Diesel, Gucci, and Blumarine showcased their Autumn Winter 2023 designs at Milan Fashion Week on catwalks heaped high with 200,000 condoms and a medieval battlefield.
The week-long event, which took place at several places throughout the city of Milan from February 21-27, is the final event in the Autumn Winter 2023 womenswear season before it concludes in Paris.
Italian fashion brands Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Ferragamo were among the most anticipated presentations of the season as a result of their newly appointed and departing creative directors, and with this came statement and dramatic show rooms and catwalks.
Dezeen has selected seven notable catwalks and installations at Milan Fashion Week, ranging from Prada reusing its menswear set from the previous season to Loro Piana filling a terracotta room with heaving bales of cashmere.
Designer Krzysztof J Lukasik launched Milan Fashion Week with a pile of 200,000 Durex condoms on top of a bright red catwalk in the center of the Diesel showspace. The cooperation, according to Diesel, served as a reminder of the need of safe sex. Throughout April, 300,000 condoms will be distributed for free at various Diesel locations.
“Sex positivity is something great,” said Glenn Martens, creative director at Diesel. “We enjoy playing at Diesel and take it seriously. Have fun, respect one another, and be safe. For a Sucsexful Life!”
Diesel and Durex have announced a capsule collection for the condom mountain. Throughout the collection, the “D” from Diesel’s emblem was used in place of the “D” from Durex’s logo on t-shirts, hats, jeans, and hoodies.
Gucci held their Autumn Winter 2023 show in the Gucci Hub, its Milan headquarters and go-to show site. The set was designed by French production company Bureau Betak, who carpeted the headquarters’ floors with an avocado green, 1970s-style carpet.
Two circular conversation pits with brown leather booth seating were built within the carpeted floors.
Tubular concrete volumes protruded from an office-style ceiling straight above the recessed conversation pits, omitting dazzling white light. Elevator shafts between the venue’s concrete walls were covered in a plush mustard fabric, allowing models to enter the catwalk as the show began.
As usual, Prada’s womenswear show borrowed and reinvented its set from its recent menswear show that took place on 15 January. AMO developed the set, which was displayed in the Deposito, a concrete-lined exhibition room at Milan’s Fondazione Prada.
The Deposito was outfitted with a lowered, mechanical ceiling that began to rise as the concert began. Unlike the menswear show, where the rising ceiling revealed polycarbonate chandeliers, the ceiling rose to reveal orange-painted I-beams draped in nearly five metres of white flowers.
“The method reveals floral design that was previously hidden within the industrial form – their disclosure encourages another reassessment of both space and the figures that move within, a fresh point of view,” wrote Prada in its show notes.
Ferragamo’s Autumn Winter 2023 womenswear presentation was designed by French events business Villa Eugénie, the studio known for organizing some of fashion’s most noteworthy catwalks and events. It took place at the Mario Bellini-built MiCo – a conference center just outside of Milan.
The set was designed as an infinity loop, with solid timber walls dyed in a deep sea blue curving around the outside of the performance space. The floors were covered in a luxurious off-white carpet, and rows of cube-shaped chairs were arranged in curved lines within the blue boundary walls.
Ferragamo is led by British designer Maximilian Davis, who was named creative director of the Italian luxury brand in 2022.
Loro Piana’s Autumn Winter 2023 presentation at Milan Fashion Week featured billowing bales of cashmere covering the walls and floors in mountainous formations.
The presentation area’s interior, including its walls, ceiling, and carpet, was colored a muted terracotta, and arched openings guide guests throughout the space, evoking the arched colonnades of classic Italian Palazzos.
The showroom for the presentation had a more relaxed vibe than the adjoining cashmere installation. Mannequins dressed in the Autumn Winter 2023 collection were placed on top of layers of curved, asymmetrical sheets of wood that had been polished and stained in various blue, green, brown, and cream tones.
Bottega Veneta is a fashion house.
Matthieu Blazy, a French-Belgian fashion designer, debuted his third collection for Bottega Veneta in Palazzo San Fedele, an industrial palazzo transformed Bottega Veneta headquarters with exposed concrete and wood paneled walls.
The industrial space’s interior was covered with a large pistachio green terrazzo carpet that ran across the floors and third row chairs. The catwalk was marked by two rows of Gio Ponti’s Supperleggera chairs that snaked through the concrete room.
Three bronze sculptures, including Umberto Boccioni’s Distinctive Forms of Continuity in Space, were placed atop pistachio green terrazzo encased pedestals throughout the room.
For Blumarine’s Autumn Winter 2023 womenswear exhibition, moss, ruins, soil, and a flaming iron “B” effigy allude to a bleak medieval battlefield. Nicola Brognano, Blumarine’s creative director, drew inspiration for the collection from the 1999 film The Messenger: The Tale of Joan of Arc, which reimagined a modern-day saint.
A winding dirt walkway was created through moss-covered mounds and fragments of fallen stone buildings, with the audience softly lit and the soil catwalk and burning B at the center of the arena lighting the venue.