Farewell, Milan. The third leg of Fashion Month has come to a close, leaving us with plenty to ponder including but not limited to: Rhuigi Villaseñor’s Bally debut, Matthieu Blazy’s #NewNewBottega, and Ferragamo’s rebrand.
But there was more to Milan Fashion Week than buzzy new appointments and revamped aesthetics. There was also Spongebob SquarePants, Paris Hilton, and world record-breaking blow-up dolls.
From celebrity runway cameos to cartoon-inspired couture, these were the most viral moments of Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023. (While you’re here, don’t miss the most Instagram-able moments of New York Fashion Week.)
Inflatable fun at Diesel
Presiding over Diesel’s runway was a Guinness World Record-breaking inflatable sculpture — apparently, the largest in the world. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on in the gigantic blow-up work, but it sure looks NSFW.
Spongebob slay at GCDS
Giuliano Calza of GCDS honored an unlikely fashion hero: Spongebob SquarePants, whose likeness appeared on glittery gowns, knit sweaters, and nipple pasties. “He has no sexuality or prejudice, he likes to embrace everything,” Calza said of the pineapple-dwelling cartoon character. “That’s how we should see the new generation.”
Falling models at AVAVAV
Disclaimer: do not try this at home. At AVAVAV, Beatte Karlsson — the mind behind fashion’s most outrageous footwear — instructed models to tumble down the runway. Subverting the stony-faced glamour of Fashion Week, Karlsson staged a parody of a runway show serving as social commentary on “fashion’s extreme superficiality, at a time when so many people fake richness at the risk of falling down hard” (per show notes).
Twinning at Gucci and Sunnei
In an uncanny coincidence, both Gucci and Sunnei used twins to explore the concepts of identity and perception of self. Alessandro Michele sent identically dressed pairs down the runway to the beat of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 1992 song “Identical Twins,” while Sunnei’s Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo took a radically different approach.
Half of the show’s twin pairings sat in the audience, eventually walking onto the runway and through a revolving door at the end of the catwalk. The second twin then emerged from the spinning door dressed in head-to-toe Sunnei, creating the effect of an instant “transformation.”
Paris Hilton at Versace
The queen of early 2000s fashion closed Versace in diamanté dress that referenced her famous 21st birthday outfit. It doesn’t get more Y2K than that.
Kate Moss at Bottega Veneta
Kate Moss looked cooler than ever at Bottega Veneta, where she strolled down the runway in a perfectly louche ensemble: a white tank top, relaxed jeans, and a plaid shirt-jacket with the sleeves rolled up.