Milan Fashion Week: Granny Chic, Raspberry Velvet & Outfit Templates For Autumn

  • April 1, 2023

Ciao! Following New York and London, the fashion industry descended on Milan, the latest stop on the seasonal circuit for autumn-winter 2023.

Italian designers presented musings on old money, new luxury and dressing up (or down), with all eyes on the runways as designers continue to

Simplicity is establishing itself as the mood of the moment, and the Italian approach is one of quiet luxury and classic glamour. These were our favourite looks.

It’s always appreciated how Matthieu Blazy knows how to present clothes for men and women as a united front. It’s not often the balance is right for others. I’m a big fan of Emma’s Bottega Veneta pick too (see below, Look 80), and this chic tie-neck dress with pannier pockets is an example of combining every gender under the sun into one great dress. The subtle pleating, top stitching, and subtle 80s suiting fabric is a winner. — Dan Ahwa, fashion and creative director

Much has been made of this collection — an interim offering from the design studio — but there were a lot of ideas, risks and references in the mix, which warrants appreciation. I keep coming back to this look — it’s simple, sexy and has a dash of the Tom Ford era about it, without feeling like a reproduction. The combination of a raspberry velvet skirt slung over purple fishnets is fruity and hot, and I will be trying this myself. — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

I love Matthieu Blazy’s direction with Bottega Veneta. The brand, which reached cult status more recently for its elevated luxe and classic designs, has added an edge, a little more maximalist than its minimalist past. This look made me smile; I love the modern granny chic look with lace and a pretty minty-green colour. — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons aren’t really reinventing the wheel here, but what’s not to admire about a garment that basically does all the work for you? The duo know how to do outerwear and turn things on their head, so this parka-dress hybrid idea is genius. A pair of penny loafers would be nice here too. — Dan Ahwa, fashion and creative director

At this point, the Missoni chevron is essentially a neutral (akin to leopard print) and it’s a softer alternative to logo-repeat prints and other brand-heavy motifs deployed by other labels. With its cinching and gathering, this dress is buzzy and sexy. — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

Gucci is back in its 90s and early 2000s era, and I’m loving it. I was shocked at Alessandro Michele’s departure earlier this year and hoped Gucci would retain some sort of the maximalist energy the legendary creative director guided them into. This show brought joy to my heart; there was a jumble of ideas for sure, but I loved it — in particular, the unique wearability through styling. While it is a stripped-back version of the brand, I see hints at the past and future. — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

The entire 74 look runway show was pure Armani, and for a brand that had its heyday in the 80s, it’s little wonder the era continues to inspire this season right down to the injection of a pink that looks like taramasalata. Giorgio Armani international makeup artist Linda Cantello created pink 80s draping across the face, further enhancing the many grey looks in this collection, like illustrations plucked out of an Antonio Lopez sketchbook. An oversized woolcoat with a built-in contrast collar was a highlight, the epitome of quiet luxury, the type of Italian glamour that doesn’t need to (like other luxury brands) desperately always pander to Gen Z. This was confidently speaking to a mature generation of people who still need to be inspired by fashion and have serious money to burn let’s not forget them. — Dan Ahwa, fashion and creative director

There was a lot to like in this collection from Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, much of it a simplistic return to basics: sweaters, jackets, skirts, cigarette pants. Both cited uniformity as a reference, and it’s a long-favoured subject matter for the two designers. As someone who relies heavily on sweaters, I appreciated their role in anchoring most of the looks in the show — particularly as a foil to these divine jackets, which seem to be a washed suede or nubuck leather (with the kind of fading you either pay for or earn through time) and the crisply frothy skirts and shoes. An easy outfit template for autumn dressing. — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

Salvatore Ferragamo, Look 5

Big fan of designer Maximilian Davis’ own personal style, and you can see his sharply controlled aesthetic come into play for his designs for the Florentine luxury brand. For his second collection, this navy coat stood out with its sharp tailoring and detached hood on a contrast white. — Dan Ahwa, fashion and creative director

This coat, the colour, the structure and the triple belt — ahhhh. I’ve always been a big fan of Bally’s luxe-yet-eccentric vibe and it’s really showcased this season. — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

A deceptively basic outfit — although I love each of its elements (jeans, tie, trench) and the overall effect (very Seinfeld) — because this is Bottega Veneta, you just know that Matthieu Blazy and his team will have executed this in some outrageously high-quality fabrications, and his vision of whispered luxury is making waves in the wider industry, as designers pare back and streamline. — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

This reminds me of old Prada — soft but awkward, undone but uptight — and misbuttoning a cardigan is something worth trying at home. A very cinematic but wearable collection by designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua. — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

Eeek, it’s not a Milan Fashion Week round-up without Prada. Too many absolutely PERFECT looks to choose from. Slightly overwhelmed, I chose this dusty pink blazer/coat and mini combo with the bold orange flats. I love Prada’s casual yet put-together styling. Definitely going to re-create this look. — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

Other designers have been screeching, “Eighties!” but Giorgio said, “Hold my negroni.” From the blush-heavy beauty look to the languid glamour of the garments — Armani defined the soft suiting of the decade — it was a beautiful offering, demonstrating fine-tuned romance and sophistication that are in short supply these days, as tastes careen between minimalism and maximalism. Many looks in the collections featured long dresses over pants, presenting an elegant, mature spin on the trend that’s been embraced by younger dresses recently. Great velvet hats too. I love this look. It also communicates the comfort of fabric, layering and (to be frank) wealth — a favourite subtext of the fashion industry, and something that warrants more frequent discussion. — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

For all the smart, austere, too-chic looks trotting down the catwalk this show season, sometimes you need a little bit of anarchy to shake off any signs of pretentiousness before it becomes a dull rage. Sunnei’s riotous show where models crowd-surfed at the end of the runway was a memorable moment (watch the video of the show online, it’s worth it for some pure, unabashed joy). I’m down for a colour-blocking moment, and this zesty, sporty number is something I would actually wear. I like an elevated hospital scrub. — Dan Ahwa, fashion and creative director

So indecisive I had to pick two looks from Gucci. It’s giving sexy tailoring without bearing all. I really want to own this suit …” — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

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