Updated: Feb 9
The spotlight is on Milan: Fashion Week is just around the corner. During these magical days, the city transforms into the unconditional queen of the world fashion to host the fashion shows of the most prestigious Maisons and emerging talents.
It happens twice a year for men's collections and twice a year for women's collections. In January and February, the fall/winter collections are presented, and between September and October, the spring/summer ones are. For the occasion, the brands set up their runways in the most beautiful places in the city.
No. Milan Fashion Week is not 'just' catwalks. It is a kermis full of events, by invitation only. It is a magical atmosphere of VIPs, models and models roaming the streets, luxury and elegance. It is a city tinged with new colours to promote strong values. It is the limelight of a kingdom that only follows its own rules, where nothing is excessive when it serves to carry the flag of creativity high. Today, more and more, the key themes are inclusion, uniqueness and sustainability. So beauty becomes good beauty, a powerful weapon to make our world a better place.
Here is everything you need to know about this edition of Fashion Week to experience Milan like never before.
Today, Milan is one of the international Big Four of fashion, along with New York, London and Paris. But how did it all begin?
In 1951, G.B. Giorgini presented Italian haute couture collections to foreign journalists and buyers in Florence: Italian fashion had won its rightful place worldwide. Taking inspiration from these fashion shows, Milan Fashion Week was born in 1958.
In the 1970s, however, Milan became the capital of Italian fashion in all respects. Here, at the first Milanese 'prêt à porter' shows at the Fiera di Milano, the protagonists of the catwalks were the collections of the big names we all know today. These included historic Milanese brands such as, among the pioneers, Walter Albini, Krizia and Missoni, joined in later years by Giorgio Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Gianfranco Ferré. And then again, Florentine Maisons such as Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci and Ermanno Scervino.
The must-visit Milan fashion venues!
As we have said, Milan Fashion Week is more than just catwalks. It is a magical atmosphere, a spirit that invades the city and 'beats strongly', especially in certain symbolic places. So the first way to experience Milan Fashion Week is to visit these 'temples of fashion'.
Quadrilatero della Moda
In Milan, there is a fabulous place called the Quadrilatero della Moda (the Fashion Quadrilateral). It is the luxury shopping district and is bordered by Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia. It includes elegant streets such as Via Santo Spirito, Via Gesù, Via Sant'Andrea, Via Bagutta and Via Borgospesso. Shopping addicts come here from all over the world to shop in showrooms and boutiques. Simply strolling around and admiring the shop windows resembles a mystical experience. Even the nearby Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, with its extraordinary architectural beauty, is a shopping arcade with venues and shops to take your breath away!
The Quadrilatero della Moda, however, is also a place to breathe in the city's history through cultural experiences such as visiting museums. Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, located in Via Gesù, is a house museum inspired by 16th-century Lombard houses. Palazzo Morando, in Via Sant'Andrea, is home to the Milan City Council's Fashion and Costume Museum.
Milan Fashion Week 2023: what's new this year
This Fashion Week includes a schedule of 72 appointments, i.e. 21 fashion shows, 31 presentations, 4 digital contents and 11 events. In this programme, the National Chamber for Italian Fashion has emphasised Equality issues related to the support of women and emerging talents.
During the press conference, Alessia Cappello, Councillor for Economic Development, said: "This year, the mood is a bit different. We must remember the Russian and Ukrainian war, so we have a different spirit from the past to tell the story of the new Milan Fashion Week. There will be many novelties, a large presence of young emerging talents and new projects".
We should mention two of the most eagerly awaited appointments of the kermesse. One is Gucci's fashion show that will open the dances on 13 January: it is the first after the break with creative director Alessandro Michele and the first after three years that the fashion house did not show men's collections. The other is the catwalk debut of one of the designers of the moment: London-based Charles Jeffrey Loverboy.