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MFW: Runways To Watch

Milan Fashion Week made its debut in 1958. Even by then, its inaugural year, the excellence of 'Made in Italy' was common knowledge. If LFW is known for the nurturing of new and exciting talent, its Milanese counterpart is synonymous with fashion’s big league. Live 'la dolce vita' care of five designers that embody the spirit.

Plus, for the latest from all four fashion capitals, follow #HarrodsAtTheShows.

Who: Bottega Veneta

What: The 'It' look of the season.

Daniel Lee is the name topping every fashion editor’s Christmas card list this year. The newly appointed Creative Director of Bottega Veneta (and protégé of Phoebe Philo) first made headlines with his envelope-pushing debut for AW19 – setting the bar with a formidable new elegance and accessories that are flying off the shelves. It’s a tough act to follow. But we predict Lee will rise to the occasion.

Where To Wear: Anywhere – and everywhere. Trust us!

Who: Max Mara

What: Modern power dressing. 

Why: No capsule wardrobe is complete without a Max Mara coat. On par with a cream silk blouse and black knee-high boots, the Italian brand’s belted Manuela and Teddy signatures boast a gravitas with which few can compete. Yet Max Mara’s influence extends far beyond the reaches of outerwear alone. Power pieces – from supremely sumptuous cashmere knits to silk midi skirts – are no strangers to the wardrobes of influential women the world over. Expect all of the above and more for SS20. 

Where To Wear: A meeting with your stock broker. They’ll know you mean business.

Who: Etro

What: Style with substance.

Why: Italians have a saying: la famiglia è la patria del cuore. Translation? Family is where the heart is. Milan lays claim to numerous design dynasties – the house of Etro among them. Now helmed by Veronica Etro (the daughter of founder Gerolamo 'Gimmo' Etro), this storied brand is as synonymous with style as it is with soul. Paisley prints resurrected from the familial archive, lavish fabrics from embroidered velvet to Guipure lace; the Etro DNA is a feast of tasteful grandeur.  

Where To Wear: Treasure hunting at Grays Antique Market. Bonus points if you find a tapestry that matches your cardigan.

Who: Gucci

What: Classic silhouettes with eccentric accents. 

Why: A Gucci runway has long been a sight for sore eyes. Yet for AW19, more than ever before, Alessandro Michele made it his primary mission. Amid a heady display of 120,000 LED lights, Michele’s maximalist mélange of monogrammed separates and kaleidoscopic prints kicked his audience into sensorial overdrive. (Deep breaths, everyone!) P.S. Don’t miss the new ornate version of the classic Gucci loafers.

Where To Wear: High tea with your favourite grandma. Play your cards right, and she’ll disinherit your cousins.

Who: Dolce & Gabbana

What: Unadulterated Italian glamour. 

Why: The Dolce & Gabbana woman can be described in myriad ways. Fabulous, glamorous, joyous… take your pick! Hers is a wardrobe hallmarked by high-octane brocade, hothouse florals and handbags that are one-part accessory to two parts jewellery. In other words: a treasure trove of traditional Sicilian splendour. If you came here for minimalism, look away now.

Where To Wear: Long weekends in Venice. Think Harry’s Bar, Isola de San Clemente and moonlight trysts with a dashing gondolier.

By Abigail Gurney-Read