Prada, Marni, Gucci, Bottega and more

From left: Looks from Prada and Marni.Prada: Where do city girl and country girl meet, sartorially speaking? If they hail from the great state of Prada, it's at a place where blanket wools find a...


Prada: Where do city girl and country girl meet, sartorially speaking? If they hail from the great state of Prada, it’s at a place where blanket wools find a tailor; single outfits marry rough and refined, and the latest fetish boot is a hip-high, strapped-on fisherman’s wader. Here, high chic frolics with perversity—hair shorts, anyone? Yet the ample sexuality is never cheap, in large part because fabulous coats and suits—bears repeating: fabulous coats and suits—offer elegant and sensible counterpoint to Milan’s current obsession with revved-up retro clubwear. For the collection she showed on Sunday evening, Miuccia Prada wanted to evoke a countrified aura minus cliché and without sacrificing urbanity. The ruse made for a stellar collection…. click HERE for more…

Marni: Last season was all about the kooky, kitschy gal with a cartoon-chic closet. This time around, the Marni girl buckled down, got serious and a bit more grown up—without losing any of her feisty spunk. The result was a superb collection by Consuelo Castiglioni, one that should make the runway-to-reality transition seamlessly. Castiglioni started with a series of sophisticated sportswear looks that focused in on clean, structured shapes—a sturdy jacket with panels of fur for visual and tactile intrigue or simple two-tone pants. Her preferred silhouette? A boxy rectangle that was echoed in sporty coats, dresses and tops throughout the show. In fact, when the designer eventually let loose with the pattern plays, she kept that particular geometry going in bustling checks, plaids and vivid grid-like mosaics. And she piled them on… click HERE for more

From left: Looks from Gucci and Bottega Veneta.

Gucci: For fall, a number of designers are choosing to stare down the recession with in-your-face fashion, often Eighties-inspired. Count Gucci’s Frida Giannini squarely in that category. The collection Giannini showed on Saturday was inspired by Tina Chow and, as the program notes read, “a glittering, glamorous time, when going out was a way of life.” Giannini presented a daring collection that was as on trend as it was off the glitter charts. Throughout, she worked the gender play in the leggiest manifestations possible. For club-crawlers, a great big yes, but not for wallflowers, those thigh-high boots under micro-micro-minidresses or their butched-up counterpoint, pleated pants slung low and cut skintight through the legs… click HERE for more

Bottega Veneta: Tomas Maier is a dress guy. And a breast guy, a focus that put a sly fetishistic asterisk on his lovely, even ladylike collection for Bottega Veneta. Would the women who would appreciate the subtle chic of these clothes, and there are plenty, want people staring at their personal assets? That question—and a few offending push-up wires and curious seams—aside, the clothes looked strong as Maier proposed a range of appealing dresses, almost always in neutrals or shades of grape and lilac. Shadow-striped washed velvet chemises had a vaguely Twenties feel, while a black wool draped to one side saluted Eastward, and sheaths got an attitude infusion from interesting surface textures… click HERE for more

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Photos: Prada: Stephane Feugere; Marni: Giovanni Gionnoni. Gucci: Davide Maestri; Bottega Veneta: