Fourth day, still standing. Judging from what we have seen, day 4 of Milan Fashion Week was all about escapism. Whether it was through a blast from the past or by embarking on a journey to an unexplored dimension, today’s collections all appeared to have the desire of running away from the “new normal” as their core. An easy way out, so to say, but who can blame them?

Text by: Gilda Bruno

Fourth day, still standing. Judging from what we have seen, day 4 of Milan Fashion Week was all about escapism. Whether it was through a blast from the past or by embarking on a journey to an unexplored dimension, today’s collections all appeared to have the desire of running away from the “new normal” as their core. An easy way out, so to say, but who can blame them? 


Day 4 of MFW started with a show that brought us “back to the future.” Creative Directed by Grazia Malagoli – who has been at the helm of the house since 1979 – SPORTMAX’s digital presentation led the audience into an ostentatious atmosphere studded with glittering chandeliers hanging from the ceiling in an incipit portending nothing but extravagant looks. The rave-inspired soundtrack recalls the trip signed by GCDS for the closure of day 2. However, this time revisited Woodstockian outfits prevailed, with garments ranging from down-to-the-ankles leather coats featuring hyperfeminine silhouettes and maxi dresses in earth tones, occasionally presenting tye-dyed details, to transparent knitwear leaving nothing to the imagination enriched with sparkling chains, all paired with ‘70s-inspired sunglasses — those red lens ones? Purely iconic! Creative director Grazia Malagoli presented spectators with a highly confident woman who, through her clothing and accessories, succeeds in emanating her irresistible charm. Hiding their look behind sunglasses, the models marched their way through the runway as immersed in their own dimension, almost untouched by what surrounded them. Towards the end of the short film, a pink-coloured scene captured the protagonists of the fashion show letting loose on the dancefloor, just like hippies in trance: a moment that served as the common thread for the overall SPORTMAX’s FW 21 collection which, once again, could not help stressing our need for a come back of the good old party times. 

Gabriele Colangelo 

Polish fashion model and actress Malgosia Bela is the protagonist of Gabriele Colangelo’s digital presentation. Directed by Jacob John Harmer, the short film immersed the public in an elegant dance celebrating the four elements of matter, namely fire, water, earth, and air, in a touching tribute to the beauty of our planet. A continuation of Colangelo’s codes, the entire brand’s FW 21 collection featured natural tones and lines sinuously caressing the model’s body as in an embrace with Mother Nature. Pastel-coloured nuances of brown, orange, yellow, and blue alternated with neutral shades on Colangelo’s garments, ranging from loose suits, oversized coats, and finely decorated vests to dresses that seem designed on the model’s curves. A light-blue pleated silk dress mimicked the hypnotic visual effect produced by the breeze that blows on the waves of the sea in continuity with the overarching theme of the fashion house’s digital showcase. “Here we are, in eternal flux, just spinning while everything else feels still,” reads Malgosia Bella as she gently moves on the screen in a harmonious portrayal of what surrounds us. For this collection, Gabriele Colangelo highlighted the importance of reconnecting with the planet and its components as the only path towards “infinity”; a message that could not be more appropriate as the fashion industry engages more and more seriously in the discussion around sustainability. 


Giorgio Armani

In today’s digital runway, Giorgio Armani gave yet another demonstration of the incomparable elegance distinguishing the Italian fashion house since its early days. Presenting both the FW 21 Women and Men’s collections in two dedicated live-streamed fashion shows, the designer came full circle with the style that, back in the ‘80s, rapidly turned Armani into the most acclaimed Italian fashion brand worldwide. The supposition that Armani might have seen this year’s Milan Fashion Week as an opportunity to homage the origins of his career was also hinted by the structure of the runway itself; where models paraded counterclockwise around the label’s logo and a green gorilla sculpture by artist Marcantonio as if symbolically called to rewind time. Although our hypothesis is never to be confirmed, what is certain is that the ready-to-wear outfits presented today can be seen as a tribute to Armani’s evergreen style and inestimable heritage. 

In the women’s collection, the fashion house presented the audience with a revamp of Armani’s ‘80-90s most notorious looks, ranging from sinuous velvet and pinstripe suits to structured maxi dresses featuring geometric shapes. Semi-transparent organza gowns were embellished with embroidered flower details while velvet or silky bows were used to complete loose, bright shirts. Oversized blazers were worn on nude skin, yet respecting the label’s innate class. The dominant colours of the collection, which was characterised by the intangible volume of its items, were neutral tones paired with watery shades of blue. As for the men’s runway, Armani kicked-started the digital show with meticulously detailed outfits that proved his sartorial excellence. Again, velvet and pinstripe suits were elevated to present-day’s codes in a game of textures and reflections. Geometric cutouts were placed on leather, another key element of this collection, in looks resembling those of the “early” Armani. Among the others, we saw vintage-inspired colorful knitwear, ribbed trousers, and beautifully embroidered vests in pastel tones. The highlight of the collection? The fluttering and precious looking kimonos casually worn by two models on top of their FW outfits. Overall, both collections were characterised by the lightness of the materials, which turned the protagonists of Armani’s fashion show into floating creatures celebrating elegance. 

Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo’s digital show made us embark on a journey to a whole new planet. For its FW 21 Women and Men’s Collection, the brand challenged spectators to imagine what fashion would look like in a futuristic, almost sterile tech dimension. Pastel colours in the shades of blue, red, green, and pink dominated the runway with volumes and silhouettes referencing those of sci-fi films, occasionally paired with rider-inspired elements such as leather jackets and tight-fitting trousers. For this season, creative director Paul Andrew designed geometrically decorated tops that feel like a second skin to those who wear them. With accessories varying from iridescent collars to platform sneakers, the digital presentation also left some room for more classical items, such as elegant pleated shirts, draped dresses, and fringe jackets. The otherworldly leitmotiv of the collection was exemplified by the full-length silver coat that, clenched at the waist by a belt, preceded a parade of robot-looking models whose body was purposefully painted in silver so as to stress their mechanical nature. The collection might not suit everyone’s taste, but it is certainly a successful tribute to human imagination, as demonstrated by the ending quote to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon.

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini
In the digital presentation of his latest collection, creative director Lorenzo Serafini seems to have staged a truthful celebration of the female figure. Joining forces with British stylist Ibrahim Kamara, the designer paid tribute to women’s irreproachable charm by capturing his models in looks characterised, first and foremost, by an unstoppable personality. Through college-inspired retro letterman jackets clenched at the waist by thick leather belts, flowing lines, dynamic prints, and natural fabrics, the fashion house provided the audience with a captivating portrayal of the XXI’s century woman: someone who looks at the past to draw inspiration for an out-of-the-box future. Colourful geometric patterns are juxtaposed in unexplored contrasting combinations, knitwear and pleated skirts are worn together while extravagant shiny dresses are paired with boots. One thing is for sure: Lorenzo Serafini’s FW 21 collection wanted to break with traditional fashion codes to represent women’s kaleidoscopic essence to its fullest. Adding tinted sunglasses and berets to each outfit of the digital presentation, the fashion brand went far enough to portray its models as a fashionable army ready to take the world by storm.