Beyond quiet luxury: what February’s fashion weeks tell us

New York, Milan, Paris, London: the marathon of women’s fashion weeks in February brought a not-inconsiderable amount of new collections to the catwalks and just as many trends that seem to be moving away from quiet luxury. Here’s how


February was the month of the marathon women’s fashion week, which began with the New York fashion shows, followed closely by those in London and Milan, and ended on the catwalks of Paris. The result? A not inconsiderable quantity of new collections and just as many trends that, however, seem to be moving away definitively from that quiet luxury that held us hostage until last season. Good, but in which direction are they headed?

Beyond quiet luxury

Let’s be clear: the move beyond quiet luxury is still gradual. But if some designers have chosen to timidly open up to less classic colours and shapes, others have preferred shock therapy consisting of furs that scream opulence, glitter, almost naked bodies returning to centre stage, and clothes that tell a story. A story, yes. One of the significant flaws of quiet luxury has been the total lack of narrative around fashion, which is made of products that feed mainly on desires.

For example, Prada took to the catwalk a collection that rereads the past, analyses the (uncertain) present, and lays the foundations for a future. How? By dissecting clothes through clean cuts. A surgical collection made up of long coats in dark tones that conceal silk petticoats and lace hems. This narrative has also permeated Prada’s other house brand, Miu Miu, which has reflected on the various stages of life, creating a collection that allows the young and old to dress as they see fit.

Return to the narrative

There are so many stories, even less realistic ones, like at Loewe, where JW Anderson recreated a Garden of Eden made of bags in the shape of giant asparagus and dogs printed on skirts. So, let’s get past the quiet luxury chapter once and for all. Don’t worry, it hasn’t disappeared. Quite simply, fashion has returned. Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana have outlined two collections made almost entirely of black – which have finally turned the body into the core – while the classics Hermès and Chanel have almost indulged, with collections with a classic flavour but with some provocative cuts.

Other brands, on the other hand, have dropped anchor, returning to old-fashioned luxury, made up of furs paired with low-waisted jeans, fur-trimmed gloves, leather jackets with a marked character, sharp shoulders, spotted prints, sculptural jewellery, exposed lingerie, and shiny or brightly coloured dresses. Even Sabato De Sarno at Gucci changed pace, bringing a collection of sequined coats and transparent lace dresses to the catwalk.

Last chapter

The last chapter is dedicated to emerging and debutants. The emerging (not even so much) Marco Rambaldi amazed everyone because he focused his collection on a revolutionary concept – love – declined on clothes that speak to different bodies, genders, and ages. It is a collection with a story and a well-made product, from jumpers with a heart to leather skirts. And then Sean McGirr, Alexander McQueen‘s new creative director, started to take the brand forward with an archive collection. The
time to go beyond quiet luxury has arrived: the journey, however, is still long.

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