Milan Fashion Week: Here's What Happened
From J.Lo’s star turn to Gucci’s catwalk controversy, the Italian city delivered glitz, glamour and celebrities aplenty
24 September 2019
All credits: PA
After London Fashion Week’s barnstorming performance, Milan took up the spring/summer sartorial baton – and it did not disappoint.
Five days of stunning catwalk shows, glitzy red carpet events and parties attended by the world’s fashion elite are now coming to a close, and the style set is preparing to up and leave for Paris.
But before the final of the Big Four commences, here’s everything you might have missed from Milan Fashion Week…
A post shared by Gucci (@gucci) on Sep 22, 2019 at 3:52am PDT
J.Lo recreated an iconic red carpet moment
In 2000, Jennifer Lopez was responsible for one of the first instances of a celebrity ‘breaking the internet’ when she wore THAT low-cut green Versace dress to the Grammys.
Google later revealed there were so many searches for the dress that the company was inspired to create Google Image search (basically, they fixed the internet).
Almost two decades on from that momentous occasion, J.Lo took to the catwalk in an updated version of the dress, strutting her stuff at the end of the Versace SS20 show, and joining Donatella Versace for a bow.
The audience went wild, immediately grabbing their phones, flooding social media with videos of the show-stopping moment and breaking the internet all over again. It’s safe to say, Lopez won Milan Fashion Week.
Debuting in the Spring-Summer 2000 Collection, the Jungle print dress worn by @jlo at the Grammy Awards that year, garnered international attention. Millions of people took to the internet to see Jennifer in the legendary dress, making it one of the most popular search queries for Google at the time. The epic red-carpet look, and the excitement it created, inspired the team to create Google Images. This season Versace and Google collaborate to celebrate twenty years of the legendary moment in both fashion and Google history. #VersaceSS20 #MFW
A post shared by Versace (@versace) on Sep 20, 2019 at 1:34pm PDT
Max Mara was inspired by Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Is there anyone on earth not obsessed with Phoebe Waller-Bridge? Max Mara creative director Ian Griffiths has outed himself as the Fleabag star’s latest famous fan, saying the spring collection was inspired by the multi-talented actor/writer.
Waller-Bridge has been working on the new Bond film script in order to make sure it “treats women properly”, so Griffiths said he wanted to imagine what a female bond would look like.
A post shared by Max Mara (@maxmara) on Sep 19, 2019 at 2:34pm PDT
That meant lots of grey tailoring with utilitarian pockets (presumably for stowing all those gadgets and guns), and boyish short suits topped off with military style caps and black lipstick.
This Bond’s black tie look came with the finale: Bella and Gigi Hadid, and Kaia Gerber, sashayed in pastel racerback gowns and matching knee high boots, while Joan Smalls was clad in all-black.
A post shared by Max Mara (@maxmara) on Sep 20, 2019 at 8:48pm PDT
Jeremy Scott had an art attack
The king of pop culture parody, Moschino’s Jeremy Scott was on fine form for spring, taking art and classical music as the starting point for his new collection.
As such, a giant gilt frame was plonked in the middle of the runway and the clothes paid homage to Pablo Picasso, the colourful dresses and suits covered in brushstrokes while models carried paint palette and picture frame bags.
Moschino Milano Spring Summer 2020 #moschino @itsjeremyscott @carlynecerfdedudzeele #cerfstyle @pg_dmcasting @samuel_ellis @arthurmejean @juliendys @ghditalia @kabukinyc @maccosmetics @michelgaubert @random__production #moschinofashionshow #mfw #SS20
A post shared by Moschino (@moschino) on Sep 20, 2019 at 6:51am PDT
Other highlights of the bonkers but brilliant show included Bella Hadid in a harlequin jumpsuit carrying a violin shaped bag, and Kaia Gerber in an elaborate guitar dress adding the final coda to Scott’s style symphony.
PICASSO BABY @kaiagerber IN @moschino STYLED BY @carlynecerfdedudzeele WITH HAIR BY @juliendys & MAKEUP BY @kabukinyc SHOW SOUNDTRACK BY THE MISTRO @michelgaubert FEATURING @rosalia.vt SLIDE THROUGH FOR A SNIPPET
A post shared by Jeremy Scott (@itsjeremyscott) on Sep 20, 2019 at 1:46am PDT
Green Carpet Fashion Awards put the spotlight on ethical style
On Sunday night, fashion’s finest assembled at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards to pay homage to the industry insiders who champion ethical issues.
Founded by Livia Firth, this year the event honoured designer Valentino Garavani with the Legacy Award for his commitment to Italian craftsmanship and heritage, while Stella McCartney took home the Groundbreaker Award.
A post shared by Eco-Age (@ecoage) on Sep 23, 2019 at 3:20am PDT
Gucci made a political statement
Usually, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele presents a multicoloured, all-singing, all-dancing ode to eccentricity on the catwalk, and while the SS20 collection did adhere to his signature aesthetic for the most part – think Seventies suits, lurex dresses and supersized spectacles – there was a distinct departure at the end of the show.
Colourful clothing made way for an array of utilitarian all-white garments, including straitjackets, that were designed, the brand revealed on Instagram, to “represent how, through fashion, power is exercised over life, to eliminate self-expression”.
Uniforms, utilitarian clothes, normative dress, including straitjackets, were included in the #GucciSS20 fashion show as the most extreme version of a uniform dictated by society and those who control it. These clothes were a statement for the fashion show and will not be sold. @alessandro_michele designed these blank-styled clothes to represent how through fashion, power is exercised over life, to eliminate self-expression. This power prescribes social norms, classifying and curbing identity. The Creative Director’s antidote is seen in the Gucci Spring Summer 2020 lineup of 89 looks, he has designed a collection that conveys fashion as a way to allow people to walk through fields of possibilities, cultivate beauty, make diversity sacrosanct and celebrate the self in expression and identity. #AlessandroMichele
A post shared by Gucci (@gucci) on Sep 22, 2019 at 11:25am PDT
The “blank-styled” items will not be sold and were instead meant to highlight the SS20 collection and “celebrate the self in expression and identity”, but Michele’s statement did not go down well with everyone.
One model, who was wearing one of the all-white outfits, protested the use of straitjackets by writing “mental health is not fashion” on her palms and holding them up during the show.
“As an artist and model who has experienced my own struggles with mental health, as well as family members and loved ones who have been affected by depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia, it is hurtful and insensitive for a major fashion house such as Gucci to use this imagery as a concept for a fleeting fashion moment,” Ayesha Tan Jones wrote on Instragram to explain the protest.
When it comes to fashion, does one political statement cancel out another? In our age of activism, when brands are often accused of cultural insensitivity, this is a debate that will surely rumble on.