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From Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana, The Best of Milan Fashion Week (PHOTOS)

The fall collection in Milan, which showed this week, brought furs, punk, and Old Hollywood glamour. From Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi to Prada, see the highlights.


Milan Fashion Week, which wrapped on Monday, offered a flurry of luxe shows that were filled with Italian sensibilities. From extravagant furs at Fendi to 1940s glamour at Gucci, see the week’s highlights.

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For fall, Gucci bolstered their signature sense of Italian glamour with strong 1940s references. But rather than flat-lining in nostalgia, the brand’s creative director Frida Giannini turned up the sex with knee-high shiny black boots, leather turtlenecks, and evocatively cut suits. Her eveningwear took a burlesque approach to old glamour, with bodices cut from fishnet materials, covering the necessary parts with peacock-colored feathers in artistic arrangements. “It is [as] though that sexy, steamy, bare-skin, big-hair look of Italian television presenters in the Berlusconi era were being replaced by something fresher and more innocent,” wrote the International Herald Tribune’s Suzy Menkes.



Fendi’s fall collections are always an apex for fur, but this season creative directors Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi took their skin affections to a whole new level. Striped fur, geometric furs, Rorschach furs, fur Mohawk hairstyles, fur-embellished sunglasses, fur handbag trinkets, and fur booties blanketed the runways, to an almost-comedic effect. The collection was an ode to the brand’s ‘FF’ logo, which was conceived in the 1960s as an acronym for ‘fun furs.’ But aside from the fluffy stuff, there were some interesting asymmetrical fringe dresses that resembled various carpet mediums and some killer basics in icy white.

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Miuccia Prada’s fall collection wasn’t as game-changing as her last outing that included platform tabi shoes and other Japanese fixings, but what it may have lacked in innovation, it made up for in disheveled romanticism. Using 1940s silhouettes as benchmarks for her designs, Prada outlined the feminine ideal for the coming season. Her various gingham, fur, and beaded pieces were balanced out with grungier accoutrements like thick lug-sole scandals, unexpected layering techniques, and a cast of models who were groomed to look deliberately undone, if not a tad dirty. Wrote the New York Times’s Cathy Horyn: “Even if this was not the most challenging Prada collection, its naive almost do-it-yourself glamour still got under your skin.”

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Throughout his tenure as creative director at Pucci, Peter Dundas has almost entirely avoided the brand’s signature swirling scarf printsm, but with good cause—they caused the rut downfall of his predecessors Christian Lacroix and Matthew Williamson. The long break away from the prints meant that their return in Dundas’s fall 2013 collection felt fresh. His ode to the late 60s was filled with trapeze minidresses (emphasis on mini), suede over-the-knee boots, all-consuming chubby furs, and pussy bow blouses. They lent a sultry, groupie kind of edge to the pints—grounding them in all the good parts of Serge Gainsbourg’s Paris, rather than the staid sects of Palm Beach.

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If you can consistently count on Versace for one thing, it’s a bundle of tight-fitting funand fall 2013 was full of it. Donatella Versace presented an overstated ode to nineties punk (with many hints of Clueless), sending models down the runway in second skin latex bodysuits and pants, fur and metal spiked collars, and a remarkably sexy assortment of plaid. Filing along with the season’s love (or hate?) for all things animal, Versace’s plush furs took a playful spin on exotics: they fabricated graphic zebra stripes and bumblebee-colored leopard out of sheared mink.  The Financial Times’s Vanessa Friedman reported that “Donatella Versace coined a new word for her vision: ‘Vunk,’ a combination of ‘Versace’ and ‘punk’.”

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Bottega Veneta

Presenting a procession of modern-day Rita Hayworth’s, Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier offered his fans a modest, though thoroughly alluring take on the 1940s trend for fall. Aside from his many stand-out pluming coats and woolen peplum suits, there were body-skimming silk skirts and sheaths that would appeal to conservative sirens both young and old. Maier told the Financial Times “the collection is about precision, ease and the simple beauty of the material.”

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Jil Sander

Jil Sander’s second womenswear collection back at her namesake label was a sturdier and more signature offering than her first round back in the saddle. She envisioned her devotees wearing understated though painstakingly crafted overcoats, shift dresses, and skirt suits that expressed the quiet kind minimalism that Sander built her name on in the earliest days of her career. Wrote the International Herald Tribune’s Suzy Menkes: “The overall effect was of a good strong collection, but not one to change the feminist vision that the Jil Sander label identified so many years ago.”

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Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana’s flair for artistic prints continued into fall 2013, this time displaying some serious Byzantine influence. Owing reference to the shimmering mosaics of the Cathedral of Monreale in the design duo’s native Sicily, their army of lavishly embellished gilded garments was accessorized with Byzantine crowns and extravagant cross earrings. Far from cheesy, Dolce’s religious iconography was chic, even innovative, and concluded with a storming finale of models dressed in Vatican red.

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If you thought Marc Jacobs’s larger-than-life take on the fur stole in New York was a one-off experience, think again. Marni’s stoles exceeded Jacobs’s by twice the size, and nearly reached the ankles of Consuelo Castiglioni’s cast of 6-foot models. Massive scarves aside, her fall concept was fabricated entirely of navy and many shades of grey. And while the 1940s effect shown all over Milan was present, the effect was more modern than it was in work of many of her contemporaries. Like with most Marni collections, a good deal of quirk came from the garments’ proportions. But the footwear helped too: offering orthopedic-looking flats or a shiny regiment black boots.

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Missoni’s fall collection relied on the premise of comfort. In addition to the many bathrobe styles that topped a majority of the show’s looks, head designer Angela Missoni took great lengths to add a sense of relaxation into the clothes. Soft knit dresses, loose printed silk pants, and louche blazers were even complemented by a comfy take on the notoriously uncomfortable (but super trendy) pointy-toed, T-strap pump, which was fashioned into a trompe l’oeil bootie. The message makes sense—the Missoni family is currently caught in the tragic disappearance of the brand’s CEO Vittorio Missoni. In this case especially, any source of comfort seems key.

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Giorgio Armani

Armani’s take on structural dressing for fall included all of the cocoon silhouettes and tailored pants his fans would hope for. But the designer’s signature were turned up with an irreverent mood that was sometimes polka-dotted—lightly resembling the more commercial works of Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons label. However coincidental, Armani’s show notes were even headlined, “Garçonne.”