June 15th, 2024

Prada, Max Mara promote modesty and utility on Milan runways

By Colleen Barry, The Associated Press on February 23, 2023.

MILAN (AP) – Milan designers took a more modest turn on the second day of Milan Fashion Week of mostly womenswear looks for next fall and winter.

If the first day of shows bared skin, the second day offered options that allow women to dial up or dial down how much they reveal.

Some highlights from Thursday’s shows on the second day of Milan Fashion Week:


Brides and nurses get their due in the latest Prada collection by co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons.

The unifying theme was caring something the designers suggest is in short supply in a world where wars continue to rage.

Prada said that the pair wanted to give importance to modest, purposeful looks, not just “˜’extreme glamour.” “Beauty is in everyday things,” she added.

A white uniform dress hugged the body, elevating with couture details something ordinary usually picked up in a workman’s shop. Conversely, the designers intend a series of white skirts, mini to flouncy with 3D floral detailing, as wedding wear, transforming one-day occasion piece into a quotidian affair. Underlining its fresh utility, the white skirts were paired with sturdy pullovers.

“˜’Why not give importance to garments that people wear in the real life,” Simons said backstage, and not just relegate uniforms to workwear shops.

The collection draws strongly on themes launched in the menswear look previewed last month. There is an emphasis on architecture in the outwear, but with a more feminine touch. Cropped capes with military detailing offered a fresh silhouette, as did duffle coats with unexpected volumes on the back.

Perhaps the most adaptable of the runway uniforms were the pencil trousers worn with ribbed knit-wear and pumps, some with a flat wing-like accents. They were shown in fetching color combinations like pink and seafoam green. And the long uniform dressers reappeared in silken prints with small trains, perfect for an evening out.

Front row guests included Dua Lipa, Sienna Miller, May Ray Thurman Hawke and Jeon So-Mi.


Max Mara’s creative director Ian Griffiths is nothing if not tongue-in-cheek about the Italian brand’s affinity for monochromes, above all in a neutral camel. This season, he both fills the runway with it, and overturns it, with looks in very brand-bending brocade and jacquards.

The collection was broadly inspired by 18th Century court costumes, seen in soft, dressing gown coats with pretty gathered details, wide panier skirts kept short, and pretty velvet ribbons tied in the hair.

Griffiths added modern touches like silhouette-defining thick belts to avoid creating a “BBC costume drama,” he said. Belts inside coats allow them to be worn over the shoulder in overheated galleries or shops. The jacquards and brocades within the Max Mara camel colored universe “give you a kind of swashbuckling cavalier feel,” the designer said.

Griffiths said he puts the dignity of the Max Mara woman at the center of his collections, and is mindful of the global market with various standards of modesty.

My interpretation of dignity is what I showed today. Clothes that show whosever wearing them in their best light, to show off their beauty but in a way that never degrades them in any way,” Griffiths said. “I feel pain for women who choose or for one reason or another, or find themselves having to wear to war something they probably fell in love with on the runway and then spent the whole day or night just constantly thinking, “˜Am I a young enough or thin enough?'”


Fausto Puglisi’s latest collection for Roberto Cavalli could populate the Coachella music festival, with western-inspired elements and rock “˜n’ roll ethos.

The sexy looks included patchwork leather skirts, super slim lace body suits and jeans with elephant legs worn with silken printed shirts that slide easily off the body. Flowing dresses bared backs and midriffs, but could be covered with patchwork leather jackets with star motifs as the sun goes down. Turquoise studded jewelry accented the looks.

The collection fit well into a Milan Fashion Week runway that invites people to show off skin, even in the fall and winter.


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