It's official: Rihanna has won Milan Fashion Week. Arriving at Gucci, with her boyfriend A$AP Rocky, Riri continued her streak of stupendous maternity outfits with a banger from Gucci: a lilac faux-fur coat, a pair of silk trousers embroidered with a dragon, a chain-mail style headpiece that, frankly, only she is cool enough to pull off, and a cross made of tanzanite and aquamarine from Briony Raymond Estate. Oh and the pièce de résistance? A lace-and-latex crop top that curved perfectly around her bump, an item of clothing that has become something of a signature ever since she announced her pregnancy.
A$AP Rocky, on the other hand, looked slightly more pared-back in leather trousers and a black bomber jacket, although he did sport a pair of tangerine-coloured gloves that men everywhere will be trying to figure out how to incorporate into their wardrobes come winter. He also held a monogrammed briefcase, which makes that backpack you've been carrying to and from work look distinctly in need of an upgrade, doesn't it?
Gucci's hotly-anticipated collaboration with Adidas, which got the rumour mill churning in December, was seen on the catwalk for the first time, in its collection called 'Exquisite Gucci', with a new logo that combines the sportswear giant's trefoil with the luxury house's iconic lettering. The garments that everyone will want to buy include the caps, the hand-warmers and the corseted zip-up.
Until today, Gucci has been taking a break from showing 'on-schedule' in Milan, preferring one-off events, like the show it staged along Hollywood Boulevard.
SEE: The Highlights From MFW AW22
Giorgio Armani, out of respect for the people involved in the situation in Ukraine, decided against using music in his show on Sunday, letting his models, instead, walk in silence.
Dolce & Gabbana clearly had one decade on the mind: the '80s, where power shoulders and poses reigned supreme. (The sheer tights - sans toes - were a modern touch that we can imagine all the street-stylers copying next season).
Jil Sander is the ultimate in stealth wealth style. 'Every piece is self-standing, iconic, and executed with exceptional artistry, in sumptuous wools and silks,' read the show notes - and we couldn't agree more, from the tailoring (elevated with a knotted waist) to the outerwear in the most pleasing selection of neutrals.
A high-octane energy was felt at Versace, where this season's woman, 'fully owns her allure and knows exactly when to unleash her power'. Midnight black latex and frayed tweeds met their super-sexy matches in the form of cropped silk bustiers and punky pearl necklaces, while the LBD, as seen on Precious Lee, was recast as the ultimate way to be a 'regal rebel'.
With the best front row at Milan Fashion Week - Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Serena Williams, Jared Leto and Francis Bourgeois - Gucci's show delivered another (soon-to-be) sell-out collaboration, this time with Adidas. Double-breasted suits were upgraded with the sportswear giant's signature stripes, knitwear came emblazoned with the combined logo and sporty knit dresses were 'Guccified'. Expect big things (and waiting lists) when it launches later this spring.
Etro's collection, with its usual celebration of craftsmanship, had plenty of bravura, from the printed combat trousers tucked into studded cowboy boots to the battered aviator jackets worn over leopard-spotted crop tops.
Sportmax's catwalk was the hottest of hot pinks - ironic, perhaps, considering that most of the collection was vampy red, midnight black or simmeringly sexy beige (yes, really). The vinyl dress - worn with a pair of gloves that only covered the fingers - was very good indeed.
Having walked in Roberto Cavalli, it didn't come as much of a shock that Iris Law, with her bleach blonde crop, also appeared at Missoni. The collection embraced the oversized and the exuberant. Wide-leg strides were worn with baggy (but elegantly so) jumpers, while bright yellows, greens and reds were spotted in abundance.
Tod's always designs some of the best outerwear in Milan - stealth wealth leather coats; wrap coats; quilted coats; single-breasted 'means-business' coats - but this season, it was the knitwear that made fashion editors sit up and pay listen, from the variegated-knit puffer jacket worn over a chunky polo neck to the fringed cape fastened over a leather biker jacket (big news).
One of fashion's greatest showman - Jeremy Scott, who last season showed in New York - made a grand return to Milan. And this season, in typically kitsch and surreal fashion, he was musing on the idea of a well-appointed house. The kind of objects one might find - baroque-style picture frames, stately armoires, grandfather clocks and chandeliers - appeared, as you can probably guess, as cartoonishly theatrical clothes. Brava.
Milan is the capital of glamour. But to Mr. Armani, the word has become synonymous with 'sparkle, seduction and allure.' Instead, for AW22, he wanted to take glamour back to its roots, 'personal charm', delivering a pared-back but polished collection of muted greys, which enveloped the body as outerwear, Mr. Armani's take on loungewear (read: chic) and effortless eveningwear in the form of the LBD (long black dress).
With a mega-watt front row - Euphoria's Storm Reid, Sex Education's Emma Mackey, Shtisel's Shira Haas - and highly 'grammable invitations (the label sent pastel-hued silk pyjamas to attending editors), Prada was just major as always. All the street style stars were wearing last-season's biker jackets and satin miniskirts. Next season's cult buys? The logoed tank tops (which opened and closed the show, no less) and the feathered jackets (spotted on Kendall Jenner).
Max Mara's latest show was a typically timeless homage to Sophie Taeuber-Arp, the modernist architect, dancer, textile designer, painter and sculptor who was a contemporary of Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Guillaume Apollinaire. Meeting at Zurich's Cabaret Voltaire, Taeuber-Arp and her fellow artists of the avant-garde created an astonishing new aesthetic: Dada. Max Mara's silhouettes - surprisingly bold in their simplicity - are articulated with just as much aplomb as King Stag, Taeuber-Arp's most famous work.
Vintage Roberto Cavalli is having a revival - Rihanna owns a sheer maxi skirt from 2003 - so it made sense that yesterday's show felt like a celebration of the house's most enduring hits. Iris Law, another fan of vintage, opened the show in a choker minidress with a caged neckline that had undertones of Anne Boleyn. Naturally, plenty of big cat prints followed - the tiger-striped slip gets a mention for its not-so-subtle sex appeal - as well as leather bandeau tops that are definitely here to stay thanks to Julia Fox.
Alberta Ferretti stuck to its guns for autumn - delivering a boho-luxe wardrobe in a sumptuous colour palette of amethyst, peacock and gun-metal grey, the latter of which appeared as silvery trousers and a swooping caped gown.
Kim Jones raided the archives for AW22, inspired by Delfina Delettrez, who one day walked into the brand's headquarters wearing a printed blouse borrowed from her mother's wardrobe. Intrigued, he looked back to SS86, a famous collection of Karl Lagerfeld's. He reworked its prints, while copying the diaphanous lightness of another collection, AW00. 'It's a wardrobe designed for every aspect of a woman's life, for every generation,' says Jones. 'And it all started with Delfina.' Bella Hadid opened the show wearing a wisp of chiffon as a slip dress (worn with elbow-length cashmere gloves); Bibi Abdulkadir, meanwhile, emerged in a whip-smart leather minidress. 'There is always a story behind each piece, something a little different,' says Silvia Venturini Fendi.