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From New York to London, one of the biggest Fashion Week trends so far has been wearability and tailoring. Wardrobe staples like oversized blazers, boxy shirting, skirts and pants with asymmetrical waistlines and hemlines have made as many waves on the red carpet as the more show-stopping pieces. This was made even more evident in Milan last week. From Sabato De Sarno’s beautifully austere Gucci debut to Prada's pared-back runway collection that could live in your closet for years to come, designers went back to basics for Spring 2024 collections, albeit in the most sophisticated way possible.
This doesn’t mean that the collections presented were boring. If we are to believe the Italian runways, workwear will get a subversive twist this season, making getting ready for a day at the office as exciting an endeavour as for a night out. In time for warmer weather, sheer fabrics and as little clothing as possible will emerge in response to the coat-filled months that came prior. And Y2K styles that have dominated the last few seasons will (likely) get their last chance in the spotlight before the fashion industry moves on to throwback trends of the 2010s.
Ahead, these and more must-haves from the Milan Fashion Week S/S ‘24 runways to get started on your spring wardrobe now.
Corporate-core Come Undone
It was all business this season in Milan. But rather than literal officewear, designers showed a more undone side of workwear. Think: apparel that could take you from a late evening at the office to an all-night rave and back to the office in the morning, with no change of clothes in between.
Ashley Graham walked in an asymmetrical blazer that appeared torn in the back at Boss. The “CorpCore” show looked at the intersection of humanity and technology and was opened by Gigi Hadid in an equally oversized blazer and a strewn-open pussybow shirt that revealed her bra. Elsewhere, Bottega Veneta and Fendi sent out models in tailored pants that seemingly were coming undone at the waistline, while SportMax and Bally showed lopsided pencil skirts that looked like they got caught in the copy machine.
The Colour Blue
Not quite grey, not quite sky, a subdued shade of dusty blue marked Milan’s runways, continuing the prominent use of the shade, which we also saw at New York Fashion Week, albeit in a variety of shades of blue. Fendi, one of the first shows of the week, included the colour before it made its way down the runway at Prada, Tod’s, No.21, and more. While the colour could double as a neutral for spring, especially when paired with similarly soft shades like sage (another popular hue this season!), grey, and pastel yellow, the colour’s style potential was brought out when mixed in with richer hues like a fiery orange and chocolate brown, as seen at Fendi.
Underwear As Outerwear
The no-pants trend will continue well into next year, according to designers like Ferragamo, Versace, and MSGM who showed underwear paired with coats, jackets, and blazers. Taking the trend even further, Blumarine — the brand known for its butterfly tops — showed a pair of equally risqué butterfly underwear, while Diesel sent out trompe l’oeil-esque clothing that had undergarments printed on them. Above the waist, bras will replace tops and be worn underneath blazers and coats, a styling technique used at Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini, Etro, and Alberta Ferretti.
Of course, translating this trend into your everyday wardrobe might come with a few challenges, and while it might not be the most wearable look to emerge from Milan Fashion Week, it certainly is one of the most statement-making.
Looks like cargo pants aren’t going anywhere either. While Diesel, (which hosted a 7,000-person rave in lieu of a traditional fashion show) showed a pair of utilitarian denim cargos with pockets running down the front and MSGM sent out a dip-dyed version, other brands like Iceberg, Roberto Cavalli, and Andreadamo presented leather and silky, tailored versions of the Y2K favourite. In its new sleek iterations, these cargos wouldn’t look out of place at a party or even work.
No look was as ubiquitous on the runways of Milan as the sheer trend. Prada wowed with dresses that featured gravity-defying gauzy fabric that drifted behind models — a favourite look of the style set present at the shows — while Blumarine presented entirely see-through dresses and Ferrari showed a delicate Lurex-ish pencil skirt worn over a pair of branded briefs. While sheer fabrics dominated the category, other variations of the naked trend included crochet (Tom Ford, Emporio Armani, Genny), paillettes (No. 21, Attico), and chainmail (Philosophy Di Lorenzo, Moschino).
Not-So-Basic Basic Tops
One of the biggest highlights of Milan Fashion Week was De Sarno’s debut collection for Gucci, a showcase of minimalist craftsmanship in its purest form. That doesn’t mean it lacked stunning details — far from it. For proof, see the exquisitely tailored pencil skirt with waistline details above that was paired with… the simplest of henley tops.
Henley button-front bodysuits also appeared at Tom Ford, where the minimal look was dressed up with an architectural belt and chain necklace, as well as at Andreadamo. Other only-on-first-glance basic tops — polo shirts, short-sleeve button-downs, and tanks — also appeared at MSGM, GCDS, Bally, Tod’s, and Philosophy Di Lorenzo. These were made more special when paired with statement-making skirts and structured blazers.
No need to pick between gold, silver and bronze this spring. The runways provided an option for every Olympic medal enthusiast with liquid metal-like clothing that sparkled with every step. While we’re partial to the metallic-on-metallic look à la suits at Tom Ford and Brunello Cucinelli, matching separates at Blumarine and Genny, and dresses at Alberta Ferretti, more subtle styling suggestions were made at brands like Giorgio Armani in the form of silver pants paired with a knit top and a bronze peplum top worn with slacks.