Museums as runways?

Milan Fashion Week has come and gone. As it happens twice a year, every year, all the chaos and all the fabulous suddenly disappear, moving to Paris as their last stop. This fashion week was very exciting for Milan and for the whole Italian fashion business: the press was enthusiastic, with Tim Blanks covering MFW on BoF with extremely positive reviews.

The last few days in Milan have been salutary. Maybe it’s the Gucci renaissance that has sparked the Milanese fashion establishment to fire on all cylinders.

Leaving aside the actual-fashion talking, let us spend a few words on the locations that were chosen to showcase – and celebrate – the Italian style. On Wednesday 24th, the opening lunch took place in Sala delle Cariatidi in Palazzo Reale, one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in Milan. It was a lovely way to highlight the deep connections existing between Italian art and Italian fashion, both expressions of what Made in Italy is about: creativity, elegance and craftsmanship.




Even though Milan is not Rome nor Florence, it definitely offers a consistent amount of charming sites that might be suitable as runways: stressing the concept of an emotional arts-fashion affinity, museums and galleries could be the ideal location for défilés. Actually, this inspired combination already happened in the past: the Louvre Museum was the chosen location for many fashion shows, such as Louis Vuitton and Dior during different Paris Fashion Weeks.
In Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera, Museo del Novecento, GAM (Modern Art Gallery) could serve the purpose of many Italian designers. These places are sometimes used as locations to display accessories collection, but they very rarely models actually walk inside museums’ halls.
Few exceptions are the Arengario, which hosted Au Jour Le Jour and Vivetta, and open-space locations such as University of Milan, a XVII century building that often saw Missoni’s défilés.


Why shouldn’t this become a trend?  Fondazione Prada as well could be a beautiful setting for its own brand’s fashion show, thus establishing an undeniable connection, which is the way to create a deep, impactful story.

This strong, emotional link was already exploited by Stefano Ricci. In 2012, the florentine high-end luxury brand celebrated its 40th anniversary with a fashion show that took place in the Uffizi Gallery. It was a meaningful event, as it highlighted the strong, emotional connection between the brand and the idea of Made in Italy – not just in fashion but in arts as well.

Silvia Gramegna



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