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Milan Fashion Week
Milan Fashion Week celebrates fashion in the centre of Milan with fashion lovers, buyers, and the media twice a year in the months of February and September. Milan Fashion Week, which is organised in part by the nonprofit Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, hosts catwalk shows, designer showrooms, and static presentations to host about 70 fashion shows and 90 presentations of designers to an international audience. Some fashion houses, including Cavalli, have harshly criticised the organisation in the wake of contentious debates about favoritism and a lack of diversity within the chamber. The Dolce & Gabbana house, for instance, has decided not to hold its shows in conjunction with the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. An estimated €15 million is brought in by each MFW for Milan’s hotels and businesses. In addition to its womenswear shows, Milan also holds menswear-specific events like Milan Fashion Week Men’s in the months of January and June. However, these events are much more limited in scope and size.
An exhibition of fashion is held in Milan, Italy, twice a year as part of Milan Fashion Week. The Camera Sindacale della Moda Italiana, which later went by the name Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, first organised Milan Fashion Week in 1958. The event at the time featured exhibitions and catwalk shows showcasing the Italian fashion industry and its designers. The Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana continues to run Milan Fashion Week today with the goal of promoting Italian fashion designers domestically and abroad. Milan Fashion Week recently moved to three key locations in the city of Milan: The Padiglione Visconti, in the centre of Scala Ansaldo Workshop; Spazio Cavallerizze, a section of the Leonardo da Vinci National Science and Technology Museum; and Sala delle Cariatidi of the Palazzo Reale. There are additional show locations spread out over the city, especially for larger fashion labels like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, or Prada. Some noteworthy venues include Jil Sander’s SS18 presentation in the Fiera di Milano complex, Peuterey’s SS16 show in the restored vineyard of Leonardo da Vinci, and Dolce & Gabbana’s men’s 2018 Alta Moda & Alta Sartoria show in the Villa Carlotta alongside Lake Como.
One of the capitals of Italian fashion, Milan, is well known on a global scale. For the glitziest event of the year, thousands of fashion-obsessed individuals travel from all over the world to the city. Since it was extremely difficult to import French and Italian clothing during the Second World War, the first fashion week as we know it today was held in New York City in 1943. After the war, the New Yorker initiative spread to the other fashion capitals of Milan, Paris, and London. Thanks to the visionary British stylist Charles Frederick Worth, who was the first to reinvent fashion communication by integrating models, haute couture, and labels, the runway concept was born. Before Milan became the home of the Italian fashion week, Giovanni Battista Giorgini’s runway in Florence in 1951 served as its inaugural event. For the first time, buyers, journalists, and photographers from all over the world were able to view the runways.
Prior to that, the Italian runways were converted into tiny fashion houses or warehouses, but Giorgini gave Italian fashion a global reputation. Around the Gattamelata street fair area, in 1958, Milan Fashion Week officially started. High fashion, which was also promoted by the renowned Fellini films, gave the Roman catwalks importance in the late 1960s. Rome quickly emerged as the centre of high fashion, posing a threat to Paris’ leadership in the field. Many stylists, including Walter Albini, Missoni, Krizia, Ken Scott, and many others, left the Roman catwalks of high fashion in the early 1970s to start a change; this is where prêt-à-porter got its start. The Milan catwalks are where this revolutionary movement got its start. Since then, Milan Fashion Week has grown to be one of the most significant international events, showcasing the latest spring/summer and fall/winter trends from the most prestigious Italian brands twice a year.
Milan stands out from the other members of the group known as the “Big Four” fashion cities because it is the only one that is not a capital city. And a whole narrative is concealed by one odd fact. Up until its unification in 1891, Italy was still a collection of independent city states. For many centuries, fashion in Italy only existed locally, with a long history dating back to the Middle Ages of various cities that specialised in their own crafts, fabrics, and luxury goods, as well as unique sartorial flavorings. Many cities competed, overtook one another, and lost out to one another in an effort to establish themselves as the centre of fashion. The echoes of this system continued into the post-World War II era, when Italy first seriously entered the international fashion market. Among the contenders, Giovanni Battista Giorgini, a businessman, assembled a number of then-popular designers from all over Italy, including Emilio Pucci and the Fontana sisters, to stage fashion shows first at his own residence and then shortly after at the Sala Bianco in the Palazzo Pitti. Florence appeared to be particularly strong in this regard.
Numerous media representatives attended, and buyers from major American department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue placed orders. Other fashion displays were conducted in Rome and Venice, with the assistance of Italian fashion’s rising popularity in movies. While the Cinecittà Studios hosted both foreign and local talent, most notably Federico Fellini, whose 1960 film La Dolce Vita helped to cement the status of the little black dress as well as a particularly voluptuous image of Italian style, the trio of Fontana sisters found themselves dressing celebrity clients (Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor among them).
Milan has unquestionably become the global fashion capital following Milan Fashion Week. There will be excellent returns and burgeoning talents in a setting that feels almost normal. As their runways are set up in the most picturesque locations in the city, more and more brands are opting to hold their shows in person.
There are more than just catwalks at Milan Fashion Week, though. The festival is jam-packed with activities, some of which are by invitation only and others which are accessible to the general public. There are VIPs everywhere, models walking the streets, and the atmosphere is opulent and magical. To promote important values, the city has been painted in fresh hues. It is the spotlight of a kingdom that only abides by its own rules, where displaying creativity is never excessive. The three main themes of today are diversity, individuality, and sustainability. As a result, beauty transforms into “good beauty,” a potent tool for improving the state of the world.
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