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Critics Swoon Over Fendi’s Furs, Grapple With Prada’s Girlishness

From left: Fendi, Versace, Jil Sander

The critics were largely impressed with the showing on the Milan runways, from the vivid color palette at Gucci to Jil Sander's risky silhouettes.

THE HITS:
Fendi
• "The last few Fendi collections have seen Mr. Lagerfeld at his best, offering a level of fashion that is sophisticated and subtle… To be sure, a Fendi fur is an expensive rarity. But no less rare is the sensibility." [NYT]

• "A highly conceptual yet thoroughly chic collection…the look had tremendous elan…there was a surrealist quality to this show, where the combinations of unexpected materials had a hallucinatory effect." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "[T]his was one of Fendi's strongest showings yet, in an escalating series of convincing fashion performances…From prim to pagan and back again, there was an emotional arc here that even the ever-matter-of-fact Lagerfeld couldn't deny." [Style.com]

• "Though one expects spectacular [furs] from the house of Fendi, this lineup nevertheless amazed…Feminine and practical? Chez Fendi, absolutely." [WWD]

• "Individually, each piece was remarkable only in its high quality - but together the look was confidence itself…There was a playfulness to the show…The last look was austere with a suggestion of letting loose: a Lagerfeld woman to a tee." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Fendi Fall 2011 Collection

Jil Sander
• "I especially liked that the show set my mind churning, and also had a weird suspense…[the clothes] were completely contemporary, engaging, with a distinct palette...Above all, you had the impression that the talented Mr. Simons was doing exactly what he wanted to do." [On the Runway/NYT]

• "[H]is collection for Jil Sander twisted together extremes as unlikely as the volumes of Cristobal Balenciaga and the body consciousness of downhill racers…[a] gloriously mutant collection." [Style.com]

• "Challenging clothes — thank God! Because fashion needs challenge…Raf Simons delivered another stunner, one all about cut, shape and zero models — only panache…By working his collection around major volume and bold, Simons is taking a firm stance against mass luxury." [WWD]

• "[T]he entire show was a natural step from the last - a wearable way to wear the volume he introduced for the current season…There were some seriously wearable clothes…exaggerated volume that still somehow didn’t look silly." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Jil Sander Fall 2011 Collection

MIXED:
Versace
• "[T]he collection didn’t vibrate with that extra feeling. Still, this was a solid showing of sharp tailoring, with belted coats streaked with gold buttons, and imaginative use of baroque motifs…All in all, the collection had a bossy elegance." [On the Runway/NYT]

• "[A]t the house of Donatella Versace, one can enjoy a racy counterblast of sizzling, faintly fetishistic chic - and be all the better for it…[Stylist] Joe McKenna helped sculpt and filter a very fine Versace collection into a timely, redolent and concise message. Versace really rocked this season. Gianni would have been very proud." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "It was simple and strong, exactly what Donatella wanted…But what might look most seductive to customers next fall is the military influence…These looks were so immediate that they had a curious side effect: The eveningwear that is a Versace mainstay came across as almost an afterthought." [Style.com]

• "[A]n engaging collection that exuded sleek restraint without scrimping on glamour." [WWD]

• "[A] supremely glossy Versace show…Donatella couldn’t deny us a few megawatt dresses." [Vogue UK]

• "It wasn't as aggressively flashy as we've come to expect from Donatella in recent seasons, but it packed plenty of attitude…Power dressing, all the way." [Fashion Week Daily]

See the Complete Versace Fall 2011 Collection

Gucci
• "You can’t argue with the stylishness of Frida Giannini’s collection for Gucci, and why would you? Giannini’s fur-plumped silhouette, soft neck-tie blouses and gauchos are hard to beat. And smeared together, the teal, lilac, emerald green and rust are pretty delicious." [NYT]

• "[T]his collection was ultimately a significant success for Giannini. Why? Because she recuperated the glamour of Gucci on her own terms…That said, as a show the event lacked punch. A pretentious soundtrack, formulaic casting, less than judicious hairstyle (most models wore hackneyed, crinkly hair extensions) did not do justice to a powerful collection." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "[C]oming off a Spring season where so many designers were indebted to [the seventies], this collection lacked the shock of the new. Still, you can't fault the luxe factor of today's show or the fact that there was so much wantable, wearable fashion on the runway." [Style.com]

• "On one level, Frida Giannini’s overt ode to Yves Saint Laurent could be seen as a quizzical choice. Yet Giannini made it work, translating some of fashion’s most mined material into a feisty lineup that, while not inventive, was all Gucci in its bravado." [WWD]

• "Still super hot glamorous, this was a much more accessible Gucci…The finale of chiffon dresses smothered in petals of contrasting colours suggested that [the Gucci woman] is a romantic soul too - adding a welcome softness to a woman who rarely shows a vulnerable side." [Vogue UK]

See the Complete Gucci Fall 2011 Collection

Prada
• "This collection was as clear as if she had spelled it out on the blackboard. Most of the dresses were appealing and coyly seductive… Ultimately, though, it’s a narrow collection, not especially challenging, and the above-the-knee lengths and cute sock-like boots with sparkly pinks would turn a knobby-knee 40-year-old into a dunce." [NYT]

• "[T]his was a particularly beautiful collection…Every outfit was startling new - spruce, slick and self-confident…[The sequined dresses] all looked sensational." [Fashion Wire Daily]

• "[I]t was hard to take Prada to task for a potential retreat to the elevation of—what would be for most of her customers—unattainable girlishness…But were the girls serpents or mermaids? It was the kind of question that leaves a Prada audience uncertain about spontaneous responses." [Style.com]

• "If Prada is proposing that women feign innocence and dress like overindulged majorettes, why? Because, just like injectable fillers and core-strengthening classes, a Peter Pan collar helps women deny the ultimately futile notion that we can turn back time? …For fall she did indeed go girlish. But show us the chic woman who couldn’t find a winning coat in this lineup." [WWD]

• "Tonight’s clothes were not as radical as at some Prada events…but they were beautiful and wearable and had the Prada unmistakability - and we really, really want them already." [Vogue UK]

• "For those of you who thought the fur and stripes and monkeys couldn't be beat: sorry. Miuccia Prada's breathtaking Fall collection proved, yet again, that her only competition is herself." [Daily Front Row]

See the Complete Prada Fall 2011 Collection

Photo: Imaxtree

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Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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