Milan ready to stage eye-catching fashion week with major come-backs and new talent
After New York and London, it is Milan’s turn to host its fashion extravaganza, with a highly promising and well-balanced programme blending top-tier names and emerging talent. The Milan Fashion Week for women’s Autumn/Winter 2019-20 collections is scheduled from February 19 to 25, with 173 collections and 60 official shows on the calendar, the majority of them staged at prestigious new venues. Last September’s edition featured instead 165 collections and 59 shows. Also on the agenda, some 30 special events and 85 presentations, all of them held at locations across the Italian city, in parallel with the official calendar.
The party kicks off on Tuesday evening with a gala event by Benetton, which is showing for the very first time at Milan Fashion Week, unveiling the maiden collection designed by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. The calendar proper then starts the following day, with three must-see shows. First of all, Gucci’s come-back show, as the Italian luxury label, after an appearance in Paris last September, will feature again at its headquarters in via Mecenate. At midday, Maison Margiela will then present its MM6 collection, the label’s first time in Milan in its 30-year history.
In the evening, it will be Moncler’s turn to dazzle, presenting the latest set of collaborations for its Genius project at the new Magazzini Raccordati venue, a series of huge warehouses located under the arches beneath the overhead railway tracks leading to Milan’s Central Station, which are being redeveloped with the backing, among others, of the renowned down jacket label.
Another eagerly awaited show will be Bottega Veneta’s on Friday February 22, introducing the first collection by new creative director Daniel Lee, who has taken over from Tomas Maier, himself in charge of style at Kering's luxury label for 17 years. The show will be held inside a huge marquee erected for the occasion at the Arco della Pace, Milan’s 19th century ceremonial arch. Among the come-backs this season, there is also Chinese designer Angel Chen, who was absent from the calendar last September and will show on Sunday February 24.
Alongside leading labels like Prada, Fendi, Moschino, Versace, Roberto Cavalli and Ferragamo, this edition of Milan Fashion Week will also be the occasion to discover a number of new talents, three of whom are new entries on the week’s official calendar. The first of them, Marco Rambaldi, will show on February 21. Bologna-born Rambaldi, 28, launched his women’s ready-to-wear label in 2014, immediately winning the Next Generation 2014 design award by CNMI, the Italian Fashion Chamber.
The second, womenswear label Marios, founded in 2002 by designers Mayo Loizou, from Cyprus, and Leszek Chmielewski, from Poland, will take to the catwalk on February 24. The label is currently being relaunched with the backing of a newly arrived partner. The third, Lisbon-born Alexandra Moura, will show on February 25. The Portuguese designer launched her men's, women’s and children's ready-to-wear label in 2001, showing since then at the Lisbon Fashion Week and, from 2016, in London. Her wardrobe offers a fresh take on Portugal’s typically romantic, melancholy style, adopting a quirky and playful artistic vision and working on textures and contrasts.
The six new names on this season’s Milanese calendar, between come-backs and rookies, will compensate for seven withdrawals. They will start with Erika Cavallini, whose Autumn/Winter 2019-20 collection is the last by the eponymous designer, who founded the label in 2009. The semi-couture house, which has shown in Milan since 2015, is skipping this edition of the fashion week as it awaits the appointment of a new creative director.
Daizy Shely, a recent mother, is also giving this season a miss. Fila, after showing for the first time in September to fête the launch of its high-end ready-to-wear line, will feature at the Fashion Week though not on the catwalks, throwing instead a big party. As for Belgian label A.F. Vandevorst, after staging an exceptional show last season, it is leaving Milan, as is Philipp Plein, now back on the New York calendar.
Tiziano Guardini, the first winner of the emerging talent prize at the Green Carpet Award for ecological fashion in 2017, is instead switching format, from a show to a presentation, scheduled on February 20. On the same day, his successor as winner of the award in 2018, Gilberto Calzolari, will stage an artistic performance to present his new collection. Les Copains too is opting for a “fashion installation” this season.
Finally, the fashion week’s official programme will be complemented by countless off-calendar shows, among them those by Dolce & Gabbana on Sunday 24, by Maryling, Elisabetta Franchi, Zlfzss, a label founded in 2005 by Chinese designer Lei Zhang, which will show on February 21 as part of the Fashion Haining project - focusing on China’s Haining district, specialised in fur and leather - and a collective show by the furriers selected by showroom TheOneMilano.
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