Milan fashion week has just recently passed, and Paris is wrapping up so hopefully this review comes along in time to still hold your interest. Milan is probably my second favorite fashion week after Paris, so this past week has been full of half loaded Style.com tabs and late nights on NowFashion. Designers at Milan are all over the place for me. Some I love, others I loathe, and a few remind me why the “tacky Italian” stereotype exists.

GUCCI

Frida Giannini’s collection are a toss up. There’s usually a number of looks from each season that I like, but whether or not I like the collection as a whole is a different matter. I was not particularly fond of this season’s showing, mostly because it seemed so out of character. Since when does Gucci cater to the athletic crowd? I don’t know what kind of loyal Gucci costumer would pay for mesh shirts and athletic pants.

 

What I liked:

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That this is both effortless and elegant.

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The Art Nouveau inspired decorations on this dress.

What I didn’t like:

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That mesh shirts are made an appearance.

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Mesh jackets and  athletic pants, at Gucci. 

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That Gucci is making bathing suit cover ups.

FENDI

I have to admit, I’m liking Lagerfeld’s work for Fendi much more than what he does for Chanel. Despite his ridiculous cat-related antics, and designing 17 collections a year (at 80!), this showing makes it clear that he hasn’t lost his touch. Lagerfeld claims diverse inspirations for this collection, ranging from the digital to fountains. I can see the digital influence, but the fountain reference escapes me. Despite that small confusion, I find that the collection is beautifully designed and coherent.

 

What I liked:

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The beautiful gradients on these dresses.

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The amazing cut on this jacket.

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This technological fabric.

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The mix of textures and fabrics on this jacket.

What I didn’t like:

Nothing.

PRADA

There is no doubt that Miuccia Prada is a creative powerhouse. While I might not personally like all of her collections, saying that they are not exceptionally designed would be ridiculous. Prada based her concept around “feminism,” but some kind of blanket version, ala riot grrrl. The effectiveness of Prada’s interpretation of feminism and the feminine struggle in this collection is an interesting discussion, but this is a quick review of the clothes, not an in-depth analysis. For the most part, I enjoyed the clothes. Some looks were fairly bland, which is disappointing since others were quite interesting.

 

What I liked:

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 The glittery bras worn as outerwear.

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This ultra-feminine yet not childish coat.

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The interesting mix of prints in the collection.

What I didn’t like:

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That this look is bland in general, and even more so in contrast with the rest of the clothes.

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Not only is this boring, it looks uncomfortable too.

 

VERSACE

Versace would not be Versace without a strong element of tackiness, but I feel like Donatella has been overdoing it recently (just take a look at last season). Thankfully she seems to have held back this season, and created something that is both quintessentially Versace while being both youthful and effortless (as effortless as Versace can be, anyway). I also liked that she maintained some of the rock inspired elements from last season without bogging them down with needless pvc or contrived punk allusions. Punk is dead, and it seems like Donatella finally heard the news.

 

What I liked:

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This shiny ensemble.

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Pastel bondage – inspired dresses.

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Black and chains for Spring.

What I didn’t like:

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Nothing should ever be this tacky. Not even Versace.

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This fabric is horrifying.

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That an expensive dress by Versace can look this cheap.

BOTTEGA VENETA

I have always enjoyed Thomas Meier’s work for Bottega Veneta. His clothes are for the most part beautifully constructed and tailored, as well as incredibly elegant and wearable. Bottega Veneta is anything but a brand that skips on materials, and it reflects in the price tag. However, this season’s beautiful clothes are worth their heavy price, as the collection was impeccable. It was visually interesting while still retaining the brand’s elegant feel. And I’m always happy to see a mostly monochromatic Spring collection.

 

What I liked:

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The interesting ruffles on this skirt.

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The beautiful construction of this dress.

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These diagonal, layered hems.

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That Bottega Veneta can make embellishment look refined.

What I disliked:

Nothing.

DOLCE & GABBANA

The only reason I cared about Dolce & Gabbana’s showing last season was because as an Art History student, I have a very soft spot for medieval mosaic work. I suppose that I should like this season too since it was pretty much a replica, but the dresses aren’t printed with mosaics this time around so I don’t particularly care. I know a couple of Archaeology and Classics majors who are all over this, which I understand, but I can’t find a way to be interested in the same collection Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been making for the last few years.

What I liked:

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How well this print and cut go together

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Dolce & Gabbana show embellished dresses every season, but they always look stunning.

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Sure, it’s not a memorable look but at least it surprised me.

What I didn’t like:

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This looks familiar.

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Why is this plastic looking fabric making an appearance at Dolce & Gabbana?

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All the terrible, shapeless fur.

I would say that this is it for Milan, but it’s not. There were many more lovely presentations, but these are the most generally well-known designers so I figured I should cover them. However, that is not to say that you should not care about the others. You should, go look.

Paris is now over, I’ll be putting an overview up soon.

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