MFW looks to embrace a hybrid show schedule that is quickly becoming the norm

ilan Fashion Week (MFW) has kicked off with a combination of digital and live presentations, and with many more in-person runway shows than the three that were held at London Fashion Week, which wrapped on Tuesday.
Fendi hosted a live show on Wednesday with a socially distant front row featuring “Normal People” star Paul Mescal. The theme was family and, fittingly, invitations came in the form of Fendi-branded pasta along with copies of designer Silvia Venturini Fendi’s grandmother’s lemon pesto recipe.

Paul Mescal, Rita Ora, Kim Jones attending Fendi Spring-Summer 2021

Paul Mescal, Rita Ora, Kim Jones attending Fendi Spring-Summer 2021
Ashley Graham, who recently became a mother, was among the diverse cast of models to walk in the runway show that presented an elegant collection of beautifully crafted designs in fresh and muted tones.
This was Venturini Fendi’s last solo collection before the brand’s new creative director, British designer Kim Jones, comes on board.

Ashley Graham walking for Fendi Spring-Summer 2021

Ashley Graham walking for Fendi Spring-Summer 2021 Credit: Victor Virgile
The house recently announced that Jones will become the new artistic director of womenswear, taking over from the late Karl Lagerfeld who died in 2019. He’ll present his first collection next year.

The set of Prada's livestreamed show.

The set of Prada’s livestreamed show. Credit: Alberto Moncada
One of the most hotly anticipated collections has been the first collaboration between Miuccia Prada, who heads up her family’s namesake business, and Belgian designer Raf Simons, who joined the brand as co-creative director earlier this year. The results of this meeting of minds were showcased via livestream on Thursday.
The audience-free showcase — set against a floor-to-ceiling daffodil yellow backdrop — was followed by a filmed conversation between Prada and Simons who answered questions sent in by fans around the world.
Charmingly, all of the models in the show made a debut of their own having never previously walked a runway before. They wore looks that embraced the concept of the everyday uniform — simple, refined and wearable.

A model walks in Prada's Spring-Summer 2021 digital show.

A model walks in Prada’s Spring-Summer 2021 digital show. Credit: Alberto Moncada
When Milan Fashion Week comes to a close next week, 41 digital and 23 live shows will have been staged in the Italian city, where just last February news of one of the first outbreaks of coronavirus in Europe were reported, as the elite fashion showcase welcomed press, buyers, celebrities and fashion industry workers from all over the world, often sitting in close proximity for multiple hours at crowded events.

Designer Miuccia Prada and designer Raf Simons attend the Prada Resort 2019 fashion show on May 4, 2018 in New York City.

Designer Miuccia Prada and designer Raf Simons attend the Prada Resort 2019 fashion show on May 4, 2018 in New York City. Credit: Sean Zanni/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
With digital and film formats offering designers less resource-heavy (and potentially less expensive) ways to show their wares at all of the fashion weeks, this unusual time could offer the opportunity for less solvent brands to get their foot in the door — marking a signal change for the likes of MFW, which is known for its established brands more than its young talent.

A-Cold-Wall Spring-Summer 2021

A-Cold-Wall Spring-Summer 2021 Credit: A-Cold-Wall / Brett Dillig-Davies
To this end young label A-Cold-Wall* premiered its collection of men’s utilitywear in a film, marking only the second time the industry favorite has shown in Milan (the first was at men’s fashion week in January).
Another new face is Tomo Koizuimi, who is creating a highly anticipated capsule collection for iconic Italian house Pucci — a match made in heaven, some would say, uniting Koizumi’s penchant for frothy, vibrant dresses with Pucci’s colorful legacy.