1. Miu Miu
Miuccia Prada’s second collection was the polar opposite from the sweet show she put on for her main line in Milan. Her Miu Miu collection wasn’t as conventionally pretty with models walking down the runway with severe, side-parted hair and challenging red eye makeup. The opening looks were frankly cold in blue and black skirts and tops that looked more autumn/winter than spring/summer. But the second half of the show was lighter and more upbeat with quirky, layered looks that came with A-line skirts, blouses and ruffled capelets in lace and printed cotton. The colors — a mix of red, blue, black, white, neon yellow and beige — breathed more spring-like life into the clothes, too.
2. Paco Rabanne
The press notes said that new creative director Manish Arora wanted to liberate women through their clothes rather than limit them. But the exaggerated lines of his futuristic dresses and skirts were so constricting around the knees that the models could barely walk in them. Arora has a flair for creating beautifully crafted, wearable works of art. But there was too much emphasis on the art and not enough on wearability in his debut collection for the house.
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After last season’s vampy sex-kitten looks, Riccardo Tisci’s quieter, romantic clothes for spring looked like a palate-cleanser. He produced tailored jacket and short combos (a definite trend for spring) and trouser suits in the softest pink. They were wearable and practically sweet. Not that the designer completely let go of his dark, subversive side. A series of slinky, mini dresses with strategically placed sheer cut-outs that revealed naked breasts underneath were classic Tisci. Overall, it wasn’t exactly a collection that established new trends in the way we’ve become used to seeing from Givenchy. But he pushed a few popular ideas forward, such as the peplum, which he remixed by rendering them in asymmetrical shapes and exotic skins.