The Milan Fashion Week Trends We'll Be Talking About for the Rest of 2023


(Image credit: Sportmax/ImaxTree)

Every well-dressed fashion week attendee who's been dashing around Milan for the last week may have already packed up their belongings and jet off to Paris, but one thing's for sure: they're still very much thinking about everything they just witnessed in the Italian fashion capital, and they're not stopping anytime soon. That's because, despite the fact that Paris is the most lauded of the fashion month destinations, it's Milan that, in the eyes of many, hosts today's most anticipated shows. 

Maximilian Davis's Ferragamo, Matthieu Blazy's Bottega Veneta, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons's Prada, Luke and Lucie Meier's Jil Sander—the designers who had a time slot during Milan Fashion Week this season are the ones defining style in 2023. And with that, the trends they send down the runways are important to take note of, which is why I spent the last week studying every inch of every model they each ushered through their catwalk's entrance—be it a fiery B at Blumarine or a working elevator at Gucci—to determine the 8 that are most necessary to remember for next autumn. See which ones made the final cut below.

1. Soft Like Velvet


(Image credit: Sportmax/ImaxTree)

Velvet and winter have always been associated, with the lavish, buttery-soft fabric often being the primary choice for soirees throughout the holiday season. But nothing about the velvety smooth garments that littered the runways this season in Milan felt festive or obvious. Rather, each design was more alluring than the next, from the knotted, draped dresses at Sportmax to the rich-purple, low-rise trousers at Gucci. In turn, designers took the somewhat casted off material and transformed it, allowing for a renaissance for velvet that I, for one, wasn't expecting. 

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2. Ready to Wear


(Image credit: Bottega Veneta)

All of what makes it onto the runways during non-couture fashion week is technically considered "ready to wear," though I'd argue that the true percentage is far below 100%. No shame to designers that like to do the most, in fact, it's one of the most exciting aspects of working in this industry and studying runway shows, but at the same time, there's a beauty in simple, wearable ensembles as well, especially ones that still look utterly intention and luxurious. Such were the sorts of looks debuted this week in Milan, with standouts at Bottega Veneta, Gucci, MM6 Maison Margiela, Bally, and Fendi. 

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3. A New Class of Leggings


(Image credit: Ferragamo)

Last season, Prada and Ferragamo triggered a significant shift in fashion that many have been dreading for some time now: the return of skinny, fitted trouser silhouettes, and yes, that includes leggings. For autumn/winter 2023, the latter label continued on with the style, and along the way, was joined by other brands like Ferrari, MSGM, and Blumarine. And after reviewing every last leggings-like trouser option on the Milan runways, I can tell you with complete certainty that none of the pairs that debuted are reminiscent of the past. Rather, they all seem to mark a shift in the style that feels utterly fresh and imaginative.

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4. Animal Instincts


(Image credit: Roberto Cavalli)

Animal prints have officially outgrown their cheesy reputation and taken on one that's surprisingly mature and versatile. Once considered far too loud to be considered at all neutral, the Milan runways proved that even the boldest and most colourful of animal-esque patterns can be casually styled. From zebra-print big bags at Jil Sander to snakeskin trousers paired with trenches at Sportmax, if we learned anything from this week's shows, it's that you should never shy away from adding an animal-print addition to your otherwise low-key outfit. Don't worry, it won't be overdoing it. 

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5. Suiting Gone Rogue


(Image credit: Prada)

The suiting world has gone through some major shifts in the last two seasons, steering away from massively oversized silhouettes in favour of more fitted, tailored ones. But that's not the only change we've noticed, specifically in Milan this season. Suiting and workwear has also begun toeing the line between safe for work and not so safe for work, with Prada styling skinny trousers and blazers with entirely unbuttoned blouses underneath and GCDS and Ferragamo both unveiling suits sans pants. At Gucci, blazers were repurposed into tube tops and at Fendi, Kim Jones designed something of a waistcoat-blazer hybrid with cutout shoulders. All that's to say, suiting has gone completely rogue, and honestly, it was about time.

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6. In My Feels


(Image credit: GCDS)

Autumn and winter—winter especially—are seasons commonly associated with feelings of dullness and dread. In Denmark and Norway, the concept of hygge provides comfort during those long, dark days that coincide with Scandinavian winters. In Milan, apparently, the solution is ASMR textures able to combat even the lowest of cold weather–induced lows. From fuzzy fabrics at GCDS, Diesel, and MSGM to tinsel-like materials at Jil Sander and Missoni, the Milan collections this season certainly had people deep in their feels, despite the February climate outside of shows.

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7. So Clutch


(Image credit: Jil Sander)

With luxury prices skyrocketing of late, the Milan runway collections suggest that designers want you to hold onto your high-end handbags with all your might, clutching them tightly as opposed to, say, letting them casually hang over your shoulder or around your wrist. Either that, or they were simply tired of all the handled handbags that've reigned supreme for so long and desired something fresh and new. Whatever the reason, it's clear that clutches are gearing up for one hell of a comeback, with oversized styles popping up at Jil Sander, No.21, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Ferragamo, and more throughout the Milan Fashion Week shows. 

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8. Hooded Figures


(Image credit: Bally/ImaxTree)

Perhaps this is a me problem, but every time the weather dips below 15 degrees, I immediately get the urge to enter incognito mode, tossing on any hooded garment in my wardrobe and hoping with all my might that it camouflages me until the first sign of spring's arrival. Well, the Milan runways suggest that I'm not the only one who's triggered by chilly weather, with many Italian designers encouraging fall and winter shoppers to add more hooded apparel into their closets later this year. From furry-and-leather hooded jackets at Bally to understated hoodies being layered under outerwear at Ferragamo and MSGM, a chic new mode of sartorial hibernation was unlocked in Italy last week that I'm not waiting until the tail end of 2023 to incorporate into my regular rotation. 

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This post originally appeared on Who What Wear US. 

Next Up, Spring/Summer 2023 Fashion Trends: 21 Expert-Approved Looks You Need to See

Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.