Ashley Graham Makes A Spectacular Return To The Catwalk At Milan Fashion Week


Ashley Graham

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

Most of us have had our hopes of returning to a semblance of normality in the near future - i.e. heading back to the office for meetings, gossip and lunches from Pret (sob) - but had them roundly scuppered this week. Instead, we’re having to live vicariously through Ashley Graham.

Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham at Fendi SS21 ©Getty

As well as being our social media spirit animal - posting pictures of herself pumping and feeding and emailing all at the same time in July - she’s just returned to work and is on supreme form. Flying into Milan, the supermodel has so far walked in Fendi and Etro, gathering comments like, ‘Wait, didn’t @ashleygraham have a baby like five seconds ago?’, in the process. She did indeed, as the model posted: ‘Mama is snatched for @etro SS21. Thank you to the whole team for feeling like family the moment I met you! I’m obsessed with my Sophia Loren look!!!!!’

She looked sensational, wearing a flower-printed, and cheekily sheer, wrap dress at Fendi, and the most spectacular LBD (that’s long black dress) at Etro. This billowing gown didn’t just have a cinched-waist, but had pockets - pockets! - something the mum-of-one would surely appreciate. As well peppering her fans with cab selfies and catwalk shots, Graham posted a video backstage at Fendi, showing the reality of model (not to mention mum) life, pumping as she got her make-up done and declaring, ‘The show must go on!’ as she entered the backstage area in visor sunglasses and a face mask.

Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham at Etro SS21 ©Getty

Posting after the show, Graham said: ‘It has been a difficult year for everyone and I’m so impressed by the fashion industry’s resilience and quick adapting. Thank you to everyone who helped me (safely) get back to the runway. I missed it so much!’ Clearly she’s been yearning for some office shenanigans as much as the rest of us.


SEE: The Highlights From Milan Fashion Week SS21

Valentino1 of 9
CREDIT: Valentino


As one of the handful who decided to show IRL, Valentino's show, the finale of Milan Fashion Week, reminded us of the 'old normal'. But while the setting (Milan instead of Paris), the colours and the gowns were as breath-taking as ever, the collection did reflect what's happening the world - and how it's affecting our clothes. Boot-leg jeans were peppered throughout - paired with a blazer and Rockstud pumps, or a billowing sheer blouse - and were the result of an unlikely collaboration: Valentino and Levi's. For SS21, Piccioli reworked the denim brand's classic 517 - a boot-leg cut that has been waiting in the wings and is, now, ripe for a comeback. Hopefully it won't be too long until ball gowns are back on the menu. In the meantime, Valentino x Levi's seems like a brilliant alternative.

Versace2 of 9
CREDIT: Versace


Versace also decided to show in real life, but its guest list was made up entirely of its own team, everyone else had to watch the live-stream. The collection was inspired by the aquatic, with models walking through a set of crumbling ruins, Donatella Versace's very own Atlantis.

Moschino3 of 9
CREDIT: Moschino


Moschino's Jeremy Scott took the idea of social distancing incredibly seriously, staging a puppet show, complete with a string-operated front row. With fashion brands turning to the medium of video more and more, this stood out as something original and, more importantly, fun.

BOSS4 of 9


This seasons collection focuses on craft, colour, and artistry. 'A refreshing palette of blues, vivid emerald and soft rose enhances this new attitude, along with shades of sand, cream, and forest green.'

Etro5 of 9


Proud of its Italian DNA, this season Etro explores an eternally charming Riviera style. 'Fresh, relaxed, spontaneous,' the collection visits 'the alluring vibe of an endless Italian summer.' A nautical theme runs throughout 'with rope motifs, marine chains, anchors, seashells, summer stripes and sailboats. '

Emporio Armani6 of 9
CREDIT: Armani

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani hosted a digital show this season, where the collection echoed its architectural surroundings, 'creating a dialogue that shares the same tone'. We saw feather-light materials as well as fresh and neutral hues. However, the evening wardrobe turned dark, mysterious and luminescent – like this finale look.

Dolce & Gabbana7 of 9
CREDIT: Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana's SS21 collection was dedicated to patchwork, with look after look that was pieced together from jewel-like squares of fabric. But this wasn't just patchwork in the literal sense, but the patchwork of cultures in Sicily. 'Given our long experience designing and being inspired by Sicily, we wanted to tell of all that you can find on an island like this, the different cultures that dominated it, from the Spanish to the Arabs, from the Normans to the French,' says Domenico Dolce in the press release. 'We wanted to tell of all that you can find in a city like Palermo, like Catania, like Syracuse, like Agrigento, putting it together in a garment. Creating these patchworks, these combinations of fabrics, of atmospheres, of colours, of different qualities of brocade, from poplin to georgette to chiffon,' he continues.

Alberta Ferretti8 of 9

Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti's outdoor catwalk, which snaked around a covered courtyard that was green with ivy plants, catered for a reduced number of guests, each sitting on carefully spread square blocks to enforce social distancing. The show itself, however, was remarkably similar to the 'old normal', with a spring-facing collection that saw models wearing shells around their necks, gladiator sandals on their feet and clothes in beachy shades of lemon, coral and terracotta.

Fendi9 of 9


For her last collection before man-of-the-hour Kim Jones's arrival, Silvia Venturini Fendi took inspiration from her family, the generations reunited in Rome, and the simple act of watching the world go by at a window. The catwalk looked rather like a living room, albeit a very large and very long one, with white curtains wafting either side that brought to mind open windows, and undulating sofas where guests were spaced evenly apart as opposed to being squashed together. Fendi certainly managed to pull in the big guns, with Yasmin Le Bon, Ashley Graham, Eva Herzigova, Paloma Elsesser, Imaan Hammam and Edie Campbell all present and correct for what was most likely their first show of fashion month. The clothes were typically dolce vita in style, with an open-necked leather coat (on Le Bon), a trumpet-sleeve skirt suit (on Herzigova) and a sexily sheer rib knit (on Hammam). While we wait, and imagine, what Fendi + Jones might equal, shoppers will find plenty of wantable clothes to keep them satisfied next spring.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us