What Do Prada, Gucci, and Versace Have in Common?

gucci womens fall 2014 dresses

Quiet. Sensual. Commercial. It was what these designers had in mind this season. Prada, Gucci, and Versace may be one of the most outspoken labels in Milan, but what they brought to Milan’s fall 2014 fashion week this time was softer and savvy compared to their own more rigid signature styles. They imbued the same mood, just in a different character.

At Gucci, Frida Giannini sent out chic, practical, and modern sixties dresses with above-the-knee hems worn with snakeskin, horsebit boots (shoes for walking is what everyone called them) that shifted the phase of embracing sexiness in the label and more sensuality in movement.

Other sumptuous A-line dresses and skirts in napa leather were youthful and more pleasing in pastel colors that appeared taken from a box of Crayola’s – in baby blue, yellow mustard, pink, sage, caramel, and red velvet. They were stronger and luxurious for the casual Gucci woman Ms. Giannini seemed to be portraying. More identifiable were her number of special fur outerwear that came in shearling, goat hair, and mink; true Gucci luxury. 

In general, the collection was precisely clean in slim-fitted silhouettes: double-breasted powder coats; skinny pants; lovely ruffled leather shirts replaced for cotton; and splendid crystal embellished short dresses shown at the finale that are sure to be a sensation come next season. 

Yes, the Gucci woman may be taking a break from her love of sexiness, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be lost. Even though this wasn’t clothes you had not seen before elsewhere, Gianni still managed to pull off one of the best sophisticated collections that will speak to a wide group of confident women. Isn’t that what you need to market nowadays? 

versace womens fall 2014 dresses

Seeing the first model walk down the runway in a hugging, asymmetrical bias cut dress that continued on throughout at Donatella Versace’s show was indeed surprising. And not just because it was the labels first use of bias fabric, but the extreme casualness it projected as well. 

There were more daywear pieces than what you could’ve imagined here, which was lovely none the less. But a woman only goes to Versace when she needs to look her best at night. She’s guaranteed to feel like a glamorous sexy diva the brand has always implemented season after season; it’s what has kept the brand surviving. Sadly, this wasn’t the case anymore.

Ms. Versace really insisted on giving her customers next season a sense for daywear like throwing on medusa military buttons on suits or skirts; a cool blue leather fringed jacket etched with studs; colorful mink coats that resembled a cardigan; and lots of flirty short dresses that came in various designs. All of course in the Versace manner paired with thrilling thigh-high boots.

True Versace spirit were her three dramatic embellished, studded, fringed dresses that paraded down the runway. I thought it was necessary to remind one of the beautiful craftsmanship that goes into an authentic Versace dress. Overall, it wasn’t a tedious collection, just one that lacked more risk.

prada womens fall 2014

Miuccia Prada may be the last of the designers you may think of in a commercial manner, but her new presentation proved to be one of the most captivating and bold collections of the season.

The designer has always had a unique taste for creating awkward, ugly-chic clothes that become a sensation among the fashion crowd. But she’s a woman, and understands not everyone goes for eccentric; well, in her world dark sensuality makes up for it.

Her German inspired avant-garde and theatrical theme for fall hit a very high note when it came to simple pairing of clothes. A sweater, a coat, a dress.....she had them all provocatively mastered.

It is the stories she tells with her clothes though that sets the mood of her inspirations. 

There were these intricate sheer shift dresses – sometimes etched with shearling lining – that left little to the imagination. Oversized V-neck sweaters that looked borrowed from the men’s wardrobe. And rich shearling coats – in yellow, purple, and red – given a voluptuous volume that transmitted a sexual aggressiveness. Quieter were her quirky printed dresses with metallic piping that were cut to embrace the body and wool coats. This was Prada at her most well behaved manner. And still feminist perhaps?

Her women will have enough next season to stamp their own essence for sure. And for Ms. Prada herself, another victory that proves who is the most powerful designer in the industry. Only she knows how to market Fashion (with a capital F) in such a graceful manner.

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