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Milan Fashion Week: Fall/Winter 22-23 Denim Report

Without hindering creativity or style, designers at Milan Fashion Week treated denim with the same level of attention and craftsmanship Italy’s tailoring and leather industries are renowned for.

While there was no shortage of effortlessly cool blue jeans—Cormio, GCDS and Missoni were among the brands that supplied the staples—the event filled the space for statement pieces that New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week left mostly empty.

And in the case of Bottega Veneta, leather was used to create trompe l’oeil jeans. Under the new guidance of creative director Matthieu Blazy, the brand leaned into its leather heritage by presenting made-you-look jeans and white shirts made with printed nubuck leather. The seemingly pared-back designs stole the show, despite a runway filled with platform heels and wow-factor fringe skirts.

For Fendi, dark wash trouser jeans with front creases were the go-to companion for leather bustiers. The brand also presented a chic denim and leather handbag.

Other styles showcased fashion houses’ knack for traditional sewing techniques. Etro elevated baggy jeans with crisp tonal patchwork designs. Colville approached the look by piecing dark wash fabrics with light. A glittery top upgraded Palm Angels’ ripped and patched loose-fitting jeans.

Alongside cropped jean jackets and shirting, Act N.1 spliced denim apart and put it back together again with safety pins and tailoring fabrics in a show that included a diverse cast. The brand also included a denim bustier, which has become a new ‘It’ item.

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Pink and swirl-printed jeans by Des Phemmes nodded to Y2K without plunging into the era, which is exactly what Diesel did at its first Milan Fashion Week show. Creative director Glenn Martens presented a denim-rich collection—including evergreen styles from Diesel Library—in a provocative set filled with giant inflatable models.

Highlights included a denim bralette, low-rise jeans with shredded waistbands, wrap skirts with micro lengths, a denim trench and a coat swathed with “denim fur.” Clear coatings added luster to jeans and shirting, while other pieces featured 3D Diesel logos.

“The power of Diesel is that we talk to so many people,” Martens stated. “We can push sustainability and innovation, and we can push experimentation and concept.”

Clear coatings enhanced the liquid-like look of Versace’s low-rise wide-leg jeans. The fashion house paired a denim corset top and mini-skirt with deconstructed tweed boucle.

Another advocate for Y2K fashion, Blumarine, returned with low-rise jeans in pop-star pink and blinged-out belt buckles. MSGM opted for sparkles and star motifs, as well as metallic green coatings. Meanwhile, Ferrari vouched for Y2K colors applying by yellow and pink filament prints to light wash denim jackets, jeans and skirts.

Two-tone jeans were a part of Dhruv Kapoor’s “Soul Tech” collection that included a combination of new, upcycled and custom-made textiles. A cropped jacket and long wrap skirt featured a digitized floral print. Kapoor was one of several designers to find inspiration from the ever-increasing virtual world.

In a metaverse-inspired collection, Annakiki presented baggy jeans decorated with random pleats, material mixing, rips, cargo pockets and horizontal frays that served as a subversive pinstripe alternative.

Trussardi added pouch-like cargo pockets to skinny jeans, while Diesel applied the utilitarian detail to denim pant-boots.