Miuccia has changed offices. She has picked up her luggage and moved to the Miu Miu floor, and every time she has to go up to the Prada floor, she won’t stay long since she probably forgot her lipstick, scarf, or, much more likely, her box of headache pills downstairs. 

As much as it remains an essentially intellectual project, Miu Miu vibrates with the carnal and perverse chaos of the lady. The collection plays with the worst constructs of fashion history by bringing them up to date and reflecting the indelible shadows of the Milanese bourgeoisie. Essentially, Miu Miu is a reflection of reality, while Prada is a reflection of Prada, and it is likely that, for the woman who revolutionized fashion more than once, one thing is more interesting than the other.

In this collection, the reinterpretation of 90s minimalism is not nostalgic but concrete. The denim and washed leather come from the street, not from an archive, and the school girl uniforms can be found on TikTok, not in a fancy vintage store.

The mechanics of the brain used for speaking a language versus merely being able to recite key phrases are very different; being truly fluent in a language uses neuronal circuits that enable new synapses to be created, old connections to be adjusted, and electrical flow to move in new directions.

If we put ourselves in the position of questioning reality, there is no such thing as deterioration over time. Miu Miu is an incredibly liberating demonstration of age being nothing more than a number; we should do as Mrs Miuccia and grow wiser instead.



Reality is in tatters, and fashion, like the world, is headed towards a precipice. Or a trench. Or a mass grave about to be filled with the innocent bodies of those who did not ask for war or invasion.

For the past two seasons, Demna has turned Balenciaga into a platform for political resonance that, precisely because it is far removed from static stances, has developed into a way to portray reality that is no longer ironic but rather dystopian, pessimistic, and hopeless. A lighthearted dance that takes place just moments before the abyss, inside the sinking Titanic, with the orchestra still playing.

The antithesis between wealth, luxury, privilege and despondency, despair and pain was staged in this parade as in a play from Kantor’s theatre of death. Unlike the last show, this was not a denunciation against war but a realisation of the impossibility of stopping it, of reacting, perhaps of surviving.

The mud into which the models’ shoes sank was the mud of some not-so-distant place that we often forget exists but is terribly real. There should remain a disturbing memory of this radical staging, of this use of the fashion stage that not only sells more useless handbags but also brings eyes back to the terrain of defeat rather than victory.

Kanye West, who opened the fashion show, is at the core a tragic hero, an Oedipus blinded for having seen too much. Toward this figure, toward all the people assaulted and all the people despoiled of everything, we feel that we have not seen enough—that we have not participated enough.

Sometimes, rarely, fashion shows are tests of human endurance, as in this case. And the act of watching them, perhaps prompted by feelings of revulsion or a deep attraction, serves as a means of reconnecting with human affairs. But this can only happen when the narrator, as in the case of McQueen or Margiela and Demna, is a person who has been through that destiny, knows it, and wants us, for a moment, to be a part of it, too.



The only way to overcome the ultra-cosmic success of the pink collection (almost entirely sold out everywhere) was to go in the opposite direction. After turning up the volume to the max, the only possible way forward for Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino was silence. In fact, silence was the theme of one of the most in-focus, most sensible, most understandable, and most meaningful collections in the Piccioli era.

A narrative with no action appears to be void, just as a collection without a theme seems to result in boredom. Yet Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse, a novel in which virtually nothing happens, is one of the masterpieces of modern fiction. It means that even very profound things can be told without the aid of visual logic, but instead through the absence of it.

It is a collection of individual (or individuated and individuating) pieces that only tell the story of their essence and their relationship with the body that wears them. These pieces of clothing are disjointed, disconnected, fragmented, and, through this fragmentation, they reconstruct what we call reality.

Last season, Piccioli had imagined a perfect but impossible world; this season, he represented an imperfect but true world. As a result, he brought the focus back to the formal essence of dress, to its design essence, and thus to the work of a designer whose roots are firmly rooted in tailoring. In uncertain and difficult times, Piccioli is saying that unboxing—the title of the collection and the act of taking something out of a box— actually means getting out of the box we are locked in and temporarily entering others, demonstrating and seeking uniqueness. A seemingly very difficult thing in which, incredibly, clothes can become our allies because they truthfully and accurately say who we are. And what we want to be.



Rick Owens—whom no one has ever entrusted with a major creative direction despite being one of the most prominent people in the fashion world—by following his instincts, can take directions that do not seem to belong to him.

Originally from Los Angeles, he’s become the father of a dark aesthetic, one that’s built a cult around him. With this collection, he wanted to reflect his city’s murky surface, towards the glittering red carpets that propagate an idea of homogenised beauty, towards the industry of plastification, of monochord messages, of commerce for commerce’s sake.

Evening gowns with sheer draped designs might seem unsuited to Rick Owens’ dark world, but when they are in his hands, they become objects that illustrate our monomaniacal tendency for hypervisibility as well as the notion that creativity does not have boundaries, not even that of personal identity.

According to Owens (and also in my opinion), one of the problems with the world is people passively accepting what they are offered by the market rather than recognizing their own uniqueness, probably out of fear. Throughout his career, Rick Owens has always been about freedom of thought, a force which no one could bend in theory but whose resilience must be practised every day, like as he says, by walking through a temptation-filled duty-free without buying anything: without settling for mediocrity, easy understanding, instant happiness.



In fashion, as in the world in general, there are few ways to tell new stories. One of them is to work on nonsense—as in the television series Severance— losing sight of the message by focusing on the object instead of the meaning.

We can clearly see, even without semiotic tools, how reality today is an exaggerated magnet for meaning, and how every word or action must have a reason or a justification. We live in a time when people overdo things with depth for fear of getting lost. Meaningless gestures infuriate people more than anything else today.

At Loewe, Jonathan Anderson proves that this is all true, but the opposite is also true. Projects can be juxtapositions of objects without a common matrix and be interesting precisely because of their disaggregated state. There is no thread of logic in this chaos, only narrative codes and a totally invented, incomprehensible language that is extraordinary for not wanting to say anything at all. With this new linguistic field, Anderson has constructed a barrier against judgement, fairness and compliance with social norms. It is something so powerful and new as to be revolutionary: perhaps, the most revolutionary thing existing in fashion today.



The obsession with physical visibility is a hallmark of luxury. The Byzantines chose gold in the representations of emperors because it reflected light the most, creating a blinding vision. For a long time in fashion, the sacredness of physicality has been forgotten, favouring the disappearance of the body and its annihilation to make things less complicated and more intellectual. Schiaparelli’s pieces (and many other designers’) represent the body’s return to earth, incarnating itself in a world that craves to be touched, smelled, licked, and maybe even enjoyed because it is frightened of the unknown.

Daniel Roseberry works on the idea of revelation as if writing a chapter in a sacred book and reimports into fashion a gaze toward the luxury that is almost unique. Having been drowned by centuries-old accusations of vulgarity (which began in the 1600s with Baroque), overt luxury has returned to tell the story of how human bodies can transcend from their physical meaning through their very physical meaning. This renders visibility a much more intellectual and powerful attitude than hiding. Now that the feminine is once again in question, fashion is telling us that there are centuries-old weapons that can be sharpened again to fight and, if necessary, strike the enemy in the heart.



Dries Van Noten seems to be able to tell stories with very few elements: some fabric, a cutting table and a printing table. Despite the fact that almost all cakes are made with flour, eggs, sugar and butter, the results can range from boring doughnuts to incredibly complex three-Michelin-starred desserts.

Although we can live on doughnuts, we should know that we can also have a delicious almond dacquoise with cream if we desire: and realise that we get the same pleasure from enjoying it because the technique for making it is rare, ancient, and in the hands of only a select few. A lot of people make clothes—a lot of people!—and the background noise we hear when we’re shopping for clothes crossing the threshold of acceptable comes from the overindulgence of producers baking overcooked doughnuts with overly sweet glazes. But when one looks at Dries Van Noten’s latest collection, it is as if this annoying noise disappears, and the notion of making clothing once again becomes something authentic, unique, and necessary. This craft that is so old and so healthy this season has suddenly become culturally prevalent as if we have realised that jackets, if well constructed, can help us find a space between our bodies and the world more easily. Clothes have tremendous power—I have always said it—but when they are such simply wonderful clothes, as in this case, they manage to restore the broken relationship between person and representation, between desire and reality. Van Noten, over the years, is giving us the recipe for perfection and, now more than ever, reminding us that freshly-baked bread is worth that short trip to the bakery and that a dessert out of a chef’s hands contains a dose of happiness for which we should be grateful.



Anthony Vaccarello is one of the most precise and methodical designers of our time. By now, he’s realised that the issue of father figures (Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane) can be overcome without the problem of comparison, and that the platform he has can be used to convey very different messages.

In this case, even though he made references that took the show on a tangent, the collection was a reflection on the construction of bodies in the 1980s – the idea of glamour via Alaia, Montana and other Frenchmen – and on the female body as a stage. The systematic use of military-style coats and a bandage dress reflect less on the dialectic between masculine and feminine but rather on how a sense of magical representation through clothes has been lost.

It mirrors a shift from narrating individual identities to social conflicts (read: Balenciaga), while fashion has forgotten how to showcase bodies and people to affirm their significance. Vacarello is not a poet but more like a psychologist who uses aesthetics to repair damage done by aesthetics itself. In a powerful way, he states that the body, especially the female body, is a vehicle of strength, eroticism and power: and he doesn’t care if people find this frightening. In his Saint Laurent vision, there is a territory where the protagonist is neither Lady Macbeth nor Joan of Arc or even Saint Teresa of Avila, a woman that is not an evil victim or a saint. Rather, there is an age-old idea of female power which has more relevance today than ever, something interesting to reflect on.




LVMH is taking Loro Piana on a slow but inexorable path of growth, pushing it out of the boredom of double cashmere and putting it back into a contemporary sphere precisely through the use of double cashmere.

In spite of the fact that you may be in the higher price range of the market, you may not necessarily have more freedom of expression. On the contrary, sometimes, you unintentionally end up making quilted coats that Putin wears at a rally because the excessive levelling of taste leads to a lack of identification, which can lead to significant subversions of meaning.

In order to avoid semiotic pitfalls and give the brand a chance to walk the streets of contemporaneity, Loro Piana’s collection incorporated classical bourgeois codes while remaining simultaneously detached from them.

A reductionist, alternative, almost indie sense of balance is moving the Biella-based brand away from evenings in Forte Dei Marmi and toward some garish (but art-filled) castle in West Sussex. This is interesting because it means it makes sense to try to rewrite the rules of luxury by erasing, even discordantly, its most venerated elements. Loro Piana is a beautiful project that says all the right things about product quality but does not lose sight of that strange and ephemeral thing: the present.


View Collection


One of the most anticipated debuts of Milan fashion week was Maximilian Davis at Ferragamo, both because of the brand’s importance and because it is part of a new strategy that CEO Marco Gobbetti — who led Cèline during the Phoebe Philo era and Burberry more recently — wanted. Davis is a Jamaican-Trinidadian designer, 27 years old, who studied at the Royal College of Art.

His relatively short work experience and cultural roots made him an ideal candidate for rewriting Ferragamo’s codes, in which elasticity and sense of timing have long been lacking. Instead, what showed up on the runway was a lightened version of the status quo lacking direction and, most importantly, a willingness to resignify.

On the subject of dialogue between young minds and brand heritage, one could spend hours: but let’s say that Ferragamo would surely have endured less reverent treatment from Davis, who could have marked a different step forward in a more incisive way.

There’s also a question of whether a real desire for renewal existed or if we’re just talking about a change of facade aimed at protecting a core business of shoes and bags. Because, if that were the case – and it probably is – the presence of Davis or anyone else would have led to the same result: much ado about nothing.



Each outfit in this show had a label that indicated a Dolce and Gabbana collection between 1987 and 2007. A collaboration with Kim Kardashian, the designer allowed the most avid of divas to select a series of outfits from the brand’s history that were then reproduced in an archaeological way.

It’s as if Dolce and Gabbana’s essence has been captured and bottled, creating a scent that, in 2022, is one of the most ingenious things seen in Milan.

Throughout this week, many brands have aimed to come to terms with their heavy pasts. These efforts have often led to disappointing results because the past is something complex, intangible, and elusive at the same time.

Dolce and Gabbana’s past is complex, both in terms of its history and in terms of media controversy. However, this project seems to have reorientated the aesthetic coordinates of one of the most important Made in Italy brands through a radical confrontation with its essence: one that is not decorative and maximalist but rather erotically abstract and at times minimalist, clearly conscious of the body.

Instead of being nostalgic, the collection brought back contemporary aspects on which Dolce and Gabbana have always worked but which, over time, had been swamped by tons of cherry or macaroni prints.

This is undoubtedly a lesson in bold marketing but also an ode to resistance; resistance to interpretation, over-revising and reviving the archives repeatedly. This collection has no new dresses, yet it is all new. Maybe there’s a time in life when you have to surrender to the fire of constant change, stop trying to tell new stories and pick up an old book you read when you were young that changed your life. Or, it may be that our past won’t go away no matter what effort we make. The intelligent thing is to stop, look at the past straight in the eye and accept it. Even if it was horrendous at times.



Bottega Veneta’s wasn’t just a fashion show. There was no intellectualism or theatricality to be seen amid the colourful set designed by Gaetano Pesce. In this show, Matthieu Blazy initiated revolutions by creating individual objects which contained millimetric perfection of expression.

Each piece has been made with a technical intelligence that can only be acquired through experience, interconnected by the hands that drew on sheets and the artisans who sewed, unstitched, printed and embroidered.

It’s likely that a workshop (Bottega, in Italian) during the Renaissance in Veneto is very likely to have had this spirit. The essence of the brand name was probably never as respected as it was this time. When the planets align and a designer is able to focus all the storytelling on the clothes, something sensational happens; your breath briefly breaks at each exit, then resumes, sketching a smile of satisfaction across your lips.

Bottega Veneta spoke of concreteness, work, research, and, consequently, of absolute luxury, silently declaring victory over what is modern, fast, smooth and superficial. A story of triumph over abstractions, metaphors, and logical explanations.

In this show, there was fashion in its most human expression, in its maximum intelligibility and immediacy, with all its power of reconstruction and enrichment — in this show there was, definitely, the most beautiful collection of this whole fashion week.



Juxtapose Gianni’s work with Donatella’s, and it would reveal that although they share a parallel root, they move in opposing directions.

Gianni tried in every way to elevate the category of bad taste to socially acceptable standards, while Donatella is trying to drag bourgeois good taste into the rough and liberating universe of bad taste.

Granted that these are two categories that do not exist in reality but have been constructed over hundreds of years of social and political divisions, they remain two interesting references to work on because they live solely in people’s minds.

Today, during this time of upheaval, Donatella’s relentless and tireless efforts are even more crucial since getting used to what was always considered ugly is socially and politically essential. It helps us to understand that what makes us different from other people is not a threat but an asset; the fact that she is a great civil rights advocate isn’t accidental.

Nor is it an accident that such a profound message is communicated in a light, superficially superficial way; it’s the most effective form to reach as many people as possible, creating something simultaneously complex, accessible, acceptable, and normal.



Nicola Brognano at Blumarine is doing an excellent job. While the super sexy Y2K trend continues to grip the world, he (and partner in crime Lotta Volkova) is managing to take it a step further, maintaining a very high rate of eroticism but mixing it with layers of witchy and LA back alley realism.

By dirtying up the aesthetic of the brand, he’s trying to erase the feeling of naive romance stemming from the Blumarine of the nineties that he referenced in his previous collections.

Sometimes, a cute pink stuffed animal becomes more interesting if a group of children mess with it, taking out its eyes. The adult may see it as a damaged object, but children perceive it as a liberating opportunity to transform an ordinary object into something that is theirs.

The process is not one of destruction but one of possession. This is what is happening, in a really interesting way, at Blumarine, with Brognano throwing the Disney films to the wayside and rerunning Scream instead, rooting the brand even more firmly in the contemporary.

Playing freely with danger is something every designer should be able to afford to do, and something every manager or CEO or business owner should afford them to do.



Marco de Vincenzo approached Etro with great circumspection.

As creative director, he staged his first show in an industrial shed under the Milan ring road, something neither romantic nor boho–chic. It was a powerful metaphor used to emphasise his desire to disengage from the aesthetic of one of the most inherently bourgeois and heritage-rich brands of the entire Milanese scene.

The project was only a particular success because the cold, rational approach of emotional restraint, for which de Vincenzo is famous, failed to cool Etro’s hot (and somewhat historic) passions.

Colours and paisleys, embroideries and prints, as well as the brand’s identity codes, have not been surpassed or reread, perhaps because there hasn’t been enough time to study or understand them.

Etro began as a silk fabrics and prints company, representing an explosive moment of Made in Italy between the 1970s and 1980s. Still, over time it became a symbol of sailing vacations around the Aeolian islands and winter afternoons drinking hot chocolates in Gstaad, wrapped in paisley shawls.

De Vincenzo needs to rediscover Etro’s primal instincts, moving away from its recent past and using the ambiguous and vaguely distorted vision he’s known for to erase the brand’s bourgeois privilege. He also needs to restore the unrestrained creativity of those good days when Albini, Versace, and Ferrè were building a wonderful thing now known as Made in Italy.



Autobiography has been the nail in the coffin of more than one author. 

Mastering such personal and intimate material is difficult, as the risks of self-indulgence or self-pity are high when exploring the often painful corners of one’s life.

As he met journalists after the show in a nameless room with violent neon lights and poor acoustics, Alessandro Michele expressed, with solid tranquillity, that his mother had an identical twin, and he had lived with them most of his life, calling them both mothers.

Based on this unique concept, he created one of the most powerful narratives since becoming Gucci’s creative director: 68 identical twins walked the runway simultaneously wearing matching outfits. Before walking down the catwalk, each half held hands with the other half in a powerful and highly emotional gesture that led everyone to confront their own conception of unity. Or disunity.

The theme of identity, which has been central to Michele’s work from the beginning, here acquired a collective, perhaps even political significance, suggesting how others, those who are different from us, are, in fact, our missing halves — our brothers.

At a time when bombs are rattling in the background, and elections in Italy are nearing their predictable end, bringing pairs of twins from around the world to raise an anthem of reconciliation was salvific. For those who do this work and are used to seeing clothes, being there today and crying with emotion has been an incredible experience. If difficult times come, which is likely, unity will be a practice to put into action every day. Union with our peers and our opposites.



The Italian designer Andrea Adamo is one of the rising stars of the Milan scene, now focusing on his own project after a solid career working for international brands.

In his second runway show, Adamo produced – to use an apt Americanism – a laser-focused collection, credibly delivering many products he’d never worked with before.

The brand has achieved extraordinary commercial success, becoming hugely popular among celebrities such as Dua Lipa, who is rapidly making it universally known.

If you’re waiting for a ‘but’ at this point in the review – it’s not coming. There is nothing to fault with this project, which demonstrates how a brand can be structured in a short period of time through experience, talent and piquing the interest of the international press.

Such a perfect cocktail of product, commerce and glamour isn’t usually easy to find. 

One question remains: why has no-one considered Adamo as a way to revive a brand crushed by modernity? Why hasn’t he entered Creative Direction?

It’s natural to ask these questions when recognising a certain provincialism in the Italian fashion system; sometimes, it’s so pervasive that recognised talents can only be seen through judgmental customs.

What are the chances that a talented person could jump the fence when it is probably us who have a damn wall in our heads?



It has become clear by now what Kim Jones is doing at Fendi. As many struggled to find hidden messages within his work, he has simply aligned Fendi’s language with contemporaneity, leaving out complex narratives and speaking directly to wealthy 20-something Koreans or young millionaires in Austin.

His work does not signify anything because Kim Jones does not care about the deeper meaning behind things; it’s not seen as necessary, but treated as an impediment to his work.

His latest show, for instance, used very direct colour transitions to showcase expensive and wonderful bags, highlighting how they might fall into the hands of people who lack time or desire for thoughtful reflections

It’s a bit like making an extremely engaging trailer where the movie is beautiful but also vaguely boring. Kim Jones glides freely over the surface of things and gives back to the world what the world demands: instant joy and immediate sensory gratification. 

Even though Fendi’s bags are practically works of art, his choice is not to narrate them but simply to make them appear as protagonists. This operation – not so distant from what Lagerfeld was doing – cannot help but make one reflect on today’s markets and consumption.

In this game, Kim Jones won because he accepted the global importance of making something that people understand at any cost, gaining instant recognition. That’s marketing, guys, and there is nothing you can do about it.


N21 SS23

What does it mean to be solid? It refers to the ability to contain, support, and resist, like the foundations of a house, invisible but undoubtedly fundamental.

Alessandro dell’Acqua is a designer who has his aesthetic roots in the history of Made in Italy, and he’s able to revive this in every season.

For this reason, he constitutes a solid heritage that, as Fossati would say, is “something that is there and that doesn’t hurt”. The story he tells, uniquely and constantly, is of a traditional feminine that, in his hands, takes on much less definable contours.

In facing a confrontation with reality on every occasion, unlike others, he’s able to emerge every time as reintegrated and reinvigorated—in other words, stronger and stronger. These dynamics only underline the immense generational difference, perhaps unbridgeable, between those who build collections with the chisel and those who do it with the blowtorch, between those who know the difference in the fall of two crêpe de chine of only 20 grams of weight and those who choose random fabrics from a basket.

The sacredness of the Made in Italy philosophy derives from being founded on a love for the product. Its capacity for continuity is linked to those who will be able to learn this lesson and make it structural and understandable—in other words, solid.



With his message of openness, his embrace of differences, and his ability to understand contemporary life without compromise, Marco Rambaldi has gathered an army of young fans around him.
Against a grey sky and in a suburban park surrounded by uncontrolled urbanisation, he portrayed a diverse and inclusive generation and the dream of a society without borders— hopes overwritten by the reality of an upcoming far-right government in Italy.
For Rambaldi, like many of his generation, there is a fine line between excruciating optimism and the cold, harsh reality that reminds everyone that moving forwards is not possible.

In this sense, Rambaldi’s strong political subtext collides with the erratic expectations of the market that designers can produce highly commercial collections and gigantic media attention from talent alone; forgetting that they also need a lot of money.

This money is generated from sales, consultancy, and sponsorships and contributes in a fundamental way to the creation of blockbuster shows, luxurious collections, and, for example, the assistance of international stylists.

In Rambaldi’s case, the narrow path he’s on symbolises not only the struggle of growing as a brand but also the difficulties of the Italian system in providing support for young designers. We know his dedication will carry him forward, but we also know that his victory should be a victory for the system, not just for a tiny, albeit wonderful, group of people.



It’s no secret that Glenn Martens is among the most exciting and talented designers out there. His appointment as Creative Director of Diesel – instead of, say, Dior or Lanvin – is excellent news. Aside from benefitting the Italian scene, it’s a win for those who rightly believe that when a brand appoints a Creative Director, it should choose a designer that actually makes sense.

While Harris Reed has just taken over Nina Ricci for no apparent reason, Glenn Martens has found a home at Renzo Rosso’s OTB, a small empire including Marni, Margiela and Jil Sander. The sense of belonging to the brand was felt through the technical depth with which denim was addressed and through the brand’s aesthetic approach: in essence, the delicious bad taste characteristic of the 2000s. Martens spins these stories of wiry bodies, hedonistic pursuits and vulgar eorticisim, using these concepts in an intelligent way.

Like Denma’s Balenciaga, Diesel also offers stories that smack of provinces and peripheral places – think Sunday walks in the city centre – to make everyone understand how much money you make. Stories, no less, that fashion has always refused to tell, a lacuna that leaves out what happens when clothes morph into something else when outside the epicentres of Milan or London.

In this project, Martens smartly continues to use the brand’s faultlines to elevate it to icon status. In a complex and risky operation, Diesel is manifesting its future, realising its aim of becoming one of the leading brands in contemporary fashion.



The Calzedonia Group – consisting of Intimissimi, Tezenis, Falconeri and boasting an annual turnover of €2.3bn – recently acquired 80% of Antonio Marras, giving him a fresh start.

It’s great news for many reasons, but most importantly is that, like wines, brands, if handled well, can gain value over time. If built on a solid foundation, as in this case, they can eventually become immortal.

Antonio Marras’ integrity stems from his experience working in a time when poetry and emotion played a significant role in fashion construction. These were the days when the product – the dress itself – had to be such a concentration of emotions that it would earn adoration among press and clients not just as a status symbol, but a magical portal leading to past memories and future fantasies.

Since fashion today focuses on abstraction, metaphor and emotional neutrality, Marras represents an archaeological find worthy of guarding as diligently as the Rosetta Stone; it allows us to decode our recent past and gives us the tools, potentially, to add meaning to our present.

In a parallel universe, Antonio Marras would teach a master’s degree in Emotion Design, assisting talented young people in discovering alternative ways – more intricate and beautiful than rhyming couplets – to articulate their passions and express their inner feelings.

He’d also be considered a national hero for his relentless refusal to conform to superficial trends. In light of this new beginning, many may rethink Marras’ work as one of the milestones in the history of Italian fashion and it may inspire him to dream big once again, as he deserves to do.




In the eyes of most, denim is considered an untouchable symbol, some sort of iconic object to be treated with care. It is filled with such meaning and laden with signifiers, that it is almost impossible to handle without compromising its coolness. The creative director of Diesel, Glenn Martens, thinks of denim as what it truly is: a fabric. With his first live collection for Diesel, the never-too-hailed Glenn has not only shown how in tune he is with the brand’s universe, but he has also approached denim as a technician, as a deep connoisseur of the fabric, by making it go through many changes of state until it became almost aerial.

Frayed, cut, washed, marbled, needle-punched, vitrified, bleached, printed, embossed or all of the above; in Glenn Martens’ hands Diesel’s raw material has risen from the underworld into which streetwear had cast it; it has once again become one of the most exciting fabrics ever created by human hand.

Moreover, the whole show was a remarkable proof of how much of a textile culture this iconic company has accumulated and how the topic of craftsmanship – often associated with embroidery or crochet – can also fit in with this industry, triggering a chain reaction that surpasses the nitration of glycerine (which is the process of preparing nitroglycerine).

To bring back the appreciation for textile research – a concept now so old and glorious – our Glenn brought us back to the immense and ubiquitous Y2K: a moment of human history when, in hindsight, it seemed like people were having much more fun than nowadays, heels were very high and different genders seemed to seemingly coexist in peace.

The 2000s have suddenly become mythological (see also Roberto Cavalli) because they’re considered a huge platform on which to display a representation of reality that would now be considered unacceptable by many; a reality made of skinny and slender bodies, of heterosexual relationships and unbridled wealth. In any case, adapting a narrative to fit into that world doesn’t mean accepting its values, but rather treating it as a metaphor to make the stories, bodies and situations (that are currently being given a heavily negative interpretation) more believable and acceptable.

Fashion is a tough business; but Glenn Martens knows what he’s doing and also Renzo Rosso who chose him. As an entirely possible science-fiction scenario at Diesel, we can totally imagine Glenn Martens becoming the creative director at Margiela. Mainly because we all know that he would be Martin’s perfect successor.



There is no brand in the world that can better symbolise a period in history when the female body was objectified, eroticised and controlled by the male gaze than Roberto Cavalli. Neither Dolce&Gabbana, nor Versace have ever reached his level of ruthless lust, of absolute eroticisation of the female body; capable of dehumanising women, while chanting: ”I am the only designer who truly loves women. In every sense of the word”, adding a nice homophobic touch to an already nonsensical statement.
Basically, this is why Cavalli today is a brand that is as hot-to-handle as Diabolik’s loot and is viewed with extreme suspicion by the majority of the press because it takes us back to a time when the female body had not yet been problematised and certain behaviours hadn’t been made public.

This is why Fausto Puglisi’s job is even more challenging. Firstly, it is a question of cancelling the fatwa (rightly) thrown at the brand by those who think that this world is the bearer of retrograde values. Secondly, because reinterpreting Cavalli’s work and bringing it back to the present day also means subverting its founding principles, not aesthetically but ethically. Cavalli’s second live collection had to contend with all this, and Puglisi’s focus almost always came out on top.

Fausto is a boy from the south, like Versace and Alaïa and, in his world, women play a fundamental if not principal role, their figure changes from mother to sister to lover without losing its relevance and splendour. And as a southern boy, he associates decorative maximalism with luxury, wealth, fullness and happiness, just like the Byzantines who occupied those lands for quite some time did.

The meaning of these clothes today is radically different from that of twenty years ago and it speaks much more of a woman who has reclaimed her body, not only as a weapon but also as an absolute instrument of individual pleasure. 

On a critical side note, the collection would have needed more editing, because the themes on the catwalk seemed a little too varied, but perhaps talking about subtraction – to one of the few brands that is preaching a return to maximalism – makes little sense. Maybe you just need to let yourself sink into the deep whirlpool of animal prints, gold, fetish references, tartans and roses and enjoy it for as long and in whatever way you want.



You could really tell that Andrea Adamo was visibly shaken the day after his show. The (metaphoric) triple pike backflip he did while walking the catwalk for the first time with the collection that bears his name was a tiring, dangerous and not entirely successful affair. But that’s not to say he shouldn’t have done it.

Transforming a single-product collection into a total look capable of narrating a whole and precise identity isn’t easy – even if Katie Grand and Pat McGrath are there to help. In this case though the location and strobe lights that prevented people from seeing properly didn’t help.

That kind of story, so strongly eroticised, body-oriented but with a subtractive and not maximalist approach, deserved at least an abandoned factory and a Bjork soundtrack and not the cloisters of a fifteenth-century convent.

Talking about female bodies today is a dangerous affair but if done like Andrea Adamo, it suddenly becomes acceptable and it probably helps the empowerment cause. This is because Adamo’s women are very aware of the power of their own bodies and they respect them in a sacred way, as one respects a saint’s relic.

For one of the most interesting designers of the new Made in Italy, the problem now is to remain attached to his roots but also to open up to new signs that will allow him to acquire a unique and recognisable identity.

In the meantime, though, I would go beyond merely criticising the obvious references to Alaïa’s work: the references are there and for a reason in a project of this kind. Azzedine Alaïa has produced a body of work that should in fact be used, narrated and then surpassed, given that, between you and me, whoever was put in his place is not doing a very good job.


AC9 AW22

Alessandro dell’Acqua’s former collaborator, Alfredo Cortese, followed his spiritual father and mentor’s guidance very well, as we can see from the many obvious characteristics that have derived from dell’Acqua’s aesthetic.
The point, however, is that creating a project with clear and ambitious commercial horizons can lead to the cards being revealed a little too soon; forgetting to reflect on what a brand should really be and resolving the problem of identity in an easy manner. A brand needs to have recognisable traits that tell the story of how it started somewhere and continued elsewhere. Post-war Italy and the subtle eroticism of Anna Magnani are all at the heart of dell’Acqua’s work; which form a framework that allows us to never lose track of the limits within which we must stay.

In the case of AC9, the founding myth of the brand doesn’t yet seem clear; perhaps it doesn’t exist or maybe it hasn’t been formulated yet. This, however, can lead to the risk of a light and fragile drift that could move the brand towards magnetic poles that change from time to time, displacing those seeking a secure anchor in the solidity of the message.

Coming up with a project from scratch is difficult – we’re aware of that -, but it’s even more difficult to allow yourself the freedom to contribute something that profoundly belongs to you and only you and bring it to the project. Like every solo navigator in the sea of life, Alfredo Cortese probably has a lot of stories to tell and we’ll be here to listen when the time will come for him to open up that part of himself that has been hermetically closed until now – something that we could end up really enjoying, even if it may be imperfect and not that sparkly.


NR.21 AW22

Fashion is capable of doing three things: analysing the past, building a future or telling the present. When it comes to defining with millimetric precision what is currently happening in the world of fashion, Alessandro dell’Acqua is the master. Each time, his fashion shows force you to reflect on what is really happening in real life, in the market and not in the metaverse.

In this case, there were elements of formal male elegance – built in a sculptural way – and a juxtaposition of laces and dramatic sequins. Both themes established a precise connection with the female and male bodies, by exhibiting them openly and enclosing them hermetically, creating a state of constant imbalance between something extremely solid and something liquid and elusive.

It isn’t only down to a simple contrast between male and female aesthetics but more about two different and parallel ways of narrating the two main paths that fashion is taking nowadays: favouring the construction and remodelling of the body or freeing it by enhancing it.

However, this contemporary dilemma is reinterpreted and simplified by Alessandro dell’Acqua who has the extraordinary ability to make these shifts in taste – that could lead to exasperating excesses – more comprehensible (and sellable).

In the N°21 collections, you can never find something too excessive or exasperating because around here the everyday is planned out, softened to the point of becoming edible.

Dell’Acqua’s immense effort is to ultimately give back credibility to fashion, by creating a constant dialogue with his final customer; a real person walking the streets who – for how much she may think that fashion is an instrument of extremely powerful expression – she can never quite outshine it.



Since the 1960s, the body has become a political object, a ground for clashes, discoveries, claims, violence and conquests. The female body, much more than the male one, has marked epochal moments of humanity’s cultural evolution because for centuries it was oppressed by those social pressures we no longer even notice today. It is enough to observe the comments full of resentment that have been left under any post in which any of the non-conforming bodies that modelled for Marco Rambaldi was photographed.

These can be shocking comments caused by the amount of bitterness, frustration and unexpressed anger that we would expect to no longer exist but are instead there, clearly typed in and visible to everyone, to remind us that actions like the ones Rambaldi has taken will never be able to obtain a unanimous consensus because they tear off pieces of rotting beliefs from the living flesh of society and, in doing so, they cause so much pain to become almost unbearable.

Condemning those who aren’t ready for change is easy, what comes difficult is building a career and a brand on the idea of not being universally accepted. Marco Rambaldi is 32 years old and, together with a very trustworthy team (including some family members) surrounding him, since the very beginning, he has been capable of creating a Brave New World in which acceptance isn’t a rational act anymore but a spontaneous push towards the formation of ever-growing collectives that include everyone and everything. In that same world, every season designs collections that change according to the body that wears them.

This is in fact the true political sense of his work, as Pier Paolo Piccioli of Valentino said in a credible act of support, who was present at the fashion show that was being streamed on the brand’s Instagram profile in the meantime.

Rambaldi’s collections have always had a naïve, non-violent, colourful and optimistic approach and each time they speak about women from a different point of view, they maintain a healthy detachment from the idea of overpowering the bodies of those who wear them.

At a time when, not too strangely, many brands are making reactionary turns towards an era of conforming bodies, the early 2000s, Rambaldi’s message resonates even more deeply and to think that it angers so many people is perhaps a good sign.

Soon enough we might live in a world in which clothes will no longer define gender and social role but only personal identity; a world in which gender-based violence will cease to exist and no man will kill women just because they have stopped loving them; a world in which the body, even the one furthest removed from the centuries-old standards of acceptability, will be just a body and not a battleground.

A world in which what the inhabitants of Kiev, Odessa and Kharkiv in Ukraine are hearing are not the sounds of Russian bombs being dropped and the news we read are not the ones we are receiving from the battlefront, whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, we should all want to live in Marco Rambaldi’s world rather than Vladimir Putin’s one.



Costume National, the brand designed by Ennio Capasa for 30 years and of which Carlo Capasa, the current president of the National Chamber of Fashion, was the head of, ceased to exist in March 2016. Soon after, it passed into the hands of the Japanese fund Sequedge, who requested from the bankruptcy court of Milan an arrangement with creditors.

Not unlike many other brands that were born in the 1980s and grew globally in the 1990s (for instance, Ferré, Romeo Gigli, Krizia), the story of Costume National ended up amongst the papers of a court of law, probably leaving behind a trail of sadness. In the meantime, the fashion world radically changed.

As with all the most self-respecting comebacks, the backstage of Capasa’s Milan show at the Teatro Degli Arcimboldi was hailed as a happy return after years of unjustified absence. Although the last few years of Costume National’s life were not exactly blessed with commercial success, many felt that Ennio Capasa still had the ability to tell new stories, especially when it came to men’s fashion.

The new project revolves around menswear staples that are turned into genderless pieces through a wider size range and therefore fitting into the revision process that fashion is carrying out, surrounding nineteenth-century concepts such as binarism and normativity.

In reality, apart from moving towards more oversized volumes than Costume National’s staple pieces, it is difficult to find a precise identity in this collection. Therefore, it is just as difficult to find the motivation behind it.

What also seemed really unusual was the fact that Capasa’s Milan show was the opening act of this fashion week, assuming a newfound relevance – witnessed by its prompt appearance in the Vogue Runway bible – that the collection failed to live up to.

The fact that Carlo Capasa, Ennio’s brother, is the current president of the National Chamber of Fashion and, according to some newspapers, also has an active role in the project, makes it all the more difficult to understand.

Perhaps it would have been better for the Capasa brothers to clear the field of possible conflicts of interest before the event, without letting the chatter tarnish their fashion week debut.



In a parallel universe, Daniele Calcaterra is recognised as one of the most ardent moulders of textile materials around the human body and he may even be the creative director of some mega-brand. In our universe, on the other hand, he designs a collection named after his surname and he runs a small company that moves with precision through the dangerous waves of the equatorial storms of fashion, but probably also with insufficient means.

Yesterday morning, in front of a collection made with such a precision and sophistication that didn’t make us regret our lady of minimalism, Jil Sander, we were all disconcerted by how, even today, clothes shown on models in a loft could have the power to transport everyone, or rather to lift everyone up, towards a world made of absolutes, sculpted forever in time, as light as feathers and as significant as the words spoken by a fortune teller.

When you are able to dig so deep into the product, removing everything but the essentials, you get to touch the cement layer that lies in the depths of the history of clothing and that is hardly ever seen today. This heart, so comforting and solid, is made of pieces that have been sailing for hundreds of years under our hands and inside our eyes, but are constantly covered by an unbearable background noise.

Daniele Calcaterra is an archaeologist who desperately digs desert lands to bring to light treasures buried by centuries of sandstorms, and observing the result of his work is so liberating because it gives us back a part of that beauty that we didn’t even know existed anymore.

But it still exists and, probably, thanks to people like him, it will never cease to exist.



Marco de Vincenzo, in addition to having worked for years as a bag designer at Fendi, also had his own collection universally-recognised as one of the most interesting things to have happened at Milan Fashion Week. LVMH, the same owner as Fendi, had also joined the company, but the economic contribution and know-how hadn’t helped reverse the downward spiral the brand had taken, if you can even talk about contributions at this point.

At the moment, De Vincenzo has put a stop to his men’s and women’s collections and has gone back to dedicating himself to his project of reviving his archival collections and one in particular, Supèrno, which is built around upcycled one-offs. Presented off-season, outside of Vogue’s runway and generally far away from the spotlight, Supèrno is certainly one of the most interesting things that we’ll see in Milan during this fashion week dedicated to winter 2023, not so much because the concept of reworking vintage clothing is new but because something so obvious has become extraordinary in the hands of De Vincenzo, something magnificently new to obsessively desire.

Marco de Vincenzo’s brain learned creative freedom and research into craftsmanship in Fendi’s atelier, distancing it from Roman bad taste and bringing it into a territory much closer to an elegant B-rated Italian movie from the 70s than the baroque comforts of Roman aristocracy. We are much closer to Fellini and Sorrentino (by the way, why haven’t they met yet?) than to the classicism of the Fontana Sisters or Emilio Schubert. De Vincenzo’s aesthetics are so radical to the point of being almost too obvious and the market has struggled to understand him but it also seems unnatural that it hasn’t, until now, found a way to channel itself into such an understandable, honest and contemporary vision.

Supèrno is a project that is equally as simple cas it is brilliant. It is a way of reconstructing the concept of high fashion itself from its ashes, of making the disconcertment for the most profound luxury recede in a definite way and applying it to poor, forgotten garments, perhaps without history and certainly without memory.

There are those rare moments where fashion mysteriously approaches poetry and speaks through metaphors, broken phrases and strange anagrams. This is one of those moments. It’s hard to look at this collection and not think about each woman or man who would deserve a piece of it, to make peace with the culture of waste and take a step towards slowing down the erasure of culture itself.




Every season Jean-Paul Gaultier entrusts the creative direction of his high fashion collection to a different talent, as he has withdrawn from the limelight. The project began with the extraordinary collaboration with Sacai, while this time, it’s Glenn Martens who has taken up the reins of the Maison. Given that this is an extraordinary way of keeping alive a brand that otherwise would no longer be visible, entrusting one’s work to other people is a sign of great open-mindedness, a lack of narcissism, and maybe even of a big heart.

Glen Martens, who began working for Gaultier at the beginning of his career, has done very well in the playroom of the enfant terrible of French fashion. He has amused himself looking at the world of couture with the eyes of a thirty-eight-year-old who opens the wardrobe of an aunt who has just died and discovers unexpected treasures. Maybe he also discovers that his aunt isn’t really dead but has run away to Copacabana with her chauffeur.

Gaultier’s distinguishing marks are all there, but they have been re-engineered through Martens dystonic and cynical vision, with his obsessive way of wreaking havoc on the harmonic universe of western fashion, cancelling any trace of nostalgia, emotion and reassuring elegance.

As Nietzsche said: “If you look into the abyss, it looks back at you”. 

And so the creative director of Y/project went to have a look at what is beyond the limits of bourgeois good taste (as in fact Gaultier had done in the 80s). Still, he didn’t extract a saving recipe but instead brought back a series of mismatched parts and decided to put them all into this collection.

When you are in a territory of free expression, like the brand Jean Paul Gaultier, you can manage to recognize the boundaries that western aesthetics has given itself and move beyond, with a form of disrespectfulness that lets you create new things.

If behind Gaultier’s vision lay an actual operation of apostasy from Christian Dior (think of the Bar Jacket with conic breasts), Marten’s vision looks at the history of European fashion. The ribbons, a recurring element in the collection, look like a shapeless mass of entrails that someone has brought to light, revealing the dark secrets of a body that has perhaps been sick for too long.

The rotting carcass of what is commonly acceptable has taken a form, and Glenn Martens may be saying to us that one of the ways to save western society is to pull out a little truth from its insides.



The woman who tripled Dior’s sales and brought them close to those of giants like Vuitton and Gucci can do more or less whatever she likes.Maria Grazia Chiuri has no interest in innovating a formula that works perfectly, nor does she want to be, like her former partner Pier Paolo Piccioli, at the centre of philosophical discussions on contemporary aesthetics. When she talks about the principles that inspired every one of her collections, she does it almost absent-mindedly, referring to stories about craftsmanship and questions of inclusion that have nothing to do with the product of her work.

Specifically, this collection by Dior is, if possible, even less narrative than usual, with colours and decorations almost absent. This, however, doesn’t look like a step towards minimalism, or a dress rehearsal for the mythological creative direction of Armani (as some say) but the final adoption of a business approach, developed by herself, and which has become so incredibly successful that she doesn’t have to fear any rivals.

The approach is based on constructing products and collections that have been accurately studied to be immediately understandable and purchasable in an ever more violently fast market. Desiring recognizable objects and preferably with brands that munch and digests collections as if they were Oreo cookies.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with constructing a project without any romantic afflatus or creative pretensions but which produced unprecedented commercial results. Mainly because, as I have written before, Maria Grazia Chiuri knows exactly that clothes are created to be worn and not to end up in a museum.

The problem here (if there is one) is that the brand’s entire heritage has been reduced to zero or at least made to bend to the rules of a market that doesn’t want stiff Bar Jackets but fluid crêpe jackets, and which isn’t interested in bizarre architectural constructions but simple formal wear. This market doesn’t feel like looking towards the future and is very happy to stay in the present.

When a brand goes off the rails, it always travels along. It loses its identity, which is then reconstructed with derivative concepts that are not necessarily copied but also not created autonomously.

In the long run, this can be dangerous because while the historical identity may be a trap, so are the siren calls of merchandisers who ask for the seasonal print to be stamped on its hero products. 

Over time the freeze-drying of Christian Dior could lead to a total loss of taste, not to mention emotion, and this might prove to be not only a bumpy road but a road with no return.



Pierpaolo Piccioli has decided to perform open-heart surgery on the very concept of haute couture. It looks as if the patient survived the operation and is doing well. The Paris high fashion shows this season are proving to be an area for deep reflection on the meaning of contemporary fashion and when, as in this case there aren’t any horses on the catwalk, they inevitably succeed in getting over the muddy grounds of coolness and landing on the softer and sweeter terrain of awareness.

Valentino is one of the few real Maisons de couture with an internal atelier that every year turns out dozens of very expensive dresses for women and men who live in every country of the world, for every age and every type of physique and whose DNA, one might say, consists of insisting on the very old idea of selling clothes: dealing directly with the end customer. No matter how much you might think that clothes costing hundreds of thousands of Euros, paraded in eighteenth-century palaces and worn by massively paid models are a symbol of exclusivity, not to mention exclusion, in reality, there is nothing more inclusive than high fashion. When a client comes knocking on their door, nobody, neither Cristobal Balenciaga nor Valentino himself, has ever been able to say no. Once draped over the clients’ bodies, the product goes from its ideal shape to the natural one through a process that is part of the very idea of couture.

Anatomy of couture is the title of Valentino’s collection, a successful attempt to tell a piece of the story of this centuries-old culture which, usually, nobody gets to see because every piece of couture is unique and is nearly always used in extremely private events.

Men and women paraded the catwalk who were very different from each other and through whom a story was told not of the clothes but of the relationship, constructed individually between one body and one piece of clothing, of a unique creation for a unique personality. A show that wasn’t phantasmagorical and sparkling, as is usually the case and which someone might say was missing that touch of the marvellous that Piccioli has accustomed us to. But the marvellous was there.

This semantic upheaval of couture’s principles led Valentino to approach bodies in a way that has never happened before in the brand’s history, with an explosion of sincere, liberating and contemporary eroticism bursting out of the evening dresses.

The moment had to come when Pierpaolo decided to take a pickaxe to the unbreakable concept of haute couture. And that moment did come and has probably opened up an exciting new pathway for a brand that has been perhaps too closely connected with an idea of elegance that it’s time to question.



Daniel Roseberry is taking to care to remind everyone what haute couture collections used to look like when, between the 80s and 90s, they were released from reality and went to planets inhabited by aliens, while refusing any type of contact with humanity. In that precise historical moment, the most respectable Maison de Couture (including Saint Laurent), came to the realisation that they didn’t need made-to-measure clothing anymore because their cash flow was heavily insured by the sales of perfumes and tiles. Hence why they decided to hijack glorious high fashion and take it towards a marvellous world made of nonsensical sculpture-like clothing that worked admirably from the point of view of conveying a message.

A whole universe, cancelled by intellectualism and the body culture that appeared in the following decades, was miraculously taken up again by Schiaparelli – a brand that can take on any quest into the surreal, since it was founded on these principles by its foundress, Elsa.

Daniel Roseberry has found a formula that remains strangely unique in today’s fashion world today and consists of diving into the most exaggerated maximalism, while also keeping a obsessive formal balance and in fact telling a tale of detachment from what is real, like a psychosis.

A lot of people (as we’ve already mentioned), currently feel the need to detach themselves from reality in a radical way but Roseberry’s way isn’t one that saves but an interesting one nonetheless, given that is is doesn’t align with the principle of pleasure that so dominates Western society but contains something deeply sick.

Rather than living in a Fellini or Sorrentino film, Shiapparelli’s women are trapped in Alain Resnais’ “Last Year at Marienbad”: a film in which absolutely nothing happens to the main characters in those two hours, making it an aesthetically paralysing feature. Daniel Roseberry’s work is exactly the same: aesthetically paralysing and his apparent inconsistency make him one of the most interesting things to have happened in the fashion world in recent years.



Pieter Mulier is part of fashion’s aristocracy. For years, he was Raf Simons’ right-hand man, as he followed him on his adventures with Jim Sanders, Dior and then Calvin Klein and he became quite well-known amongst the insiders. He’s been Alaïa’s Creative Director for a year now and he’s presented his second collection for the brand that most overflows with eroticism on the whole planet, revealing quite clearly just how difficult it is to perpetuate Azzedine’s kingdom. Eroticism in the fashion world is something of a delicate matter but right now it’s a topic that is being widely worked upon and with interesting results (Laquan Smith or Mugler) because one of the rights of passage to free a woman’s body from century-old cultural constrictions is to reveal it, making it visible and desirable.

The Tunisian Azzedine Alaïa has always recounted tales about free bodies that are perfectly integrated within powerful personalities just how all his muses had been (from Iman to Naomi Campbell, from Farida Khelfa to Tina Turner). His legacy is important because he’s one of the few to have given the perfect synthesis between love for a woman’s body of Middle Eastern origin and the so-called refined bourgeoisie taste that has always kept female bodies hidden away.

It seems like Pieter Mulier doesn’t care much for this searing legacy and that he’s actually made sure to forget about it quickly, in order to replace it with a cold intellectualism that is typical of his work with Raf Simons. You see walking towards you male coats, flared jeans that bring to our mind La Isla Bonita, sartorial jackets, polo neck sweaters that cover half of their faces, together with completely transparent stretchy catsuits or dresses with macro Picasso prints; in a set of outputs that can hardly be defined in any other way than disastrous.

All of this could be defined a bump in the road if it wasn’t for the fact that the real problem is probably a consequence of having picked the wrong Creative Director. Or rather, Pieter Mulier could be the right person to continue Alaïa’s work if the brand’s intention was to go down more commercial or simply different routes. Of one thing we’re sure: Azzedine’s celebration of female bodies has most certainly disappeared, together with the feeling of joyful appropriation of flesh. Unfortunately, this is a real shame because the teachings of one of the greatest geniuses in history should be respected, with the intention of following into his footsteps and not moving on with the aim of forgetting him.



Nigo aka Tomoaki Nagao is a mythological character for all of the real streetwear connoisseurs who have known him since 1993, when he created the brand A Bathing Ape. He then became one of the characters of reference for this subculture – that eventually became an official culture -, while also piquing the market’s interest. The fact that American streetwear has become distilled and made popular by the Japanese and it has therefore become respectable within the fashion and costume world boils down to the fact that it is a historical truth; although in this moment in time when everything seems to be move forward so quickly, no one has had the time to remember. Japanese denim will always be one of the best and not because there’s ever been a tradition of indigo cotton, but because at some point some enlightened industrialist decided to apply their artisanal approach to an American product they were attracted to.

The founder of the homonymous brand, Kenzo Takada, whose place Nigo has recently taken, had never been interested in streetwear and he hadn’t even ever tried to bring Japanese aesthetics into his collections. However, he was one of the first to have created ready-to-wear collections that spoke to younger people and were affordable and he brought these to a bourgeois Paris that was still dangerously attracted to haute couture.

Since the brand entered LVMH’s orbit, an attempt was made to bring it closer to a younger audience and, with the duo from Opening Ceremony, the operation was set to be completed. The collaboration with Nigo should represent the final step of this strategy. Unfortunately, despite the presence of people like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams amongst the audience, nothing substantial came out of it, which proved that it’s not the right time for nostalgic missions and that the streetwear language has evolved so much to have become incomprehensible even to Nigo.

The collection showed a delicate, minimalistic approach that puritans will have recognised as an unmistakable trait of Japanese streetwear culture but, at the same time, it also looked dangerously similar to any contemporary brand that department stores are filled with.

We should ask ourselves, even though the question itself is uncomfortable, whether a 51-year-old today can recount things that might interest a 15-year-old or if it would be a wiser idea to look amongst the students, rather than the teachers, and find someone who has received those type of teachings which they’ll be able to make their own in the future.



Behind his fantastic styling, Rick Owens’ ability to also create clothes that are in perfect dialogue with our contemporary times is undoubtedly outstanding. His collections’ solidity and commercial success derive from a love for the product that is so deep and so visible if observed from up-close, that it makes his work very similar to Giorgio Armani and Rei Kawakubo’s.

It would also be very interesting if somebody close to Armani’s team could have a chat with him before they pick the almost mythological figure who will take King Giorgio’s place.

Particularly in this collection (maybe that’s what the neon lights on their heads stood for), Rick Owens indulged in a simplification of the narrative language that revealed how every single garment is a decisive part in the construction of his complex Gothic imaginary; while also showing how every single piece can have its own life, its own identity and tell its own origins without having to be a part of a whole look.

Owens’ version, to which his adepts adhere as if to a secret sect, is so precisely alienating and also profoundly recognisable, to have become the object of a mediumistic cult. That’s why it represents a happy island outside of the indistinct fashion flow; but it is also what stops the brand from growing.

This time though, it’s as if the American designer wanted to resign himself to comprehensibility and therefore decided to switch on a light in the dark ravine in which his creativity lives, revealing his significant traits which, contrary to what you may think, are quite simple.

Similarly to Martin Margiela, Rick Owens builds his narrative starting from the solidity of a product that has been thought through and marvellously realised and that, once worn, immediately becomes a luxurious, erotic, recognisable object.

His savoir-faire is even clearer in this collection and maybe some of the more recent brands from the new generations will want to follow this really old way of building a collection, since it can also be extremely contemporary.



Glenn Martens studied fashion at the great Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, which is the most celebrated art school in the world, together with Central Saint Martin’s, and from which talents of the calibre of Margiela and Raf Simons and others have come out. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts – which is one of the very first art schools in Europe (founded in 1663) – is said to be one of the toughest to study in because students are completely left alone with their creative ghosts or their unresolved incapabilities. Whoever manages to come out of it after four years is able to unfold every single one of the fashion world’s secrets from a conceptual and structural point of view and is not afraid of anything anymore. Imagining a military camp shouldn’t be too far off from reality.

What all students who have ever attended Antwerp’s art school have in common is to have an extremely recognisable identity, one that is very difficult to tarnish, and a deconstructed methodological approach, anti-bourgeoisie and, in a way, nihilistic. To understand what we’re talking about, let’s think of Martin Margiela’s work. Glenn Martens loves being disrespectful beyond the limits of comprehension and this is what makes him so fascinating: there are always wrong button-ups, wrong folds, wrong curled up parts that force us to second-guess our own idea of good taste.

It’s very probable that in this collection created as a tribute to Jean Paul Gaultier, he has moved towards the construction of a more concrete and solid adult-like project. This is because Y/Project never used to be a brand that could be defined in a specific manner, but now that the excesses are less visible and caricatural and it has become a more identity-driven and recognisable type of fashion, a lot has changed for Margiela (who was also Gaultier’s pupil), while he’s also been able to start a very interesting dialogue with our contemporary times. That’s why Glenn Martens is doing a great job as Diesel’s Creative Director.

In a moment when it has become more and more difficult to associate the word authorial with a fashion project and in which the market’s magnetism has made everyone accept any type of compromise, Y/Project seriously takes into account its own codes, something which is refreshing. We could even say comforting.



The Loewe team led by J.W.Anderson allows itself an expressive freedom that is hard to find elsewhere either because clothes have to sell (that’s not the case) or because the hyper-reality of street culture has led contemporary fashion to favour product representation over layered narrative.

It’s been some time now since Loewe abandoned the old Freudian reality principle  (or substituted it with the pleasure principle) in favour of an unreality, or rather a surreality whose concentration of meaning comes precisely from the fact that nobody knows where the product, saleable and commercial, is at home. Like all brand accessories, Loewe focuses its own energy on bags, shoes and a few logoed objects while carefully avoiding trying to sell the impossible creations of its creative team.

However, this split is doing the LVMH group’s brand a lot of good which has for quite some time given up any attempt to construct wearable collections and substituted them with veritable fairy tales, abstract, metaphysical, free and rather joyful.

For winter 2022 the idea was to restore a human shape to what happens on the other side of the phone screen, from electrical impulses to selfies, from visual distortions of filters to memes using a language that is openly surrealistic in which the decorative elements were sink drains or one of the many images of kittens posted on TikTok (in this case with a bird on the head). Like in the surrealism of Dalì or Magritte, Loewe’s design mechanism seems to be directly linked to the unconscious and therefore doesn’t reply to clear and rationally expressed questions but contrives ways of escaping from a boring, oppressive reality by opening doors into universes in which fashion history is a vague reference instead of a constant presence.

To put it even more precisely, this seems to be a situationist methodology, a movement that derived out of Marxism and which has been described as a voluntary loss of orientation or like wandering around without a destination or purpose. The aim behind this loss of orientation, by those who practice it, is to accustom people to being open-minded towards new, unexpected and possibly even alienating aspects of reality, especially if this is done in geographical locations where they usually live. Thus, this is a form of sensory training that allows new perceptions and aesthetic experiences through which a person can reconfigure themselves. Aesthetic experimentation thus becomes the opportunity for transformation, also in the political sense, of individuals who have become endowed with a new awareness.

What is there to say? Personally, I’d prefer to spend a lot more time inside Loewe’s world and a lot less in the one we’re living in now.



Apparently, the collective mourning process for the death of Virgil Abloh has concluded with the Vuitton Uomo winter 2022 fashion show, the last to be signed by Abloh himself. I used the adverb “apparently” because the choice of a new designer by the LVMH group may not come immediately and they may prefer to stick with the current team for a while and carry on Virgil’s aesthetic and cultural legacy. From a marketing perspective, this is likely to work as the cult that has arisen around the creative director of Vuitton Uomo won’t disappear any time soon.

At this point, however, also watching this show, we’re justified in asking what Virgil Abloh actually bequeathed to the fashion world and maybe to the world in general, while avoiding the excess of glorification and saint worship which tastes slightly of Catholicism and which I think not even Abloh himself would have liked.

Abloh decidedly opened wide the doors of the extreme luxury paradise to the sweaty, howling masses who had always considered that terrain to be off-limits to them, from which they were far removed, not only economically but culturally and in their ability to understand. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! With silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Like the Statue of Liberty, Virgil Abloh’s activity was incredibly effective and at the same time highly narcissistic, the product of an idolatry mechanism that is part of contemporary communication. Just like the Statue of Liberty, the path taken by the most popular contemporary designer was to effectively welcome into the mechanisms of luxury all those who had never been familiar with it and who had perceived it as something exclusive, inaccessible and not egalitarian and in the process, he also massively enlarged Vuitton’s potential client base, expanded the market of the biggest multinational in the luxury sector, a holding company that has a marked tendency to become a global monopoly instead of a talent scout for creatives.

Today there are herds of fifteen-year-olds ready to shell out 890 euros for a pair of Vuitton sneakers (Made in Italy) who simply weren’t there before.

All of this was obtained thanks to a celebrity appeal machine which didn’t use to exist in the fashion world or if it did exist (it’s always a good idea to remember Marcelo Burlon, DJ and creative director of County of Milan) it was still being deployed, shall we say, naively, or at least light-heartedly. 

Vuitton’s latest collection, on the other hand, is a perfect mechanism for self-representation and at the same time for communicating the product, in an age when designers and products have completely fused and Abloh’s liberating message has turned into a big bag. Rather than a Louis Dreamhouse (the collection’s title), the show was a gigantic pastry shop full of very sweet and brightly coloured candies, of every shape and taste, Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in the form of an uninterrupted sequence of very beautiful clothes shown in a dazzling set with a wonderful soundtrack.

Like in Tim Burton’s movie the chocolate factory can’t survive without a soul (in the film represented by Charlie’s family) and what we should be wondering is whether Virgil Abloh’s legacy won’t go beyond the fact of having invited new generations of young people to the global consumer banquet or whether it will bring back a healthy, ethical and highly creative approach to the world of luxury which seems to have lost these characteristics for some time.



It’s rather hard to imagine that Kim Jones’s most interesting collection since he came to Dior will overwhelm millennials and GenXers with its coolness. After last summer’s collection created in collaboration with Travis Scott and never delivered, it looks like one of the most genuine propagators of the phenomenon of collab has made an abrupt change of direction and arrived at (or gone back to) the by now forgotten terrain of formal menswear, the classic kind, what our dads and granddads used to wear.

In fact, what’s happening in the world of menswear seems to be following a common pattern: the attention of many designers has shifted away from sweatshirts to jackets, from down jackets to coats, from t-shirts to jacquard knitwear. It’s possibly because the markets are saturated with shockingly expensive sweatshirts or maybe because also formal menswear is economically lucrative. Whatever the case, the fact is that everyone and I mean everyone (even the most irreproachable standard-bearers of streetwear) have included in their collections references to pure men’s clothing from the nineteenth century.

But Kim Jones has done this in an extremely credible, adult and mature way, like a brave sea captain steering the complex ship of Dior out of the storm and sailing it into the safe and harmonious harbour of perfect sartorial constructions and colour tones that are barely hinted at.

There’s some very old style poetry in this collection which was shown on a reproduction of the Pont Alexandre III (one of Paris’ most cinematographic bridges) with M. Dior’s original voice in the background and it all comes with a lot of nonchalance as the Parisians might say. 

What we need to ask at this point is how the market will react to this new world of Kim Jones without the electricity of the collabos, the mega-celebrities, without Hollywood and the half-time show at the Super Bowl.

Will it look elsewhere or will it understand that this might be a precious opportunity to learn something anew that it had forgotten, to listen to the subdued sound of someone who makes beautiful clothes which might go unnoticed but which contain astonishing constructions, invisible to the naked eye and which require an effort to recognize.



KidSuper is the brand of 29-year-old Colm Dillane, a New Yorker from Brooklyn, a rising star and totally out of the box when it comes to American streetwear. Kid Super’s references are much closer to a 1980s low-fi Stringer Things style than the super hype of Off-White or Alyx and Dillane’s 176,000 followers on Instagram are there to prove it. In spite of this, if you take the time to watch the 16 minutes of the film presenting the 2022 winter collection you will be magically drawn into a parallel, teenage-like, childlike universe made up of M&M’s and doors that open into other dimensions, created around a naifcore that Van Gogh or Ligabue might have enjoyed, two figures who all their lives danced along the thin line dividing reality from madness.

What’s extraordinary about KidSuper, compared to so many other U.S. designers is that the world of streetwear is a departure point and not a point of arrival, it’s a language that tells wonderful, nostalgic fairy tales of lost childhood, stories in which nobody gets hurt and everybody ends up a winner, even if in reality they are born losers.

It is extremely hard today to find designers that don’t accept filters, either from society or from the market or from the brain or (especially)from an overdeveloped ego. Colm Dillane is certainly one of these. Everybody tells complicated and potentially edifying stories. From KidSuper, if you want, you can listen to contemporary fables that are liberating, authoritarian and true. Pull up a chair and sit down in front of your computer, as if it were an old fireplace in a distant time when someone would help you fall asleep by telling you a dreamy bedtime story.




Raf Simons is the son of a night watchman and a cleaning lady. Miuccia Prada, aka Maria Bianchi, is the heiress to the leather goods shop Fratelli Prada, founded in 1913. Working-class origins and upper-middle-class origins, two worlds far apart, came together in the first truly successful show of the Raf Simons age. What happened is that, apart from the incidental presence of Hollywood actors, Miuccia turned everything over to Raf. The Belgian designer’s vision clearly defines the Prada brand in this collection, and is no longer an awkward attempt to reconcile opposites.

Raf and Miuccia staged a generational handover in the form of class struggle, admitting that their origins made any kind of common ground impossible. Upper-middle-class tailored coats and jackets and workers’ overalls, alternating simply but extremely visibly, represented the clear distinction between two fundamental themes that Raf Simons—who has always followed and always imagined bourgeois good taste, without ever really finding it—has long worked on. But they also represented Prada’s approach to the codes of contemporary fashion, like those of Demna Gvasalia, for example.


The titanic struggle took place on the terrain of a disturbing minimalism, cold and abstract, distant and sick, reminiscent more of the cold cellars of Raf’s first shows than the aseptic lofts of Prada’s first shows. The game was always in Raf’s hands as the soundtrack by Human League is there to show.


 But all this is not a defeat for Prada—it’s a victory.


Raf has finally entered the Miuccia world. Her codes have become magically his own, and she can retire in peace if she wants to because I believe she knows she has handed over her child to someone who understands it, who respects it but isn’t overwhelmed by it. From the point of view of aesthetics, it is the victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, a radical change of meaning for Prada and probably the beginning of a new era. This era no longer understands self-destruction, and now the son of two workers is helping one of the most influential giants in global luxury transitioning towards the future.



Controlling the enormous heritage of Etro and giving it an essential and contemporary vision is, I believe, not something easy to do. The brand has often fallen into self-quotation, indulging in its past and obscuring a potentially bright future.

With this men’s fashion show Kean Etro, immediately after the transfer of ownership to LVMH, has shown he can express an idea of the brand that stays close to its historical roots, but that is reaching out to a mentally and chronologically younger public. Here nothing is suffocating, exaggeratedly decorative, dustily bourgeois or unrealistic. What we saw passing in front of our eyes was an operation coming incredibly close to reality, even more focused than the already successful last season.

Etro was founded in 1968 by the legendary Gimmo Etro, Kean’s father, who was one of the founders of that industrial, creative revolution that later took the name Made in Italy. This is a story linked to Milan’s cultural fabric, which few other current brands can claim. A story that is also the story of a handover from one generation to another, which, as we know, can be disastrous.


And yet Etro managed to pull it off. Not only did they succeed in transitioning from textiles to clothes, accessories and perfumes, but they created a universe of references that has commanded respect and whose value was recognised by the French colossus who paid 500 million euros for it.


What most companies ought to consider is that this is a success story in every sense of the word. Brands can be passed on but rarely survive the pressures of dysfunctional families, sons without talent, and daughters obsessed with being in the spotlight. The Etro family is a shining example of how value can be passed on over generations, grow and take its place in the global market instead of perishing under the exhausting blows of infighting or simply from an absence of awareness and preparation.



Luca Magliano began working on his brand in 2016, and in a very short time, he became the most important male clothing designer in Italy, and perhaps one of the most important of his generation in the whole world.

The winter 2022 fashion show was held in the Circolo Arci Bellezza, a historical Milanese cultural circle where Luchino Visconti in 1960 shot a scene from Rocco e i suoi fratelli. Divided into different rooms, the action reconstructed micro-situations from daily life drowned in a dreamy, romantic, and deeply disturbing atmosphere. In the one I was in, two performers, a man and a woman, were arm wrestling and looking into each other’s eyes so intensely that it was hard to take your attention away from them and look at the clothes. There was something primordial, threatening and free in their way of struggling with their arms stuck to an old wooden table. The simplicity of their enactment seemed to represent centuries-old meanings—the struggle between the genders or just between human beings.


Luca Magliano gives the impression to consider life as a challenging game. Still, instead of succumbing to pessimism, he turns what could be pain or anguish into something engaging, exciting and restorative. Several times the work of another great narrator occurred to me who Luca ought to meet, Antonio Marras, but unlike Marras, Magliano builds his poetic apparatus around the clothes, not inside them.


There isn’t an evident compositional unity in the aesthetics of the young designer. It looks as if every single piece was fished out from somewhere, accurately observed, studied and finally slipped onto a friend who happened to be passing there by chance. The intention is not to create an identity narrative or deliver a particular message but maybe only to free that friend from a curse, to mend some broken parts, or heal them more quickly.


If you want to get an idea of what we felt while we were observing with surprise this gigantic stream of emotions, maybe you should think of the meaning you give to the concept of intimacy, also of solitude and how your way of dressing helps you discover it and communicate it to others.

The result of this joint effort, together with the excellent stylist Elisa Voto and many other talented collaborators, proves that in fashion today, whoever decides to stage emotions, perhaps using them as a therapy to free themselves from their ghosts, has a surprising level of courage and audacity. That’s how Magliano leads us into an authentic, wonderful and unique world, which is uncoupled from the obsession with the hyper-visual.

Luca is a pure brilliant talent whom the world should get to know, preserve and possibly, come to love.



When in 1986, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana commissioned their first campaign to photo reporter Ferdinando Scianna, who immortalised Marpessa in a Sicily that looked more like an anthropological study than a postcard, they didn’t imagine that they were creating fashion history and maybe general cultural history.
Scianna’s eye told the story of a free and resolute female figure who isn’t just returning to her roots but to the heart of the very concept of Italianness, cancelling in one fell swoop all the stereotypes of 1980s hedonism and raising the discourse around fashion to a lofty cultural plane.

Thirty-five years later, Dolce & Gabbana has become a global brand that communicates the joy of being alive, eroticism and carefreeness and which, after the unfortunate incident in China, is trying to reorient itself to the contemporary world. Any kind of intellectualism is long gone, and the dynamic duo has managed to tell simple stories in an understandable way, certainly with the risk of banalising the narrative but with the result that sales have topped a billion euros, and they have also begun to open stores in China again.

I’m afraid the nostalgia buffs who would like to see the black guêpières of the good old days, and the Sicilian widow’s dresses back on their catwalks will have a long wait, the time has come to reflect on the possibility (or impossibility) that this brand will recover its relevance for the fashion world.

Watching the men’s fashion show for winter 2022, one could say that they are making a little progress but that they have a long road ahead of them. Excess for the sake of excess doesn’t seem to be very significant for this historical time. Still, in a circus of prints, graffiti, embroidery, and loud music pumped out by Machine Gun Kelly, some elements burned with intensity, indicating something that is changing – more on the outside of the brand than on the inside.

First of all, the brand itself, Dolce & Gabbana, in all its variations as a logo or as a simple inscription, harks back to a mythological age (Y2K) in which distinctly separated male and female roles were narrated through sculpted physiques, open eroticism and a simplification of language which today isn’t even remotely conceivable. Objectified men and women protagonists of their own lives–thanks entirely to the endowments they received from nature–are the flip side of the coin of awareness and empowerment. Today these are romantic concepts that can be compared to those of Tarzan and Jane. The younger generations don’t view this with nostalgia but with sincere curiosity simply because they are not used to a message having that level of bi-dimensionality.

Today a t-shirt bearing the D&G logo in big letters on a ripped male physique has become aesthetic archaeology, and may be considered an interesting source for reflection.

In this sense, Dolce & Gabbana is the ideal brand to explain the “dolce vita” of the 90s while making it clear that the concept is no longer applicable, but it could still be an inexhaustible source of inspiration.


The second interesting element (we already spoke about this in the review of Jordaluca) is the coexistence of entirely different and opposite languages within the same discourse. Formal and streetwear, constructed and sporty, masculine and feminine, serious and delirious, simple and maximalist. Over the years, Dolce & Gabbana have won for themselves the freedom to range across the entire spectrum of menswear while never falling into the banality of everyday life. They built an imaginary world in which the protagonists are Marvel superheroes who have forgotten to have a double identity, and are keeping their stage clothes on even when they’re at dinner with their girlfriends or in a meeting with a board of directors. Removing all the in-between steps leaves only the extremes. And if that would have been considered hard to sell some time ago, today is actually why people are attracted by this brand. This kind of maximalism is both semiotic and ethical, in a world where normality no longer interests anyone, in apparent and open contradiction with the first point above.


The third thing to be observed is optimism, which today is a word empty of meaning and is only used to sell diapers in supermarkets and on TV shows to convince elderly ladies that winning a 150 euro coupon is awesome. Optimism isn’t, of course, the key to happiness, but as with extreme simplification, it’s a concept that has dropped off the radar screen and whose meaning we struggle to recognise. Dolce & Gabbana have built an empire on this word, a million light-years away from the bitter reflections of Balenciaga or the cartoonish, hallucinated world of Gucci. In this case, too, they are the ideal brand to bring back this concept to the centre of the discussion and redefine it.

No one can know whether this semiological examination of the brand corresponds to an actual, conscious strategy, but personally, if I had to point to a project that still has immense potential today, I would say it’s Stefano and Domenico’s. Together with Giorgio Armani. But that’s another story.



Jordanluca is a brand founded in 2018 and is the brainchild of Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto, whose DNA is partly characterised by a love for Italian products with a constant reference to London subcultures. This winter 2022 collection, presented for the first time in Milan, showed that the Italo-British duo is moving with extreme dynamism and confidence into the immense gap that has recently opened up in menswear: the need to find a blend between streetwear and tailoring, between sport and formal, between high and low, between yesterday and today.

The collection showcases many elements that are very different from each other and very hard to manage. Still, even if it’s a little rough and metallic, the result is harmonious and feels new.

Outerwear, denim, jacquard knitwear, prints, formal jackets, leather and even a tuxedo are issues that many address individually because finding the key to making the perfect double-breasted jacket coexisting with a stonewashed denim suit is simply hard to do.

This hasn’t kept the dynamic duo from a spasmodic quest for something that is becoming increasingly rare, consistency through a pathway that, in fact, appears to encourage the opposite.

The result is not only interesting in terms of the collection but also because it gives some idea of where men’s fashion is heading at the moment: integration no longer means knocking down gender barriers but also historical and generational divides. The battle lines are no longer drawn between the male and female genders but between fathers and sons or daughters.

Millennials and Gen Zers are trying to reconstruct a dialogue between the old and the new, which almost seems to have originated in a gigantic Oedipus complex due to the absence of a paternal figure, a black hole of apparent harmony, an abyss that may have escaped notice. Father, rules, form. These are extremely powerful concepts that have led earlier generations to rebel, but now it looks like they are helping the youngest to build bridges, restore relationships, and come closer together.



Matthew Williams, creative director of the 1017 Alyx 9SM brand, comes from Pismo Beach, a small town north of Los Angeles famous for its 1928 pier. Although he never received a formal education in fashion design, he was nurtured by the Los Angeles club scene and began costume design for celebrities early on. That’s why his view of fashion is transformative: clothes create the character you want to be for an evening, for a moment.
Williams’ meeting and subsequent collaboration with Kanye West led him to link up with Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston, forming what is now considered the nucleus of revolutionary designers within official fashion.

We are talking about a musical culture with deep roots in rap, and a visual culture that feeds on skateboarding and surfing, that would lead him to work as costume designer for a couple of years with none other than Lady Gaga.

The rest is history, as his nearly 900,000 followers show. Williams, like his colleagues, managed to come up with a synthesis between Californian streetwear, Californian trash and Californian celebrity culture, creating a brand that very quickly turned into a cult, especially for Gen Z. He also became creative director of Givenchy.

What is interesting about this explosive new generation of creatives is that they are culturally untouched by many of the unwritten rules of the fashion world: they don’t believe consistency is a value, they don’t believe it’s wrong to copy, but above all, they don’t believe that there needs to be any narrative or message behind a collection. In other words, they’re convinced that clothes can be created without producing any meaning. “So maybe it sounds selfish or narcissistic, but I’m just making things that I like, and hopefully other people will like them too. That’s just how I move” says Matthew Williams.

The answer to this somewhat defensive statement, and to this vision of fashion that is not narcissistic but just a bit superficial, is that you can surely make clothes and sell them without generating any meaning. However, maybe somewhere in the woof threads, we can still detect a narrative, or rather an affinity with a certain way of telling stories.

Looking at the 2022 winter collection with the eyes of an outsider, there are a few things that strike one. Distinct binary genders, light years away from the kind of fluidity everyone is talking about, are portrayed so assertively that it’s astonishing: men are men and dress like men and women are women and dress like women. There seems to be only minimal common aesthetic ground, and roles are drawn so clearly that it looks like they’ve come right out of another century. This wouldn’t be surprising if it were the collection of a fifty-year-old, but Matthew Williams is 36.

Then there’s the question of stylistic consistency, which simply doesn’t exist and heavy-handed references to the work of Margiela, Helmut Lang but also of Nicolas Guesquière and Demna Gvasalia.

Somebody might say that this is a non-dogmatic attitude, and the whole idea about copying is just leftover baggage from the nineteenth century, which has outlived its time.

But the problem is that to give a positive judgement to a collection built on the idea of coolness instead of design would force us to adopt the same criterion for all other brands and so names like Phoebe Philo, Loewe, Valentino, Sacai, Lemaire, Watanabe or even Comme des Garçons would end up at the bottom of the rankings.

This may work for somebody looking for a sweatshirt, but I don’t think it makes sense in general.



Emilia Romagna dancehalls used to be epic entertainment venues in the 70s and 80s where thousands of people would go dancing Mazurka and Tango. These are the points of reference for Federico Cina’s 2022 collection that, as always, traces its origins back there.
Nowadays, to have points of reference that are extremely local and tell little local stories is a way to escape the virus of mass homologation and build yourself a healthy identity that is recognisable therefore commercially expandable.

Federico is young, and he has clear ideas of the type of product he wants to make—through his attachment to the tradition of the Made in Italy trademark—and the narrative he wants to convey through his brand. Maybe he has it even too clear. The fashion show we saw in person the other evening, which was also his first one during Milan Men’s Fashion Week, was a synthesis of his work up to the present (with the knitwear pieces on the forefront), but it was also the synthesis of what is happening today in men’s fashion in general.

We know how difficult it can be for a young designer to strike the perfect balance between identity and market, representation of his ideas and their commercialisation, saying and doing, thinking and making money. 

We also know that markets have now reached such a level of saturation that the message behind a collection should be one of uniqueness. Otherwise, it will be engulfed by the monstrous mechanism of global information in a matter of minutes, and it will disappear forever.

Federico Cina’s collection included lots of coherent and recognisable pieces which would be styled together in a very forced way, and would therefore lose that coherence and recognisability. At the same time, they floated surrounded by noisy electronic music in an environment that seemed to want to look cool more than anything else. 

The young designer’s system of value and aesthetics is clear. Still, you get the impression that his fear of being too literal—making you smell Emilia Romagna too intensely and falling into the Fellini stereotype—distance him from his real creative path.

Putting a pair of punk-inspired, lace-up shoes on the models’ feet doesn’t help to be more precise. It actually distracts from the true meaning of the conversation, making it difficult to hear Raul Casadei singing an old song in the background.



Si chiama A Path Worth Taking la collezione di Alessandro Sartori per l’inverno 2022 di Zegna. Fondata ufficialmente Alessandro Sartori’s 2022 winter collection for Zegna is called A Path Worth Taking. Founded officially in 1910 as a textile factory—what used to be Ermenegildo Zegna and has now changed to just Zegna—has embarked on a treacherous path that, as the title suggests, was well worth taking.

With an expected turnover of 1,342 billion euros, Zegna has just been listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and has raised capital of 761 million dollars. This should enable it to become a powerful reference for menswear, and as well redefine the brand altogether since a lot has changed from 1910 until now.

The origins of menswear are deeply rooted in the British Industrial Revolution, and the rise of the new wealthy bourgeois class. In the 19th century, at the same time as men’s uniforms were structured based on codes that then became inviolable, Europe was slowly becoming what it is now, states were formed (including in Italy), and resources were being divided more equally. The roles of men and women were also being defined in a precise manner.

In this period, public space was separate from the private one: work and politics were in the hands of men, while the domestic world belonged to women. The male outfit had become a uniform to face the world’s hardships elegantly, while women wore a veil of hypocrisy to hide the fact that their female value had been deleted.

Every menswear brand was built on these historical roots and clear separation, but, as opposed to many others, Zegna and Alessandro Sartori have understood that this platform has been worryingly giving in, hence why they have built a new one, which is more open and in tune with the present. 


When watching the last films used to present the collections, we can see how this radical and complex transition has become part of a symbolic space that, in its neutrality, is the perfect way to erase a past made up of gender division. This becomes an opportunity to rewrite a more fluid and exciting future.

If the political role is taken away, sartorial menswear becomes fertile terrain to rebuild on, as it is made up of such cultural and artisanal richness that can be put to other uses today in telling new narratives. This is precisely what Alessandro Sartori is doing; he’s not afraid to use his tools to redesign a man who doesn’t look like he’s just finished his shift at the bank or is coming out of a boardroom meeting.

So far, so good. At this point, the Zegna group should also be focusing on something else: not being exclusively a menswear’s brand. Although the genderless message they want to convey is quite evident from their presentations, the reality is that you can only see men walking around Zegna’s shops, which is a real pity.

The revolution started by the Trivera friends will be truly accomplished when Zegna won’t be considered a menswear brand anymore but a brand making beautiful clothes that each one of us, irregardless of gender, physicality and story, will feel like wearing to be part of current times.