Milan Fashion Week: Masterclasses by Gucci and Loro Piana bring the house down

Stars align at Gucci's first show since visionary creative director's sudden exit, as Loro Piana also ushers in changes

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The big ticket show on day three of Milan Fashion Week was undoubtedly Gucci — the house's first since the shock departure of creative director Alessandro Michele in November — and celebrity fans were out in full force in a show of support.

American rapper A$AP Rocky, Italian band Maneskin and Chinese actor Xiao Zhan were among those in attendance — the latter even drew in his own crowd of admirers, with some holding welcome banners outside.

In a space transformed into a 1960s-style pad, with sunken seating and ceiling windows, Gucci presented a collection that was light and bohemian.

Michele’s presence was felt throughout the collection (he would have been halfway through creating it when he left). A coat covered in swaying fringes of silver beads, a bright pink faux fur coat and a sheer lace dress worn with neon underwear had his famed touch, but the overall collection signalled a simpler, lighter direction for the house. Gone were the heavy pattern clashing and jewellery looks that Michele pioneered, replaced instead with block colours, simple separates and classic masculine suiting. The collection felt like a midpoint between Michele’s past and Gucci’s future, under the new leadership of soon-to-arrive creative director Sabato De Sarno.

In the absence of a creative head to lead the customary bow, all 30 members of the design studio appeared on the runway, and if the thunderous standing ovation was anything to go by, things are looking good for the days ahead at Gucci.

Loro Piana

At Loro Piana, changes were afoot as the Italian luxury house showed its men’s and women's collections together for the first time. In a presentation, rather than a show, it allowed visitors to get up close and personal with the clothes on offer. Piana is hailed for its use of the finest cashmere, vicuna and wool in the world, and the showcase allowed for these materials to be appreciated in all their glory.

The clothes were soft and enveloping, such as a wrap-fronted shearling jacket with an oversized collar, or a double-faced wool coat that flowed from the shoulders, mixed in with relaxed tailoring. There were suits in slate grey and rich chocolate, the latter with wide legs that pooled around the shoes, while pleated dresses arrived worn with matching leggings underneath. More leggings appeared in ribbed wool as loose as pantaloons, before snatching in around the calves, worn with soft polo necks under exquisite coating. Laid-back, languid, and beautiful, this is how winter dressing is meant to be.


At Sportmax, there was more tailoring by way of oversized suits in creamy buttermilk, contrasted against skirts, dresses and tops that seemingly twisted around the body.

Draping and knotting was a clear theme, with the asymmetric neck of a cream leather mini dress extended and flung over one shoulder like a scarf, while other dresses were made of pieces of fabric held together with knots. A metallic gold dress, meanwhile, came with a draped front.

A moment of rigidity came via a starched corset holding up a fluid skirt with the clips normally seen on men’s braces. Meanwhile, sleeves were elongated, at times almost to the floor, and long fringing ran down the backs of sleeves and hems. The collection was a bit mismatched at times, however, what came through was the skill and technique of the house (this is a little sister to Max Mara, after all), which was flawless.

Updated: February 25, 2023, 7:14 AM