Raf Simons's confident, unexpected collection divided the critics. Cathy Horyn of the New York Times felt it was one of the strongest shows of the week, calling it "just an astonishing performance — energetic, modern, alive." Fashion Week Daily agreed, asserting that the "masterful" collection was "a beautiful parade of peels, transparencies, and bold scissor work." British Vogue was worried by the distracting soft-core porn film playing on screens above the runway, but allowed that the clothes "were as beautiful and well constructed as ever." Of the eyebrow-raising film, WWD declared, "let's give the chutzpah prize to Raf Simons." Style.com was less amused, asserting that "it was all a bit didactic, not to say distracting to watch, especially as there was already so much — too much, really — going on in the clothes." And Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily groused that the clothes "looked like they were half taken apart just before the show," and deemed the result "light years away from the cool patrician understatement of the Jil Sander label." But in the end, "the clothes won out," argued WWD. "They were beautiful, as Simons applied his own deft nature play to high-polish."
Watch a slideshow of the Jil Sander collection.
Prada's collection wowed most critics, with the exception of an unimpressed Cathy Horyn. Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily boldly declared the show as "the best staged, best thought-out, coolest and cleverest seen so far in the international four-city season." WWD felt that the lineup "pulsed with the iron grip of the designer’s womanly control," creating a "beautiful, focused" effect. British Vogue agreed, deeming the collection "[c]lever, unique, shocking, beautiful, ground-breaking ... [and] downright pretty." Style.com found "plenty of the wearable Prada" in the mix — "ignoring the panties and ... semi-sheer cloque baby-doll things," that is — and Christina Binkley of The Wall Street Journal coyly noted that the hacked-off suits and shorn jackets "will be perfect for the corporate executive who is embarking on a round of layoffs that will leave her company equally shorn." Cathy Horyn of the Times disagreed, calling the collection "weak by Prada's standards," and asserting that after the first few looks "Ms. Prada couldn't find more to say." But in the end, the show was well received. "If fashion needed an original vitamin jolt, Prada delivered it," concluded Fashion Week Daily.
Watch a slideshow of the Prada collection.
Tomas Maier's refined, intricately constructed collection impressed the critics. Several noted a departure from the designer's previous work: Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily saw a "new, feathery attitude, far removed from the designer's often times heavier-handed approach with heftier fabrics," while Cathy Horyn of the Times noted a "far more engaging and individual view of dressing" than past collections. British Vogue predicted that the showing would "likely be voted one of the most beautiful collections of the season." Style.com fawned over the three colorful iridescent polyester gowns of the finale, asserting, "in Maier's hands, even the synthetic can become the epitome of sophistication." And, of course, WWD and others praised the accessories, including "terrific oversize bags and sexy espadrilles in rich, saturated hues." Though British Vogue lusted after "[p]ossibly the most luxurious tracksuit bottoms in the world," The Wall Street Journal was a bit puzzled by the more casual pieces, wondering "why a woman would turn to a designer as skilled as Mr. Maier ... for what is essentially a fine t-shirt and athletic pants." But overall, "[t]here was plenty of intricate complexity in his masterful architectural silhouettes," concluded Fashion Week Daily.
Watch a slideshow of the Bottega Veneta collection.