Bottega Veneta Finds Beauty In Rebirth And Ferragamo Looks To The Roaring Twenties

milan, italy february 24 a model walks the runway at the bottega veneta fashion show during the milan fashion week womenswear fallwinter 2024 2025 on february 24, 2024 in milan, italy photo by daniele venturelligetty images
The Runway Rundown: Milan Fashion Week Day 4Daniele Venturelli
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Courtesy of Hearst.

On the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week, creativity met with exceptional craftsmanship as Bottega Veneta, Ferragamo and Dolce & Gabbana headlined the schedule, turning out fine-tuned collections that came with inspirations to note and accessories to covet.


Here, everything to know about the latest shows at Milan Fashion Week.

The Inspirations

A century on, Maximilian Davis looked to the 1920s — the decade of Ferragamo's inception — for inspiration this season. Distilling the decade through his perspective offered an overall look to liberation seen in the era's drop-waist hems and relaxed fluidity. 'The visual codes of an era of emancipation are reduced and refined for a collection that reflects the self-expression of the twenties – on both sides of the century,' said the show notes, while Davis himself commented: 'The 1920s used clothing as a way to celebrate freedom. And that expression of freedom is something which resonates with me, with my heritage, and with Ferragamo.'

At Dolce & Gabbana, the duo looked to a very specific source material: the tuxedo, 'the ultimate symbol of pure style'. Though it wasn't as much as a literal take on the suit, as it was a look to what the style stands for an has come to be. 'For us, only style transcends fashion: the simpler a piece, a classic like the tuxedo, the more perfect it is, eternal, free from the constraints of time,' said a statement from designers Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce. 'We have always found our style through women: our designs have never been abstract, but they are pieces that live and breathe on a woman’s body.'

Over at Bottega Veneta, Matthieu Blazy was inspired by the idea of rebirth, looking to barren landscapes and the life that endures in these spaces, aligning them with the contemporary state of the world. He also explained in a post-how quote that his inspirations came from 'nonumentalism of the everyday: a sense of allure and confidence in the pragmatic, utilitarian and purposeful'. He added: 'In a world on fire, there is something very human in the simple act of dressing... We all watch the same news. It is hard to be celebratory at this point. Still, the idea of rebirth is beautiful, too. These are the flowers that bloom after the earth is burnt – they give a sense of hope. They come back stronger than ever. Here, elegance is resilience.'

The Clothing

Much-anticipated, Blazy kept true to his vision for Bottega Veneta, merging an affinity for craft with a focus on a silhouette that though true with contemporary spirit maintains timeless appeal. You could never call Blazy's clothes simple, as the clever cuts tell of an intellectualism and skill of dressmaking, while fabrications are clearly chosen and developed with meticulous obsession, but here there was a 'purposeful plainness.' Blazy offered up pieces that were just what they were... 'clothing is no longer pretending,' read the show notes.

Touch and texture was once again the collection's point of intrigue. Here, it was swapped out as all embellishment was abandoned with details woven in each fabric instead, layered to move flame-like. Like many designers this season, Blazy admitted that he too looked back but was vague on when as 'silhouettes from different eras and seasons combine and are compressed to make something distinctly now and what will be: rounded, enveloping, utilitarian, protective.' Blazy once again proved he's a designer for now, able to merge the abstract with the wearable, the beautiful with the complex, to make Bottega Veneta front and centre once again.

Thus far, it's been a very specific, bright and bold red that has best defined Davis' reign at Ferragamo. This time, it was there but allowed other hues the opportunity to stand more forthwith. Khaki green was the opening shade, sticking around in whole for a few looks before brown took over with deep yellow and black following suit. As is becoming a key component of the season's collections, texture was key here pairing butter-soft leather waders with knits and wool coats with sheer chiffons.

But it was that aforementioned influence of the 1920s that offered up the most obvious seasonal gear change here showing the designer being more confident in finding literal influences now the precedent of his aesthetic is set, be it the flapper-style dresses or lengths of feathers splayed across necklines or footwear. But he offered up the decade's alternative narrative too by dressing his female models in strong-shouldered silhouettes rendered in heavy wools. 'In tailoring, sharp, sculptural lapels connote a surrealist spirit, their proportions distorted, the effect of their form echoing rayograph portraiture,' read the show notes. 'In the Twenties, as a response to the world that surrounded them, people created their own spaces through speakeasies,' explained Davis. 'They were hiding what they were wearing until they were safe.'

For Dolce & Gabbana: a tonal collection made up primarily of black delivered in a smorgasbord of textures, from sheer chiffon to intricate Chantilly lace, the palette then lit up by dresses entirely delivered in crystals. Throughout, a focus was placed on the waist, be it through the interchange between bow-tie fastenings and cummerbunds.

'We love fabrics such as nets, veils and lace that create transparencies on women’s bodies, and cuts that highlight their sensual forms,' the duo said. 'Ours is a love story with women, and through the tuxedo we are shaping women’s tailoring. A union of contrasts: masculine and feminine, austerity and seduction intertwine, allowing every woman the freedom to express her idea of style.'

The Accessories

In order to ensure it retains the monopoly on the accessories market, Bottega Veneta showed a typically covetable set. Blazy found his inspirations for his add-ons from the everyday, with pieces that have a sense of inheritance and essentialism. Spot it in the Oxford shoes or in handbags with the energy of a grandmother's croc. 'They are inherited from a time of non-disposability and a more meaningful relationship with objects that go beyond fashion and stand the test of time,' read the show notes.

Davis' Ferragamo tenure has put forward the Hug bag as its must-have style. Here, it came feathered and grained, as well as covered in the new Ferragamo monogram in a complete example of craftsmanship. Here, over 950 laminated leather sequins were hand-applied for a mermaid scale effect, the house confirmed.

The designer's look to the 1920s was also plainly seen in the footwear, where stiletto heels were paired with T-bar structures. 'I always strip things back,' explained Davis. 'I like to take a rich part of history and then restrict it to make it cleaner, more modern.' In addition, he embraced the decade's spirit of androgyny with traditional brogue detailing and monk-strap buckles.

At Dolce & Gabbana, the design duo put forward the reinstatement of the birdcage veil. Here, they came worn with everything from pussy-blow blouses to trench coats and evening gowns to lace slip dresses.

The Front Row

At Bottega Veneta, a discerning front row complete with supermodels and Oscar winners, each with an existing relationship with Blazy's tenure at the house. Julianne Moore was in attendance in a super chic look of light-wash denim jeans and a striped shirt collar poking over a grey knit along with her husband, Bart Freundlich. Sat with the couple was an all-leather clad A$AP Rocky and Salma Hayek, while Kate Moss, Shygirl, Zaya Wade and James Blake were seen across the show space.

As ever, Davis' loyal friends and family uprooted from the UK to join the designer in Milan, bringing with them a pride and sense of celebration, forever welcome at a show. Alongside his nearest and dearest was a curated talent list that speak to the designer's vision for the house, including Hari Nef, Solange, Amber Valetta, Kelela and Lori Harvey.

The Sets

Blazy always sets his shows amongst an arty scene to appease his creative crowd. For AW24, he was inspired by the South of Italy, and especially the cactus that grow in Calabria. 'It is an idea of resilience – the cactus grows where nothing else can grow. The show might have a sense of introspection, but one with resilience and a feeling of hope,' he wrote. The inspirations manifested plainly in the large-scale Murano glass flowering cacti that were dotted around the space, with guests invited to take a seat on LC14 Cabanon stools by Le Corbusier, which were all burnt by hand. 'Originally, the stool was a whiskey box that he found and repurposed; a pragmatic thing that became a legend,' Blazy shared.

bottega set

At Dolce & Gabanna, models walked a fittingly glamorous concourse gilded with a golden touch to offset the rest of the black show space to match the collection's palette. Then, at Ferragamo, Davis opted for a stark light-lined space allowing the technique and textures of his fashion to take centre stage.

milan, italy february 24 a model walks the runway at the ferragamo fashion show during the milan fashion week womenswear fallwinter 2024 2025 on february 24, 2024 in milan, italy photo by jacopo raulegetty images
Jacopo Raule

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