Last season’s Versace collection, for which Donatella Versace resuscitated the bold, brash prints made famous by her late brother, Gianni, in the 1990s, was an outright success, striking a chord with young customers who hadn’t experienced them the first time around. Not surprisingly, Versace continued to allude to the house’s playful heritage for fall, this time with a new batch of strikingly vibrant patterns. Tartans mixed with florals mixed with Medusa heads covered the models from head scarf to toe. Indeed, at times, the styling was uncharacteristically modest—a clever foil for the eye-catching prints.
Coco Chanel’s affair in the 1920s with the second Duke of Westminster, England’s richest man at the time, resulted in more than just wagging tongues. It was after Chanel borrowed his fishing and hunting attire, made from Scottish carded wool, that her signature tweed fabric—and, subsequently, the loosely structured Chanel jacket—was born. During his multidecade tenure at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld has reimagined the tweed jacket every which way, but for fall he returned to its intrinsically haute-bourgeois roots, sending out refined suits with matching bags and strings of pearls—a look that’s iconically Coco.
The Vela, a sleek, utilitarian backpack crafted from durable, water-resistant Pocono nylon, became an instant hit when Miuccia Prada introduced it in 1984. More than three decades later, the military-grade material still feels inherently modern—futuristic, in fact, as evidenced by Prada’s fall collection. Her sporty sci-fi lineup included an assortment of nylon looks—think corsets, skirts, and padded coats—many featuring the original triangle plate logo. Prada’s clothes came across as strong, practical, and daring—just like her fans.
Born into a family of prominent tailors, Achille Maramotti founded Max Mara in 1951 with the intention of creating elegant clothes on a mass scale. From the get-go, outerwear was key to the Italian brand’s success. Launched in the 1980s using a long pile originally developed in Germany for children’s plush toys, the oversize, decadently cozy Teddy Bear coat has swaddled many a swaggy fashionista. This new version, paired with a slinky tank top and tons of black eyeliner, cut a surprisingly fierce figure on the runway.
Not long after marrying in 1953, Rosita and Ottavio Missoni opened a workshop in Gallarate, Italy, and soon created their first line of knitwear. From the start, it stood out for its bold patterns. “Who says a rainbow has seven colors?” quipped the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland upon seeing their pieces. “It has many shades.” Missoni’s vibrancy hasn’t dimmed a bit in the intervening years. To celebrate the label’s 65th anniversary this year, Angela Missoni, the couple’s daughter and Missoni’s creative director, went all out with a kaleidoscopic mix of textures and hues.
Few could have expected the hysteria that the Saddle bag, introduced in Dior’s spring 2000 collection, would create. Famously carried by Paris Hilton and Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, the equestrian purse with the swinging D stirrup became the It bag of the aughts. When influencers like Bella Hadid and the K-pop star CL began toting vintage ones recently, Dior took notice. For fall, the house reissued the style in an array of materials, ranging from beaded and patchwork variations to the classic Dior-logo canvas.
Founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès, a maker of one-of-a-kind saddlery for Europe’s nobility, Hermès has since become a full fashion brand, but its equestrian sensibilities remain. For fall, the artistic director for women’s wear, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, confidently rode the house’s heritage, reworking dense cashmere-and-wool horse blankets into chic coats, dresses, and an oversize satchel. To emphasize the theme, she presented the collection outdoors, along a gravel path; the fact that it was the dead of winter didn’t seem to matter, as riding blankets were also handed out for guests to warm themselves.
Louis Vuitton founded his namesake line in Paris in 1854, and soon became the preeminent maker of trunks and travel bags. It was his son, Georges, who had the clever idea to shrink luggage down for everyday use. In the 1930s, the Speedy, a compact duffel, became the house’s first handbag, and it has since been carried by just about every chic celebrity. Over the years, it has been offered in an array of sizes, prints, and materials; for fall, Nicolas Ghesquière presented additional varieties, including this one with a new spin on the traditional LV logo.
Louis Vuitton Speedy Time Trunk bag, blouse, belted skirt, and glove.