1 Prada: Miuccia Prada’s fall collection had a ‘60s-flavored, ladylike prettiness to it that made an interesting contrast to the bold, sexually subversive work she showed last season. Simple dresses with large, gold buttons segued into printed, belted versions with brightly colored grids that are sure to be a retail hit. The excitement contined with cocoon-shaped, snakeskin coats, a salmon-colored shirtdress with a shaggy fur bib as well as a series of evening dresses embellished with sheer, pastel paillettes.
2 Jil Sander: Raf Simons makes clothes for thinking women who want to please themselves as opposed to those who, say, dress to attract men. Case in point: his jackets and dresses, which were so voluminous that they completely hid the natural curves of the body. He juxtaposed these looks with apres-ski knits in bold colors and then merged the two ideas of sporty and oversized elegance in a closing series of puffy, down-filled evening looks. It was one of the most exciting shows of the week.
3 Fendi: If trapeze and tent shapes are a major outerwear message for fall, then Karl Lagerfeld must have sent that memo. His show began with knee-length coats that swung away from the body, and then segued into beautifully constructed, shaggy coats in fox, lamb and chinchilla. He paired these glamorous coverings with clothing that straddled the line between prim and homely: sweats and ribbed skirts, as well as blouses with ruffles. A palette of unexpected color combinations (sapphire blue, saffron and olive) added to the visual excitement of it all.
4 Giorgio Armani: This season revolved around a new bell shape for trousers and skirts that swung around the legs just above the ankle. It was a graceful and fluid idea on paper, but seemingly difficult to wear. The cropped, flared trousers in particular could easily make a woman below 5'9” look a few pounds heavier. That hiccup aside, it was an overall strong show of elegant looks in an understated, classically Armani palette of nude, gray, black and bronze.