Milan Fashion Week day two highlights, featuring Prada, Max Mara and Moschino

Collections made the mundane remarkable and took inspiration from punk culture and an 18th-century marquise

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Inside an elegant, vaulted building, Max Mara delivered a show it dubbed The Camelocracy, in reference to the many shades of sand, caramel, fawn and mocha it presented.

Inspired by Emilie du Chatelet — an 18th-century free-spirited marquise and intellect — the collection was understated yet luxurious.

The famous teddy coat was remade into a dramatic hooded cape, trousers were designed in rich brocade and waists were cinched with wide, polished leather corset belts. Coats were softened with trailing Watteau backs, or hung off one shoulder thanks to leather straps.

Double-breasted suits and parka coats were rich, luscious and exquisitely tailored, while wide-legged trousers were given a modern twist, worn with tailored bustier tops.

Exaggerated shapes featured throughout the collection, in the form of cravat-like collars on crisp white shirts and mini skirts with voluminous trains.

Across town at Prada, in the brutalist concrete space of Fondazione Prada, the show opened with huge garlands of flowers descending from the ceiling to encase the pillars holding the ceiling up. Why? Because the show was a celebration of the unseen. It was about transforming the mundane and overlooked into something remarkable.

A swing coat from the Prada autumn/winter 2023-2024 collection during Milan Fashion Week. Reuters

Simple white shirts were lengthened into column dresses and given long trains, while bridal embroidery was scattered on simple skirts. Working men’s donkey jackets and duffle coats were also made in lean, floor-length shapes with added volume at the back, creating something new and extraordinary. As a uniform standard colour, grey featured heavily, worn with pointed shoes and flashes of pink, mulberry and mustard, forcing us look at it with fresh eyes.

In this age of mobile phones, most finale parades of models and the appearance of the designer on the runway are unfortunately greeted with near silence, as those in attendance try to capture the moment. Tellingly, when Miuccia Prada and her co-creative director Raf Simons appeared, the applause was deafening.

Rounding out the day was Moschino and, as ever, designer Jeremy Scott was clearly in a playful mood. Inspired by the aggressive hedonism of punk, models stepped on to the runway with huge, spiked hair. The collection featured plenty of the neat twin sets that Moschino's customers adore, intermixed with flashes of the subversive chaos Scott does so well.

There were vast ballgowns in ice cream shades, a black leather dress was created from a biker jacket, and bags, buckles, and shoes all appeared to be melting, with drips caught mid-fall. It was noisy, riotous fun.

Updated: February 24, 2023, 10:38 AM