Milan Fashion Photos: Ferragamo, Dolce&Gabbana Conceal And Reveal, Balance Transparency With Cover

A model wears a creation as part of the Ferragamo women's Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection presented in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A model wears a creation as part of the Ferragamo women's Fall-Winter 2024-25 collection presented in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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MILAN (AP) — While the fashion industry discusses size diversity from time to time, there was little evidence of real evolution on the Milan runway this season.

On Saturday, Paloma Elsesser walked Ferragamo in a satin plunge-neck cocktail dress, and Dolce&Gabbana included models of normal size. But the thinness of some models was a topic of pre-show chatter.

Ashley Graham, who sat in the front row of Dolce&Gabbana, as recently as the September shows, lamented how often she is the only larger model on runways.

Some highlights from the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week, mostly womenswear previews for fall-winter 2024-25.

FERRAGAMO’S FREE SPIRIT

Maximilian Davis’ Ferragamo collection both conceals and reveals, with oversized masculine woolen overcoats covering wispy, transparent embroidered dresses. It is the freedom to choose who sees what.

The designer, in his third winter seasons at the Florence-based family-run fashion house, took inspiration from the 1920s Prohibition era, when a U.S. booze ban drove revelers underground.

“People were using clothing as a way to kind of hide what they were doing, as a massive celebration of freedom,” Davis said backstage. “They were going to speakeasies and they didn’t want (anyone) to be seeing what they were wearing.’’

Wool coats have broad shoulders and masculine silhouettes in the style of Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo. Underneath, dresses of scalloped sequins and draped fringe recall flapper looks with contemporary discipline. Looks without pants were paired with woolen tights for full-cover, while hip boots rose the hemline of knit mini-dresses. Footwear included heels fully concealed beneath a flurry of feathers.

Davis covered men head to toe in leather, from thigh-high fishermen boots to gloves, or freed them to reveal a leg in flat-pocket shorts with thick cropped knitwear.

“People need to let go, and just be free,” he said, as Ferragamo declared “an era of emancipation.”

DOLCE & GABBANA FORMAL SEXINESS

Eva Mendes and Ashley Graham sizzled in the Dolce & Gabbana front row — the actor wrapped in a leopard coat over leather, neckline glistening with a lariat necklace to matching dangly earrings, and the model mirroring the tuxedo runway with a white tuxedo jacket and black trousers.

On the runway, the collection oozed sexiness, as designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana combined tuxedo tailoring with their lingerie mastery for looks that were more, or less, revealing, with an array of garments to adjust the temperature up or down.

Cropped tuxedo jackets revealed lacy bras, while sheer sarong skirts tied in a satin bow showed off lace panties. Looks finished mostly with stiletto heels and felt berets with netting. More modestly, full tuxedos were formfitting with cigarette trouser or short shorts and cropped jackets that allowed peek-a-boo moments. The collection was rigorously black, with a few liquid gold and silver moments.

Naomi Campbell closed the show in a layered lace bras, front-slit sarong and fetish leather gloves, giving a slight wiggle as she exited the runway to the delight of the fashion crowd.

Bottega Veneta’s Message of Hope

Matthieu Blazy’s said he wanted to send a message about hope in troubled times in his latest Bottega Veneta collection.

The designer stripped the garments of artifice and concentrated on the textiles and volumes in a bid to make “a monument out of every day.”

The result was a series of optical illusions. Shoulders of overcoats defined the essential figure with an arch. Dresses in a graffiti-like print — which Blazy called memory print for the layers of information — fell into sculpted bias tiers. The brand’s trademark intreccio was encoded in a textiles — itself the decoration.

The essence of the collection is contained in the last three looks: thread-textured dresses of yellow to represent fire and black to represent coal, separated by a gray wool coat, representing ash. For Blazy, they express resilience in a world full of woe. Flowering glass cacti that decorated the showroom were another expression of that hope.

“When you walk through the desert after a fire, you observe these incredible flowers. For us, it was the idea of hope,” he said. “It’s about hope in the end.”

BALLY REFINED

Gucci alum Simone Bellotti’s second collection for the Swiss fashion house Bally adds youthful zing to a daily wardrobe.

Loden coats in many iterations transport the collection firmly to Alpine territory, but with modern silhouettes and detailing like swept-up hemlines revealing a furry layer for an urban edge, connecting the 170-year brand heritage to a new generation.

Office looks get a youthful twist with skirts featuring V-shaped high waistlines; leather skirts and bags are charmingly studded with silver charms. A light-blue leather dress twists prettily at the waist. Bellotti continues to connect with Swiss culture, adorning garments and accessories with mini cowbells that jingle lightly to create an almost Tibetan Zen mood.

FERRARI PUSHES PERFORMANCE

Ferrari creative director Rocco Iannone drew on the latest textile technique to create looks that begin to mirror the automotive world.

Textile surfaces are shiny, nearly polished. Organza appears to mimic a freshly painted car. Denim was treated with resin to capture the light. Three iterations of silver textile were created from gold mixed with metal. Silhouettes tend toward the formal, including full or bias-cut skirts paired with knitwear or leather jackets with peplums paired with trousers for her; long trenches or double-breasted suits for him.

“For me the Ferrari represents, the continued tension between technology, performance and research, and fine tailoring and haute couture in partnership,’’ Iannone said backstage.