House codes look to the future: Top Trends from Milan Fashion Week FW22

Anna-Louise McDougall
Last Updated:
August 21, 2023
3 min

There will never be another Milan Fashion Week like FW22, where the energetic proceeding of imagination and excellence from the Italian designers were shadowed by the reality of war.

The production and collections were devised months, seasons, ago with no inkling some would be met with anti-war protests, or having to question fashion’s place in the current world.

Many designers and attendees acknowledged the unfolding crisis at the time of showing, with Giorgio Armani removing the music from his presentation to show solidarity in silence. Influencer Bryan Grey-Yambao (BryanBoy) told Vogue Business, “It feels surreal. I had to miss Max Mara this morning. It just didn’t really feel right.”

Much social media fodder arises when a prominent public event remains active during a crisis, and with sanctions against Russia abounding, the astonishing display at Milan Fashion Week ended in tension - with many onlookers asking luxury houses with major Russian clientele for a response.

Though, while we’re suddenly very aware that many wardrobe staples by today’s standards are steeped in wartime's (Hollywood) history (cargo pants, military boots, aviators, trench coats), Milan stayed on course.

The week delivered a vast array of sartorial high points that secured its Fashion Week status as one of major influence with superior creativity, luxury and performance from not just one or two big names, but the gamut.

Prada, Gucci, Versace and Moschino delivered, alongside notable presentations from Fendi, Diesel, and Matthieu Blazy’s debut for Bottega Veneta.

The importance of Milan Fashion Week has long been the ability to see humour, to revel in drama and this season, to uphold the house’s codes to drive the fashion of the future.

While trends and fads themselves are less of an inspiration in Milan, perhaps that’s the biggest trend of all. Here we break down what we’ll be wearing next.

Masculine-feminine tailoring

Fendi, Versace, Jil Sander, Gucci

“Women are really interested in men’s suits,” said Alessandro Michele. The twists on tailoring that we saw in New York and at London Fashion Week this year continue in Milan and who better to satisfy your desire for masculine tailoring than the Italians?

Who better to satisfy your desire for masculine tailoring than the Italians?

This time, his enduring creativity and gender-fluidity for Gucci saw him get to play with the iconic 3 stripe Adidas signature, drawing on the codes of sport and sartorialism where we need it most; the 9am-9pm slot. Pantsuits with sport stripes paired with sheer tanks, a velvet blazer matched with pinstriped wide-leg pants.

The story was similar at Prada where masculine jackets in boxy shapes and sharp tailoring were paired with pencil skirts and tulle, and at Fendi where ¾ length skirts and elongated high-waisted pants were shown with cropped blazers with tall collars. Meanwhile, Versace focused on the contrast of corsetry and bold shoulders.

Sheer brilliance

Etro, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Prada

Kim Jones for Fendi set a high bar for the Italian shows, with the longest runway in Milan led by Bella Hadid in a sheer slip topped with a fluffy shoulder-slung shrug.

This was to premeditate the rest of the week it seemed, with the mix of textures with sheer pieces presenting as sexy, yet having substance.

Milan was full of pieces that were sexy, with substance.

This became evident in pretty blouses, slip skirts and maxi dresses topped with tulle, spliced with opaque fabrics and drawn out into elegant maxi dresses across Prada, Bottega and Etro to name a few.

Goth glamour

Bottega Veneta, Ambus, Roberta Cavalli, Diesel

The abundance of black leather, d-rings, long lace-up boots, corsetry, studs and skin we saw at NYFW this year and now in Milan proves that fashion is embracing its darker side for the better.

Fashion is embracing its darker side for the better.

Glamorous wet-look latex, head-to-toe leather ensembles, high-rise platforms and goth-girl makeup make this trend look like it's settling in for the long haul. As seen storming the runways at Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Ambush, Tod’s and Diesel.

Fuzz, faux fur and feathers

Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Jil Sander, Prada

It felt like every collection had a fuzzy, fluffy or feathered showpiece ranging from coffee-coloured floor-length teddy at Tod’s, the shaggy cream confection at Jil Sander to the sewer-green feathers tufting out of coats at Prada like little fireworks.

Bottega Veneta presented a fuzzy robe with large golden studs (not to mention the Elmo-red fuzzy platforms), while Diesel ended the show with models teetering under enormous, floor-sweeping denim ‘fur’ coats.

Fun, fabulous - and damn comfortable.

Best of all, Milan Fashion Week has come a long way since the mink, fox, and lambskin leather of yesteryear. Faux forever!

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