Sabato De Sarno Finds His Stride At Gucci And Versace Goes Punk!

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The Runway Rundown: Milan Fashion Week Day
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On the third day of Milan Fashion Week, Tod's new man was in charge, a confident sophomore show from Gucci's Sabato De Sarno was followed by a creative expression from Francesco Risso at Marni, and a typically glamorous display from Donatella Versace closed off the day, though this time it came loaded with pure punk energy.

Here, everything you should know about the latest Milan autumn/winter 2024 shows.

The Inspirations

Sabato De Sarno's second Gucci womenswear collection aimed to have a touch of the subversive to it. In a statement provided post-show, he wrote that it's about being able to: 'View things from a perspective different from what is presumed most appropriate, not following the rules.'

The designer explained how the collection blurred his reality with that that exists within his dreams. 'This is my way of dreaming, without hurry, visualising and stratifying aspirations as if they were the bricks of a house... Search within the folds for a void that wants to be filled,' he wrote. 'Look at the detail very closely, before feeling free to back away in pursuit of a broader perspective. Capture the extraordinary where the ordinary is expected... My dreams, as with my fashion, always converse with reality. Because I am not searching for another world to live in, but rather of ways to live in this world.'


Then it was time to party, or rage depending on how you looked at it. Though much of the Versace collection was made up of tweed and prim collars, there was an undeniable anarchic point of view, too. 'This collection has a rebel attitude and a kind heart,' said Donatella Versace of her autumn/winter 2024 offering. 'The woman is a good girl with a wild soul. She is prim but sexy. Don’t mess with her! The clothes take the codes of contemporary formal tailoring and disrupt them with cut, drape, and embellishment. The collection focuses on pure lines, innovative fabrics, considered wildness. This is us. This is Versace!'

Francesco Risso at Marni looked to his own childhood for inspiration, and how as a quiet child he found fashion as a means to communicate. The same intention for telling stories through fashion still persists for him now. Risso also said that he looked to the words of Virginia Woolf. 'In a letter inviting her friends to the countryside, Virginia Woolf once wrote, bring no clothes,' he wrote in the show notes. 'I came to understand that she wasn’t suggesting they arrive naked, but simply encouraging them to strip back the punitive structures of clothing, and all their symbolic implications, because here, it’s just us. It’s a sentiment familiar to my early days in the studio—a sense of community that extended deeper and beyond our titles and roles... because here, it’s just us here. Joy lives in that exchange.'

The Clothes

De Sarno's Gucci thus far has been most distinguishable through its palette, with a particular focus on its blood red shade. Here, things moved on with the house introducing additional shades amongst those that already familiar, like a pop of bubblegum pink, mellow yellow and deep aubergine. 'The colours - the ugly ones, the ones of the heart, and the wrong ones, together,' read the show notes.

milan, italy february 23 a model walks the runway during the gucci ready to wear fallwinter 2024 2025 fashion show as part of the milan fashion week on february 23, 2024 in milan, italy photo by victor virgilegamma rapho via getty images
Victor Virgile

Typical for an autumn/winter collection, coats were key, with the show notes further explaining that each comes with a covered placket, and hidden buttoning on the back, which transforms it into an embrace. The same can be found on bombers, pea coats, and leather jackets. Lace was also a key component of the collection, seen across the neckline of sheer dresses, mixed amongst velvets at their most desirable.

This season, De Sarno also made a case to dress the 'It' girls that have been fast to pick up on his accessories for after-dark. Embellishment was omnipresent though explained as being 'off-tone', from daytime bomber jackets and knitwear twin-sets (but cardigans and hotpants!) to plunging cocktail dresses and rakish party dresses.

At Tod's one look became the editors' favourites with those there in person and working form the office at home sharing a singular look to their socials swiftly. This look riffed on corporate core with a touch of the Sloane Ranger about it, but served in proportions a 2024 fashion editor can appreciate. Matteo Tamburini's debut felt perfectly placed for now, serving up an Italian elegance for a total wardrobe, moving from slick car coats to slashed-neck tops that will translate easy to a new Tod's customer and the loyalists alike.

a man walking down a sidewalk

The autumn/winter 2024 Versace riffed on the push and pull between punk and polish. Versace's take on punk is never going to come without the high-octane glamour it's known for. Here, the tailoring was pushed to extremes and hemlines moved from floor-trailing gowns to shrunken mini skirts.

The colour palette began with a look to black, paired with the ever-trending red, worn here in a tweed moving to tartan and animal print for him and her, for any occasion. Then came the Versace rococo and leopard-print mix worn across second-skin bodysuits. To close the show, a look to leather and tailoring telling the story of the duality of the after-dark Versace woman.

Risso, at Marni, said that he worked without visual references in the studio this season. Limiting these stimuli made for working practice that saw the collection open with the surprising arrival of all-black looks for the majority of the collection, gently moving through to ice white, grey, and beige tones. Then out came Paloma Elsesser in the bright red, printed mini dress that spoke of Risso's Marni signature. Blue iterations and a play with texture finished the collection, which was a brilliant show of Risso's hand and the abstractness of what he does best.

The Accessories

At his debut, De Sarno made subtle changes to pre-existing Gucci bags, saving a brand new design for this collection. Here, however, was the introduction of a new top handle bag with a flat and perforated logo called the GG Milano. Shoes felt familiar, not only with the return of the platform loafers but also with the equestrian riding boots that spoke to Gucci's horsey heritage.

a woman wearing a pink garment

The collection's most consistent accessory was an archive gold and studded necklace worn with a woven ribbon that emulated the clothing worn by each individual model.

a young man with a gold necklace

At Versace, the new Medusa '95 crossbody bag was introduced as a punctuation and delivery of a colour pop, with its pillow-like leather sitting in contrast with the metal of the House logo. Last season's saccharine headbands returned this time embalmed with that punkish attitude thanks to tartan detailing, while leather gloves added to the mood.

This is Versace we're talking about so of course heels were de rigour, telling the story of being 'fierce or totally refined', with the option of ballet flats or a nod to the Western trend offering up more practical takes.

The Front Row

At Gucci, brand loyalists old and new came out in support of Sabato. Long-time Gucci girls Julia Garner and Daisy Edgar-Jones were there, while Alexa Chung and Poppy Delevingne flew the flag for the Brits in attendance. Music was also well represented, with the show's composer Mark Ronson there with his wife Grace Gummer as was the eternally cool Solange Knowles.

Maya Jama's ensemble felt like a fresh step for the TV presenter as she arrived at Marni wearing an oversized blue striped shirt and look-twice capri pants in not-denim, denim blue, and was joined by Kanye West, Bianca Censori and Mowalola Ogunlesi on the front row, while Jessica Alba made it out to Tod's in a tonal grey look.

The Sets

The Tod's show pulled up at the city's largest tram station, where the yellow trains made for the perfect backdrop for the collection, proving the city's commuters all-the-more sleeker than those you'll find crammed on the Central Line at 8.45am. Gucci's show space was stripped back to its bare bricks with the models walking across a stunted platform that raised models above the front row. Natural light filled the room to reinstate De Sarno's notes on the realism of the collection. Marni invited people into something of a cocooning all-white space with lighting giving off a warm amber glow as a choir serenaded from across the room. And Versace's roll call of models including Gigi Hadid, Mona Tougaard and Yasmin Wijnaldum (that walk!) strutted across a plush black carpet before navigating the space to end up together on a brilliant white swirling staircase, anticipating Donatella Versace's closing bow.

milan, italy february 23 designer donatella versace walks the runway at the versace fashion show during the milan fashion week womenswear fallwinter 2024 2025 on february 23, 2024 in milan, italy photo by daniele venturelligetty images
Daniele Venturelli

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