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Gucci Epilogue collection Alessandro Michele
Courtesy of Gucci

What went down at Milan Fashion Week: the phygital edition

From Miuccia Prada’s Zoom-ready lockdown looks, to Alessandro Michele’s ode to the people who bring his Gucci collections to life

We’d be lying if we told you the SS21 digital menswear schedule had become any less confusing in the time since we dropped our guide to the Paris shows. Collections that defy season and logic are still landing with alarming regularity, with cruise, resort, men’s, women’s, see-now-buy-now, and couture all merging together in one big homogenous fashion mass. One thing we are sure of, however, is that Milan’s outing just came to its official end, after the likes of Prada, Gucci, Versace, and more debuted what they’d been working on during lockdown. Here’s what you missed. 


The Prada SS21 digital show in two words? Inject it. Unsurprisingly considering the Italian brand’s artistic credibility, the Multiple Views collection was presented in a series of five films conceived by five different creative minds – Juergen Teller, Martine Syms, Joanna Piotrowska, Terence Nance and Willy Vanderperre, as well as a more-traditionally filmed runway. The last under Miuccia’s name before Raf Simons joins her at the label, the collection was like a cool, refreshing glass of water: cutting through the digital noise with white shirts, black nylon, and clean, technical tailoring – the kind of clothes you want to wear, and wear again (and again). Full of Prada-isms – from triangle motifs and the way the models clutched their jackets, to its plentiful school-girlish details – the collection was a moment of calm, a reminder that clothes are there to help us live our lives, not to dominate them. 


Following on from the AW20 show, in which Alessandro Michele put his design team front and centre and gave attendees a glimpse of the work that goes into a Gucci extravaganza (care of a little inspo from Isaac Mizrahi), the designer once again turned his lens on those who make the Italian label’s collections come to life. As part of an all-day social media broadcast which saw the set assembled in real-time, when everything was in its place, a live broadcast showed Michele’s (sample size) shining stars don pieces from his Epilogue offering, which was basically business as usual: think 70s dresses and tailoring layered over with kooky knits and coats and a whole host of offbeat hats, oversized sunglasses, and OTT costume jewellery. 


Like countless other labels, Versace presented a short film in which a new ‘Flash’ collection made its debut. Led on by Donatella herself, British rapper AJ Tracey performed in an all-snake-everything look (with matching bucket hat), while Anok Yai, in a matching ensemble danced in front of him. As for the offering itself? Versa-chay to its core: think sharp-shouldered blazers with bright gold buttons, pastel suiting, bold archival prints, and wipe-clean vinyl minis and skinny cut trousers, as demonstrated by a bunch of models who mooch across the set. As Donatella herself put it, there was ‘nothing boring’. “People don’t want boring clothes right now,” she told Vogue of her approach, and, having spent the last four months sat around the house in PJs, j’concur..


In stark contrast to its AW20 womenswear collection, which drew spooky inspo from Dario Argento’s cult classic Suspiria, for SS21 MSGM dropped a hazy, Instagram-filtered film in which a group of lovers and friends picnicked together at sunset, ran through a fairground, and waded into a picturesque, rippling lake - all while wearing pieces from the label’s new collection, obvs. Inspired by Isabella Santacroce’s novel Fluo: Storie di Giovani a Riccione (or, if your Italian isn’t quite up to scratch, Stories of Young People in Riccione) a cynic might have found it all a little toothache-inducing sickly sweet – but given many of us have been starved of affection and the ability to go out and wade into picturesque rippling lakes for quite some time now, we’re pretty here for it tbh. To be young and in love and all that. 


Following on from the label’s 25th anniversary extravaganza back in January (which saw Sister Sledge perform, in case you missed it), Dean and Dan Caten’s latest collection was decidedly more understated than their last (duh!) Presented via a series of ‘behind-the-scenes’ images which saw the twins get involved in styling models in a series of looks alongside their design team. What’s on the line-up for the coming season? A whole bunch of casual looks crafted from techy nylons and waxed cottons (think boxy shirts, sweats, bombers, and tracksuits), complemented by a few more signature glam ensembles incorporating sleek skinny tuxes and flashes of sequins.


Though not officially part of the SS21 season, or indeed Milan Fashion Week’s menswear schedule, Bottega Veneta released a short film which gathers together a number of multidisciplinary artists to discuss masculinity this week. Directed by Tyrone Lebon, and with a line-up including the likes of Neneh Cherry, Octavian, Obongjayar, Tricky, and George Rouy, the intimate short sees the cast talk on the ritual of getting dressed and their relationship with clothes (all while dressed in Bottega, obvs). 

With creative director Daniel Lee sending projectors out to fashion editors so they could watch the film (no doubt you saw the green BV-branded boxes land on your TL at some point in recent days), the good news is that the entire thing will run exclusively on cult movie streaming site Mubi and Bottega’s own website from July 23. Check it out here.