Critics Covet Missoni’s Patchwork Wraps, Crave More Drama at Gucci

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From left: Giorgio Armani, Missoni, Gucci. Photo: Imaxtree

The final reviews are in from Italy. Though the critics admired Gucci's newfound refinement, some missed the label's signature sex appeal. Giorgio Armani's collection was deemed elegant, but rooted in the past. And Missoni's intricate patchwork creations won raves. Read the rest of the critics' reactions.

Gucci
While Gucci's streamlined collection seduced some critics, others claimed that it fell flat. WWD lauded Gianni's "most successful show since joining the company," one that "pulsed with insouciant glamour." Style.com agreed that she harnessed "the confidence to relax and not try too hard to be super-duper fashion-y." (British Vogue, on the other hand, declared it "a delicious dose of Gucci sexarama.") But others were let down by the show. Though he noted the element of consistent glamour, Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily felt the collection was "almost too Gucci centered, too rooted in the past, and did not take enough risks with newer fashion." The show was lacking in drama and audacity, he concluded. Style.com concurred that the eveningwear "seemed more like going through the motions ... to keep up red-carpet business." And Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune regretted that the brand's formerly potent "hint of sexual provocation ... was missing in this show."

Watch a slideshow of the Gucci collection.

Missoni
The critics praised Missoni's breakout fall collection of patchwork knits. Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily called it "sensational" and "breathtaking." Cathy Horyn of the New York Times called the wraps "exceptional", and British Vogue concurred that "this house was in its element." Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune adored the patchwork blankets, finding "something right on about these sliding, slipping squares taking their shapes from the body." While the outerwear was clearly the high point, some critics grappled with the "clunky" black-trimmed bras as underpinnings. "[W]hat woman wants to flaunt her midriff come winter?" demanded WWD. Cathy Horyn was torn. "Somehow, in spite of the inventive knitting and eclectic street vibe, the pieces didn’t seem to genuinely relate to the present," she assessed. Still, most deemed the show a fashion-forward success for the label. "[T]his family run knitwear business has steadily injected a great avant-garde fashion element into its DNA," concluded Deeny.

Watch a slideshow of the Missoni collection.

Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani's dark and heavy fall collection left some critics unimpressed. Many of the looks were rendered in black, creating "a show whose guts were darkest velvet," as Style.com dramatically put it. While Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily admired the Chinese inspiration in embroidered red and pink frocks ("a brilliant bridge between East and West"), The Wall Street Journal derided the eighties influence. "It's a little surprising," it chided. "He has covered this territory before, back when it was fresh." British Vogue called the clothes "expensive, elegant, and boasting extreme quality." Sure, "maybe they weren't new," admitted WWD, but they were "classic Armani chic." The show disappointed Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune, who concluded, "the collection lacked the urgency of vision that could have compelled Mr. Armani back into the world of workhorse dressing."

Watch a slideshow of the Giorgio Armani collection.