The hardest working models during Milan fashion week? Not the brand newbies trying to make a splash by walking as many shows as humanly possible their first season. Nor the Hadid sisters, who collectively opened or closed what seemed to be half the Milan shows. Rather, the most in-demand catwalkers were the veteran models who’ve been strutting their stuff for decades; and might we add, looking better than ever. The throwbacks came hard and fast during MFW, starting with Miuccia Prada’s Spring show, where we were blessed with visits from Miuccia’s longtime muses Liya Kebede, Raquel Zimmermann, and Arizona Muse (where ya been, girl?).
Things only got better from there. Leave it to Donatella Versace to put together the highest-wattage cast of the week—a veritable cornucopia of supers that would give any model fan heart palpitations. Oh, what I would give to be a fly on the wall backstage watching Naomi Campbell primping and prepping for the show alongside a dizzying stream of fellow supers including—deep breath— Carmen Kass, Mariacarla Boscono, Doutzen Kroes, Iselin Steiro, Caroline Trentini, Anne V., Adriana Lima, and Irina Shayk. Imagine them talking shop, the knowing glances, the ego flexing involved.
Arizona Muse at Prada and Karen Elson at Bottega Veneta / Photos: firstVIEW
Tomas Maier kept the throwbacks coming with our favorite cast of the week at Bottega Veneta. Hello, Lauren Hutton! I mean, when’s the last time that happened? And then, in descending order of favorites: Karen Elson, Eva Herzigova, Guinevere van Seenus, Elise Crombez, Malgosia Bela, Adriana Lima, and Irina Shayk. They underscored the elegant maturity of the clothing better than any teenage catwalker could. Shay had a particularly busy week, and also did turns on the Moschino runway. Meanwhile, it was a random, show-redeeming surprise to see Karolina Kurkova and Izabel Goulart pop up at Philipp Plein’s show. Ditto goes for Isabeli Fontana at Max Mara.
Overall, it’s great to see a push for more age-inclusive maturity on the runways, and always a treat to see supers like Naomi. You get the sense that modeling agencies have really re-invested in some of their more seasoned faces. If you’re looking for supermodels, Milan’s the place to find them. Hopefully Paris keeps the model highlights coming.