Between great expectations, debuts and goodbyes, the Milan Fashion Week provided us with some very good shows, even though neither of them made us exclaim 'Wow'. The woman seen in these Milanese shows is the symbol of contemporary elegance and unmatched femininity, often turning streetwear trends into more sophisticated statements. We didn't see many sneakers on the catwalk, designers opted for leather boots and killer stilettos. The Fashion Week opened with the return of Gucci after the French trilogy and the lavish Moncler Genius event and was inevitably marked by the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, to whom Fendi paid homage at the end of the show. 

After feisty and bold shows - like the ones of Versace and Iceberg, and other quite disappointing (we were expecting more from Prada), it's to give out our very own nss Fashion Awards. Discover all the winners here. 

 

Best Show: Versace 

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You probably didn't see this coming, but Versace show had everything you need to win our most prestigious award. Donatella brought on the catwalk a strong and bold woman, who changes quickly from suits with baroque details and bon ton looks, into tight satin dresses, black corset tops, blazers, jackets and coats in a thousand of different variations. Prints and fabrics alternate: tartan, satin, fur, feathers, tapestry, leopard, lace, all in nuances of orange, pink, blue and, of course, black. The styling is fresh and unexpected, the details are the strong point of the collection: golden pins, hairpins, logo tights, super thin heels, and the only remarkable sneakers seen during this MFW, the Chain Reactions. Donatella took inspiration from the best part of Gianni archive, especially for the corsets, the golden details, the pins and the black tones, balancing it with contemporary and fresh proposals. The cherry on top was the incredible number of top models walking the runway, it's not a coincidence that Versace contributed to the definition of top model: Kaia Gerber, Vittoria Ceretti, Mariacarla Boscono, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Candice Swanepoel, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid and the veteran Stephanie Seymour. 

 

Best Supporting Actor: Bottega Veneta

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It was probably the most anticipated show of the entire Milan Fashion Week: the young British designer Daniel Lee, after 7 years at Céline, is in charge of improving the fate of Bottega Veneta. The expectations were very high, mostly because in the last few months many have started to call Lee as the ideal successor of Phoebe Philo and of her minimal and sophisticated style. Lee managed not to crack under pressure and did his own thing. The Bottega Veneta FW19 collection is a balanced mix between the DNA of the fashion house, with its signature staples, the leather, the knot pattern, and the vision of the new creative director. Lee's debut was more than promising, we're sure Lee is going to surprise us even more in the future. 

 

Best Revelation: Max Mara

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Quite surprisingly, this season Max Mara managed to bring up to date its image, without giving up its signature pieces, first and foremost the camel coat. Other items make the difference this time: cargo pants with pockets and clasps, luxury utility vests, long jackets and vests with zippers and big pockets, revisited striped suits, reptile chest bags and leather waist bags. Max Mara's proposal is the perfect example of how streetwear can be interpreted in a more luxury way, turning it into something new, classy and unexpected. 

 

Best Accessories: Gucci 

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Alessandro Michele returned to Milan after the French interlude with a collection that is the perfect reflection of his aesthetic. To make the difference, once again, were the accessories: volleyball-inspired sneakersgolden earrings, sunglasses, stud collars, golden beads with stones, brooches, and, of course, the masks, the real core element of the collection. 

 

Best Special Effects: Moncler Genius

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The recently renovated spaces of Magazzini Raccordati hosted the incredible Moncler Genius - One House, Different Voices event. Fire-born torches aline a massive walkway which runs along a dozen or so bunker like chamber vaults that go in underneath the train tracks above, with every vault containing a specially designed art installation dedicated to each of the Moncler Genius designers. From the array of fluorescent coloured fluff of Grenoble to the total black scaffolding of Matthew Williams of 1017 ALYX 9SM, from Craig Green's wind-driven sculptures to the floral world of Richard Quinn. Moncler, by going that extra mile, created a mind-blowing art event instead of catwalks presentations that are over before they even start, by reinvesting in the city of Milan. 

 

Best Finale: Fendi 

The Italian fashion house said goodbye to the man that for 54 years designed its collection, turning the Fendi fur lab into a proper international brand. Silvia Venturini Fendi walked out for the final bow for the first time alone, without her dear Karl Lagerfeld. The homage to the genius designer took place with a video portraying Karl drawing one of his famous sketches while talking about his first day in Milan and his idea of elegance. A heartfelt tribute.