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The Italian stalwart takes a stab at rebellion A number of risks were taken during an event that hasn’t always been known for challenging the status

Of “the big four” fashion weeks, Milan has long boasted heritage but often pales in comparison to the youthful spirit of London, the high-octane energy of New York or the grandeur of Paris. This season, however, there was a hint of something new in the air — and it smelled like rebellion.

While there were no overt political statements on the runways in the lead up to Sunday’s general election, the country’s creative class may well have been influenced by the looming reality of a far-right party on the cusp of victory. Gaetano Pesce, the celebrated Italian architect and furniture designer who created Bottega Veneta’s vibrant set on Saturday night, issued a blunt statement ahead of the label’s show: “This space is a tribute to diversity,” he said of his poured resin runway and hundreds of bespoke, multicolored chairs. “It is about the human being; we are all different. People who say we are all the same — f**k them! We are all different and this is our defining quality — otherwise, we are just a copy.” Days before the Bottega Veneta show, Diesel attempted to democratize its normally exclusive event by breaking with tradition and inviting the public to attend the show, hosting a whopping 5,000 people of which 3,000 were non-industry guests. And, in a devil-may-care-move, Dolce & Gabbana’s ballsy, self-referencial video of Kim Kardashian eating a plate of spaghetti was defiant, to say the least. 30 milan fashion week 2022 Dolce Gabbana A video of Kim Kardashian eating a plate of pasta played as models strutted the runway at Dolce & Gabbana.

Stefano Gabbana, Kim Kardashian and Domenico Dolce during the finale of the Dolce & Gabbana show. Stefano Gabbana, Kim Kardashian and Domenico Dolce during the finale of the Dolce & Gabbana show. The last time Dolce & Gabbana used spaghetti as a prop, in November 2018, the brand found itself facing widespread accusations of racism. The promotional videos in question, which showed an Asian model struggling to eat the pasta with chopsticks, received so much backlash that the brand was forced to cancel its planned show in China. Four years on, and the familiar scene was replayed — with a few significant edits — at the opening of the house’s Spring-Summer 2023 show. Before models walked out, a black and white film showed Kardashian tucking into a plate of spaghetti with a wry smile on her face. Was it a moment of “sorry not sorry” or an attempt to poke fun at the brand’s previous missteps? We may never know but it was a rare ackowedgemet of a controversy that the label has remained largely quiet about.

Elsewhere, designer debuts at Etro, Missoni, Ferragamo and Bally also breathed new energy into the week despite mixed reviews from critics.
Rebellion involves risk and not all risks paid off. From obnoxiously delayed shows to the numerous models who fell victim to the slip-and-slide that was Roberto Cavali’s runway, the wheels came off on a number of occasions, but there was still plenty to celebrate throughout the week.

Matthieu Blazy’s second collection for Bottega Veneta was the undisputed triumph of the week. Combining womenswear and menswear, the elegant, thoughtful collection was filled with almost every item you might need in a wardrobe, from jeans and tanks to suits and gorgeous cocktail dresses. Repeating a technical trick he first played with his debut collection, Blazy put Kate Moss in seemingly simple jeans and flannel shirt that were actually printed leather. The show’s final look, a bright turquoise, heavily fringed dress, had the crowd cheering before the models came back out for the customary parade.

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