From Glenn Martens’ rain-soaked techno rave to big moments from Prada, Gucci, Versace, and more
Two down, two to go. Yesterday, the fashion crowd landed in Milan for the SS24 womenswear shows, and as has been the resounding theme surrounding this season, it’s pissing it down with rain. Still, the show goes on, albeit with some slightly soggier guests than usual, and the smell of wet dog permeating many a show space. But what a spectacle it’s set to be! On the line-up? Blockbuster shows from fashion’s official home of glam, with Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Versace, Diesel, and Moschino all putting forward their proposals for the coming season. Here’s our pick of the best.
Glenn Martens has been throwing open the doors of a typically gate-kept industry for a few seasons now, by sticking tickets for his behemoth Diesel shows up for grabs to basically anyone who wants one [who unsurprisingly happen to be Milan’s coolest kids]. This season, he did it again, by inviting not just the fashion press, but also 3,000 Diesel fans to his blockbuster SS24 show. In what was a bonafide biblical downpour, showgoers wrapped up in rain-proof ponchos and brandished umbrellas to line the sides of an elevated runway as part of a techno-fuelled gig-slash-show. Somehow managing not to slip and slide down the catwalk in sky-high D-branded heels, models came out wearing Martens’ signature distressed denim, this time ripped to shreds to the point it was practically hanging onto their bodies by a thread. With puffed up bombers and wide, slouchy jeans making up the more substantial side of things, elsewhere, tiny mini dresses and bralettes came in sliced and diced textures, with some looking like they’d been dragged through a cement mixer with make-up to match.
With supermodels of the moment Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss, and Naomi Campbell – as well as Christina Ricci and Demi Moore – on the FROW, after a couple of seasons experimenting with the aesthetics of the early 00s, Kim Jones sent out a considered, sophisticated Fendi collection for the coming season. With the catwalk lined with big, carved iterations of the house’s iconic bags, models including Mona Tougaard and Vittoria Cerretti stomped through the showspace in slinky knit dresses with tonal, geometric intarsia panels, spaghetti strap slip dresses with cardigans and sweaters slung around the shoulders, and a series of patchwork leather looks including high-rise city shorts and calf-length shifts. In a palette of popping tomato red, zingy, eyeball-burning chartreuse, and classic nudes, standouts came via a series of garments which transformed from a moody cloud blue hue into a subtle animal print, as seen across lightweight cocoon-y car coats and swinging dresses. So long to Y2K as far as Fendi is concerned, and hello to something a lot more chic.
No shock here: for SS24, Donatella Versace rounded up all of her fave girls – Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Amelia Gray, Precious Lee, Adut Akech, and Iris Law all included – for a sweet and sexy 60s-inspired collection. Sauntering down the showspace’s slick checkerboard floor, models showed off barely there short-shorts and matching embroidered cardigans, swinging shift dresses, tailored tweed skirt sets, and long cowl neck slips – all dripping in this season’s pastel, ice cream shop colour palette. All and all, however, the collection still provided plenty of classic Versace moments – all-black, skin-tight, open-back maxi dresses were scattered among the soft pinks and greens, black bandeaus were paired with bodycon pencil skirts, and Gianni Versace’s 1982 checkerboard motif was brought back to life via glittering chain mail dresses and matching silk short sets. This time around, Ms. Donatella pared back her signature clunky heels and sultry accessories, reaching instead for rounded, silver ballet flats, handbags that plastered together wallets, clutches, and shoulder bags into one, and sweet, pastel ribbon headbands. As we’ve grown accustomed to with Versace shows, the show closed-out with a cameo from legendary 90s supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who sashayed down the catwalk in a glittering, checkerboard slip – an ode to Versace’s OG supermodel crew, after Donatella paraded fashion’s star-studded next gen.
DOLCE & GABBANA
Last year at Dolce & Gabbana, all eyes were on Kim Kardashian, who hand-selected an assortment of 90s and Y2K looks from its archives for an 85-piece, vintage collection – all documented within a drama-filled, two-episode run on The Kardashians. This time around, however, another Kar-Jenner family member stole the spotlight, with guests waiting over 45-minutes within Dolce’s dimly-lit showspace for a very late Kylie Jenner – all while Billie Eilish’s greatest hits blared in the background [fashion waits for no one except for the Kardashians, apparently]. Following Jenner’s arrival, the Italian fashion house presented its sleek, sexy SS24 offering titled “WOMAN” – a black-and-white celebration of women of all shapes and ages, as well as femininity and sensuality.
Sticking to its signature sultry dress code, sheer mesh dresses came layered over lacy black lingerie, zippers were lined-up to mimic the boning of corsets, glistening jackets were cinched in to create soft hourglass curves, and boxy pin-striped blazers were paired with matching short-shorts and knee-high stockings. Meanwhile – following a line-up of bubble-wrapped rain jackets, black bralettes peeking out from flowing polka dot dresses, and one classic D&G white veiled wedding ensemble – Naomi Campbell emerged on the runway, closing out the show in a mesh skirt held up by lace suspender straps, black lingerie, and a rosette choker.
When it comes to runway shows, New York-born and Rome-raised designer Jezabelle Cormio always treats guests to something high-energy, nostalgic, and completely unexpected among Milan Fashion Week’s usual high-glamour. This season, Cormio staged her SS24 show as a response to misogynistic men who fear women – blaring a letter penned by the designer and read by an AI voice through the showspace. “She doesn’t like you for you, she just lusts after your power, and that’s why you never trust a girl that wears Uggs – [because] she’s obviously a narcissist,” the robotic voice declared, mimicking the way men speak about women and listing off statistics on Italy’s gender wage gap and lack of women in leadership positions. At the same time, models emerged on the runway as a rebellious force – all armoured in chains, studs, and plenty of Uggs.
Referencing boundary-breaking pop punk idols from the 90s, ribbed capri trousers were paired with devilish “jezebel”-emblazoned tanks, studded underwear and graphic long-sleeves were slipped under hot pink, fishnet maxi dresses, frilly mini dresses came striped with studs and paired with chunky chokers, and Juicy Couture-style velvet hoodies were zipped-up over a model’s pregnant belly. Plus, alongside thin leather belts, ankle chains, and knit leg warmers, Cormio brought back last season’s leather-strapped, safety pin-adorned football bags – a reference to the label’s exploration of women in sports for AW23.
For SS24, Han Kjøbenhavn’s Jannik Wikkelsø Davidsen unleashed his usual line-up of alien-like models and horror-film designs upon Milan. Fitting for this season’s devilish offering, the Copenhagen-based label took over the city’s opulent Palazzo Reale di Milano Catholic Church – transforming the space into an eerie dungeon dripping with dark red lighting and echoing with the show’s haunting soundtrack. On the runway, suit jackets were blown up with sharp, XXL shoulders, crinkled gowns were sculpted high, shaping models into tall, sci-fi creatures, knit jumpers and mesh dresses came tugged and chained above models’ heads, sheer maxi skirts were suspended by thin strips of light-reflecting metal, and textural jacket-slash-bodysuits came zipped-up to form veiny, monstrous beasts. Elsewhere came a collaboration with Scandi sex toy brand Sinful, which saw looks topped off with toys strung-together as hanging handbags. Delving deeper into the erotic designs, Davidsen layered-up Sinful’s tongue toys to form a tangled-up, medusa-like neck piece for his grand finale.
MM6 MAISON MARGIELA
Compared to AW23’s dark, moody energy, this season’s MM6 Maison Margiela was abstract, considered, and pared-back. For one, last year’s smudged-up Julia Fox eyeliner and unkempt, greasy hair came replaced by minimal make-up and clean, slicked-back buns. The collection itself, however, put an new, edgy twist on formalwear – plucking apart traditional tailoring for an offering of re-imagined workplace uniforms. On this season’s old-school, 90s-style catwalk, models wore low-hanging butchers aprons over black tanks and pooling suit trousers, white blazers that resemble thickly-cuffed chefs’ jackets laced-up with ribbons, and classic office-suiting worn open over netted tops. Shirting was cut open at the arms, t-shirts were transformed into cracking art-statements from being dipped in wax, and scratched-up leather vests hung long over trousers.
Earlier this year, Sabato De Sarno teased his new stint at Gucci with an image of 00s model Daria Werbowy posed by Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont Hotel pool, wearing nothing but Gucci bikini bottoms and large gold earrings. While it didn’t reveal much about his comeback, it did suggest that Sarno might be leaning towards former creative director Tom Ford’s signature sophisticated, sexy style from his time running the house. Contrary to the rumours, however, Sarno presented a cute, clean offering – instead, leaving Peter Hawkings to resurrect the fashion legend’s style for his debut collection at Tom Ford’s eponymous label. Expanding upon Ford’s signature style codes, Hawking showed sexy snake-skin short and jacket sets, velvet, jewel-toned suiting, slinky, sparkling shirting, and numerous knit, sheer maxi dresses which left little to the imagination. Topping off the looks – of course – was chunky gold jewellery, big sunglasses, and patent-leather boots.