much more of a “if you know, you know” vibe so definitely look at the design quality of what you choose to wear and avoid looking like a walking billboard for a brand.
  • Take your pills: Daflon is going to be your lifeline along with magnesium tablets in the evening.

The Future of Fashion & Italian Designers:

Last but not least, I wanted to touch upon what is next for the Fashion Industry, in particular for Italian fashion designers. With the steady shift linked to digital trends as well as interesting advancements have been adopted by some of Italy’s most loved fashion designers, such as augmented reality collections and fashion gamification.

Fashion and Web3: the Metaverse at Fashion Week

In March there was the first ever Metaverse Fashion Week and it featured luxury brands, household names and digital-native designers. The early adopters include the Italian Fashion designer Dolce & Gabbana who launched a bespoke collection of 20 looks of Metaverse wearable pieces. This season Dolce & Gabbana’s muse consisted of the the ultimate internet celebrity, the OG of social media influencers: Kim Kardashian. Other notable designers with a Metaverse presence include Hugo Boss, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Balenciaga. The latest addition to this list includes Vogue Business that launched their Metaverse Atelier on the 22 of September 2022. A members-only event which brings you behind the scenes and up close to view fashion at its finest.

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