My Favorite Looks From MFW Fall/Winter 2023

Image Credits: Cristina Gottardi

This edition of Milan Fashion Week had luxury brands focus heavily on sensuality, which was highlighted in many of the looks presented in the various Fall/Winter 2023 collections. A series of looks that harked back to past decades, such as the 1970s and the 1990s, in what seemed to be a return to true elegance and timeless glamour. Much reference was made to the minimal chic look of the 1990s, with petticoat dresses (think of Dolce & Gabbana’s “Sensuale” collection, a tribute to the figure of the femme fatale with its many lingerie pieces). A fashion week that witnessed Gucci’s first collection without Alessandro Michele at the helm of the brand, and the outfits were inspired by the revolutionary work done by Tom Ford in the 2000s.

Other events took place during MFW; a series of projects were presented at the Fashion Hub, such as Designers for the Planet, which hosted a number of emerging brands made in Italy that focus on sustainability in their creations. The documentary film “Milano: The Inside Story of Italian Fashion” directed by John Maggio was also screened. Dolce & Gabbana organized a vernissage in the Sala delle Cariatidi of Palazzo Reale called “Ciao, Kim!” and dedicated to American entrepreneur Kim Kardashian.

Giorgio Armani inaugurated at the Armani Silos “Guy Bourdin: Storyteller”, an exhibition dedicated to the French fashion photographer, which will be open to the public until the end of August.

Due to my many commitments related to the sales campaign I was unable to attend this fashion week in person so I didn’t get to see many industry friends but from what I have heard they were very pleased with the fashion events they attended. However, during my only afternoon off work I had the opportunity to visit a retrospective at Palazzo Reale dedicated to photographer Vincent Peters, which closed a couple of days ago. This was a wonderful visual experience and I will talk about it soon on the website. In the meantime, here are my seven favorite looks from this MFW edition:

Ermanno Scervino FW 2023 / Vogue Runway. Image Credits: Daniele Oberrauch /

1) ERMANNO SCERVINO: Ermanno Scervino’s collection presented a harmonious palette, with colors that ranged from white, dark gray, light blue (in this case a shade of washed-out denim), lime and ruby red to close the show with a series of garments in black. The collection was inspired by the designer’s love of cinema, particularly the sensuality of Ava Gardner. Solid-color dresses designed for an hourglass figure, with masculine oversize shapes in jackets and coats. Coats that are big and soft, to be worn over miniskirts or leggings. The Tuscan brand’s press kit explained, “Fall 2023 is a linear collection, with impeccable shapes, as rigorous as a painter’s canvas where Ermanno Scervino designs precious workmanship, manipulates fabrics, drapes lambskin, carves jersey and knitwear.” I have really enjoyed the masculine-cut tailored jackets worn over loose-fitting pants, so I couldn’t help but choose this look in ruby red (red has been a very present color in the next Fall/Winter collections), which plays with transparencies in a fine way and is elegant in every aspect.

Giorgio Armani FW 2023 / Vogue Runway. Image Credits: Daniele Oberrauch /

2) GIORGIO ARMANI: when talking about minimal chic in terms of fashion and design one cannot help but think of Armani, because minimalism has always distinguished the Italian House’s identity and aesthetic. The layered collection presented at Teatro Armani was titled Cipria (face powder in Italian) and was an homage to women’s beauty rituals; the model who closed the show walked the runway while touching up her face with powder). The sartorial garments were inspired by the Orient, which has always influenced the Armani universe (I have already talked about this on the website in my Armani Silos article, where I mentioned the designer’s collaboration with Japanese architect Tadao Andō). The colors in the collection were soft; the many beige garments that opened the show were true sartorial masterpieces, and many of the models were wearing black berets. The color pink was present in a number of garments, confirming itself as a trend for the upcoming fall/winter season as well. One of the first looks featured a faux-fur coat with a beautiful animalier effect, something rarely seen in an Armani collection. The homage to layering fashion, born in the 2000s, was rediscovered in a series of layered outfits that looked elegant and refined, especially in the color combinations. I love this layered look for its wonderful shades of beige and the cut of the coat, with those touches of black giving harmony to the whole ensemble.

Bottega Veneta FW 2023 / Vogue Runway. Image Credits: Filippo Fior /

3) BOTTEGA VENETA: the Bottega Veneta FW 2023 collection presented by Matthieu Blazy concluded the trilogy of collections dedicated to Italy by focusing on the unexpected. The clothes were purposely presented in extreme silhouettes with the intention of creating a cacophony in shapes and colors, combining the classicism of the past with futuristic atmospheres and still managing to develop a kind of alchemy, thanks above all to the excellent craftsmanship. The huge coats did not have the same cut and were therefore overlapping, evening dresses in light leathers were draped, and large sweaters were made with the weaving technique, (so were the bucket bags) while other jackets fully respected the rules of tailoring, in a collection that was both an homage to it and a desire to step outside the box. To present the collection, Blazy was thinking about a sort of Italian parade, as he explained backstage, “[I liked] the idea of the strange encounter – people that you meet in the street and they really amaze you. It’s a place where everyone belongs, like a parade, or Carnival, where there is absolutely no hierarchy.” In fact, the sequence of masculine and feminine outfits showcased was extremely diverse, and the music was reminiscent of Carnival parades. Part of this “parade” were the Boccioni statue and the Roman bronzes borrowed from museums for the show because “the idea was to reconnect Italy through its history.” My favorite outfit is the one worn by Vittoria Ceretti, with delicate floral patterns that I see as a representation of the beauty of nature.

Dolce & Gabbana FW 2023 / Vogue Runway. Image Credits: Daniele Oberrauch /

4) DOLCE & GABBANA: I don’t even know how to describe the collection presented by Dolce & Gabbana for FW 2023 because I think a fashion show like this comes very close to the idea of perfection. Called “Sensuale,” the show featured women’s elegant lingerie, made up of panties, bras and tulle petticoats. The elegance was given above all by the colors; the black, white and red of the perfectly cut tailored jackets and coats (Domenico Dolce trained as a tailor and he confirmed that he is obsessed with the cut), shaped suits that covered transparencies of the lingerie. Lingerie that was almost always on view thanks to transparent dresses, or that could be glimpsed under jackets and coats. Metallics also found space in the collection, thanks to the gold looks of dresses and coats. It was a ’90s revival that embraced the style and roots of Dolce & Gabbana. The two designers wanted to “restart from the codes of timeless clothing, return to sensuality, elegance and balance.” Indeed, the collection was reminiscent of those of the 1990s, the golden era of supermodels such as Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford. Some of Helmut Newton’s black-and-white photographs were an inspiration as well, especially for the tuxedos like the one in white with black lapels that I have chosen as my favorite among the looks (although it is very difficult to choose just one look because I think I love them all); the broad shoulders and double-breasted jacket are perfect for the contemporary businesswoman, creating a combination of femininity and professionalism.

Max Mara FW 2023 / Vogue Runway. Image Credits: Filippo Fior /

5) MAX MARA: as I mentioned in the past, I am a big fan of Max Mara, whose fall/winter collections I especially love. For the upcoming season, which was presented at the Rotonda della Besana in Milan, the luxury brand was aiming to give a romantic touch to the whole collection and this was mainly due to the 18th century silhouettes; designer Ian Griffiths wanted to bring back the past era because he thinks that in some ways it is similar to the times we are currently living in. In fact, he said, “The ideas and communications in cafés back then can be compared to the ones we have on social media today.” In designing the collection, Griffiths had in mind Émilie du Châtelet, a French marquise and mathematician who translated Isaac Newton into French and lived in an era when, despite having a constricted wardrobe, women were valued by society for their intelligence. The designer explained, “The fashion at the time was completely not enlightened. So I was imagining how she might have dressed if she had total freedom and how that would translate into today.” The Banyan coat was one of the main elements of the collection, wide and robe-like; coats were in cashmere, beige brocade or jacquard, followed by 18th-century women’s dresses reinterpreted in a modern key. Shapes were relaxed, with flowing coats and cashmere cardigans mixed with skirts and bustiers worn over shirts. The collection’s signature colors were still the iconic camel and chocolate shades, in an enhancement of volume that was most noticeable in fluid pantsuits and brocade balloon skirts. The show then introduced a series of monochromatic outfits in colors such as powder blue, lilac and antique pink, giving a lighter touch to the collection. Among this series of outfits was my favorite, featuring a woven one-shoulder sweater, wide soft pants and a powder blue cap.

Emporio Armani FW 2023 / Vogue Runway. Image Credits: Filippo Fior /

6) EMPORIO ARMANI: on this occasion Emporio Armani made smiling the central theme of the show, as evidenced by the black-and-white image serving as background. The models themselves were sporting wide smiles as they walked down the circular runway, and it was a much-needed burst of energy and positivity. The dresses, suitable for both day and evening, highlighted the silhouette in what was a dynamic collection with exotic references. The color palette, full of saturated colors ranging from purple to turquoise, was inspired by photographer Guy Bourdin whose works, as I mentioned earlier, will be on display at the Armani Silos for a few months. Indeed, black and gray were complemented by metallic shades, and magenta was one of the collection’s signature colors, also used in the prints. Not only a mixture of masculine and feminine elements, but also of colors and volumes, as seen in the velvet bomber jackets and accessories with an eccentric touch, for example the English-inspired bowler hat; the Emporio Armani FW 2023 collection had joy and vivacity as its protagonists. As Giorgio Armani said, “This is a collection that wants to make people smile, with elegance: it is quick, short, dynamic, eclectic. I had fun playing with shapes and materials.” The coats and jackets, in different fabrics and colors, celebrated a metropolitan look with a soft silhouette; moreover, the pink and black combination works perfectly, as seen in the look I have selected, which combines black pants, magenta blazer and magenta/purple micro-bags.

Ferragamo FW 2023 / Vogue Runway. Image Credits: Alessandro Luciani /

7) FERRAGAMO: for the next fall/winter season, his second collection at the helm of Ferragamo, designer Maximilian Davis was inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1950s, a time when the House’s clients included Audrey Hepburn (Ferragamo began by designing shoes for movies in the 1930s and the brand achieved major success in the ’50s). Davis drew inspiration from the movie stars of those years, as he explained behind the scenes at the fashion show: “I looked at their glamour, their beauty and their way of dressing, thinking how to make it modern in the present.” The collection was a mix of retro elements revisited in a contemporary way. Jackets and coats had a masculine cut; minimal clothes were paired with sophisticated accessories, such as the voluminous bags that accompanied many of the outfits seen on the runway and that were inspired by Ferragamo’s archives. The show featured both men’s and women’s garments; several sportswear elements were excellently combined with sinuous silhouettes and low-cut dresses. The palette featured strong, bold colors such as red, white and electric blue. A series of elegant total black outfits closed the show; my favorite look was the one with black pants and top combined with a red coat and complemented by a black maxi bag because I think it is a great example of a casual chic outfit.

Additional notes:

The images in this post link to the Vogue Runway website, where you will find all MFW FW2023 collections.


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