Milan Fashion Week goes on under shadow of Russian attack

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A model wears a creation as part of the Prada Fall/Winter 2022-2023 fashion collection, unveiled during the Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

MILAN – Milan Fashion Week continued Thursday under the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the possible economic repercussions as the West moves toward tighter sanctions.

The head of the Italian fashion council said more than 1 billion euros worth of luxury exports to Russia could be at risk, even as Russian buyers return to Milan for the first time since the pandemic thanks to a deal brokered with the government to recognize the Sputnik V for business travelers.

“If things continue like this, there will be damage,’’ Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber, told The Associated Press. “But it is not even the moment to think about the economic damage, but instead the damage that man does to himself.”

Even if the runways didn't reflect it, the invasion was running in the background as the fashion world made their rounds, and the realization that once again, the world can change in a flash. It was exactly two years ago during the February fashion week previews that the first case in the West of locally transmitted virus was detected near Milan.

"We're coming out of the pandemic. I don't want to think about a European war. I think we have had enough,'' said Arianna Casadei, the third generation of a shoe-making family from Italy's Emilia Romagna coast.

Highlights from Thursday’s preview shows of mostly womenswear for next fall and winter:


Make way for the Prada tank top as the new staple for next winter as Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons mark the second year of their creative collaboration.

The simple white branded tank grounds a collection that employs the sheers from eveningwear as durable daytime looks layered with practical tanks and panties, enveloped in masculine overcoats made pretty with wispy faux fur and feathers applied like arm bands.

The skirt of the season is made in three tiers, like confections, mixing up leather, knits, velvet and sheers, sometimes adorned with sequins and rhinestones. It all has the air of upcycling and easily personalized looks.

Jackets also had feminine cutouts, and were adorned with thick ornamental chains that drape, without enclosing. They were worn with sturdy pleated wool skirts with a 1950s flair.

Simons said the collection echoes “revolutionary moments in Prada’s history.”

“The collection is about the history of women, the history of people, not the history of fashion,’’ Prada said in notes.


Nothing quite says “Let Them Eat Cake” more than a runway show that features looks crafted to resemble furnishings in a European palace of some bygone century. So was Jeremy Scott’s brocade- and velvet-rich collection for Moschino.

Scott had his fun, sending out one model with the motto: “Gilt without Guilt,” and he had multiple jokes about breasts, at one point serving them up pointedly on a silver platter, and was more than a little cheeky when he put picture frames around bare buttocks. But beneath the lamp-shade, candelabra and bird cage hats and beyond the grandfather clock dress, the collection featured day suits in bright patterns mimicking Oriental rugs, as well as an array of smart office dresses with pretty piping and button details.

There was also black eveningwear, like the elegant gown with sculpted details around the bare neck worn with opera gloves by Bella Hadid.

In a final flourish, Gigi Hadid twirled off the runway in a gold lame’ gown with a tulle mermaid finish, golden ivy running up her arms as if a statuette.

Scott took a final bow dressed as an astronaut, a nod to the opening music from a “Space Odyssey” but otherwise a head-scratcher.


In a sign that the pandemic is at last easing, Emporio Armani opened up hundreds of seats in its two shows to employees after officials gave the OK to allow full seating.

Giorgio Armani’s line for youthful dressers combined menswear with womenswear after the house postponed the January men’s show due to a virus surge. The merging provided a perfect complement, with geometric motifs running through both collections — in shades of gray for men contrasting with the pink, coral, seafoam green, red and blues for women.

For her, there were flouncy skirts with structured jackets, soft velvety pants with bold silken blouses. Men wore soft jackets tied at the waist, with off-kilter hats and easy-fitting trousers.


Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo literally had models sprinting down an outdoor runway for their Sunnei, and in a tongue-in-cheek comment on how fast the fashion world moves, asked guests to film them only in slow motion.

A faux bossy female voice warned that they would be checking all Instagram posts for scofflaws. ”We like to create a moment, to have people enter in our world,'' Rizzo said.

Rizzo said the pair had always envisioned a fast-moving runway, and came up with a collection that reflected that, including wide-legged trousers and leggings, but also thick fuzzy knitwear and rubberized accessories that gave tell-tale signs of motion.

“We were thinking about the kind of girl living right now, who is always running,'' Rizzo said. But he also saw ties to the greater global situation. “We were thinking about how we all run around without thinking of what is going on around. Even what is happening right now in the world makes us understand we really need to calm down.”


Max Mara offered cold weather wear for next winter that envelopes with dramatic silhouettes. Tight bodices give way to teddy bear fuzzy big skirts. Trousers are wide-legged and cuffed, worn with fanny packs that double as hand muffs.

A geometrical motif ran through the collection, from raised patterns on sock booties to square quilting on puffer jackets that provided a studied contrast to ribbing on knitwear. The house’s monochromes ran from basic camel and black and white to flashes of red and yellow.