Translated by
Nicola Mira
Feb 20, 2017
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A transitional season for the Milan Fashion Week

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Feb 20, 2017

After New York and London, it is now Milan’s turn. The Fashion Week dedicated to womenswear collections for Autumn/Winter 2017-18 will take over the Lombardy capital from 22nd to 27th February. The programme is rich, although major changes are on the cards for the next September session.

Bottega Veneta will once again show at the Brera Fine Arts Academy with its men's and women's collections - © PixelFormula

The Italian fashion establishment decided to cancel the traditional gala dinner bringing together all the industry's major names at the start of the week, as a tribute to renowned Vogue Italia Editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, who died on 22nd December 2016. A mass will be held in her honour at the Duomo, Milan's catholic cathedral, on Monday 27th February.

Altogether, the Milanese week will feature 174 collections, with 70 official shows (plus several shows outside of the main calendar, including Dolce & Gabbana on Sunday 26th February, Kristina Ti and Roccobarocco), and 92 presentations, compared to 176 collections with 71 official shows and 90 presentations last September.

In addition to all this, there will be 37 parallel events, including parties, store inaugurations and exhibitions. Not to mention the participation of 15 emerging designers selected by the Italian Fashion Chamber, which has put the 'Fashion Hub Market' at their disposal, an area within the Unicredit Pavilion, headquarters to the Fashion Week, where they will have the chance to present their collections.

The latest Milan Fashion Week will introduce six new labels on its calendar, three of them from China: Angel Chen, a guest of the Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Program; Xu Zhi, founded by Xuzhi Chen, invited by Giorgio Armani; and Annakiki, whose designer Anna Yang has recently opened an office in Milan.

The other new entries are Situationist, by Georgian designer Irakli Rusadze, invited by the White Milano trade show; the historic French label Vionnet, now led by Kazakh billionaire Goga Ashkenazi, which has left Paris to show in Milan; and Angelo Marani, back on the programme after showing off-calendar last season, whose eponymous designer and founder died last January.

The 'Sala delle Cariatidi' room within Milan's Royal Palace, a venue for several shows - Instagram Cameramoda.it

Notable for their absences are Roberto Cavalli, which is being reorganised after the dismissal of Creative Director Peter Dundas last October, and new labels San Andres Milano and Piccione.Piccione, which debuted in Milan respectively in February 2015 and February 2016.

Three other labels have decided to leave Milan, opting for other fashion capitals: Philipp Plein, gone to New York, Ports 1961, headed to London, and Uma Wang, which chose Paris, where it will show on 3rd March. Finally, Giambattista Valli's young line Giamba, which joined Milan’s official programme last season after holding several shows off-calendar, opted out at the last minute.

As for Dsquared2, the label by Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten, it will not show at the womenswear weeks this time round, having decided to present its men's and women's collections together in one single event at the men's Fashion Week in January.

Gucci and Bottega Veneta will instead do the opposite: they skipped the January weeks and will hold their mixed-gender shows respectively on Wednesday 22nd and Saturday 25th February in Milan. Both shows are eagerly awaited, as is Marni's, featuring the first womenswear collection by new Creative Director Francesco Risso, who took over from the label's founder Consuelo Castiglioni after she left last October.


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