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The 10 Most Critically Acclaimed Shows of Milan Fashion Week

Psst...Want a tip on improving your "Most Critically Acclaimed Shows" odds? Show in Milan. There just aren't as many shows! But in all seriousness, this was a pretty great week for Italian fashion, to say nothing of what Prada, Versace, Armani et al sent down the red carpet in Los Angeles. Check out the 10 designers and labels who got the most buzz at Milan fashion week.
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Psst...Want a tip on improving your "Most Critically Acclaimed Shows" odds? Show in Milan. There just aren't as many shows! But in all seriousness, this was a pretty great week for Italian fashion, to say nothing of what Prada, Versace, Armani et al sent down the red carpet in Los Angeles.

Check out the 10 designers and labels who got the most buzz at Milan fashion week.

Gucci Designer: Frida Giannini

  • "Gucci's runway was lit up by exotic creatures with evening wear that featured a luxurious play of feathers and ferns on netting that evoked firebirds." [AFP]
  • "The Gucci woman next winter is a playful mixture of demure and daring." [AP]
  • "Gucci's gone (back) into the wild." [Daily Front Row]
  • "Giannini created a new sexy silhouette for a femme fatale who loves to surprise." [The Daily Mail]
  • "It wasn't quite up there with Socratean sagacity, but this was a collection full of painstakingly designed features." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "The skinniest, second-skin, body-conscious silhouette you are ever likely to see on a Gucci catwalk." []
  • "Who says being ladylike can't be utterly sexy, too?" [FabSugar]
  • "Gucci's woman for Fall 2013 is strong, powerful, confident--and a little dangerous to boot." [fashionologie]
  • "Set a don’t-mess-with-us tough luxe tone that felt resonant beyond the catwalk." []
  • "The switch in mood from London fashion week to Milan can be summed up not by hemlines but by heel height. ... Gucci's unabashedly sexy show on Wednesday had its models stride the glossy black runway in super tall, super sharp high heels." [The Guardian]
  • "Watch out, the Gucci woman this season is red hot." [i-D Online]
  • "What is certain is that Gucci lovers will vote en masse for this collection--an ode to power women not executed with such vigor since the 1980s, but with a 21st-century focus on craft and embellishment." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "This was one of the most successfully sexy Gucci shows the designer has produced for the brand in recent memory." [NOWFASHION]
  • "Who was it that said that sex and love are a battlefield? Well they could have been talking about Gucci Autumn/Winter 2013." [SHOWstudio]
  • "She may be a couple weeks shy of giving birth to her first baby, but she isn't oblivious to the power of sex, that's for sure." []
  • "Venus might be in furs, but she’s also as likely to be in ferns or feathers." []
  • "It was a tactile, tough and sexy collection." [ UK]
  • "Leather, python, and fur? Mix and match them with abandon for Gucci's tough new sexiness." []
  • "This lineup was about smart, wearable, precisely cut style." [WWD]

Fendi Designers: Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi

  • "Mohicans strutted down the Fendi catwalk at Italy's fashion week on Thursday in a visually provocative show set to The Prodigy's Fire Starter which left the snowy world of Milan far behind." [AFP]
  • "Fendi is to fur what Ferrari is to cars. Yet given current concerns about animal rights, the brand has moved from the lavish fur coats that were all the rage in the 1980s to a more discreet way of interpreting fur as fashion." [AP]
  • "Fendi's fall show in Milan on Thursday morning was awash with fur of every variety: on glasses, in hair, on coats. But perhaps most eye-catching were the long haired faces sewn onto bags, which closely resembled Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street clan. At least they're wearing eyeshadow?" [The Daily Beast]
  • "The was something almost mystical and certainly atavistic going on in Fendi's show. The models wore fur--doh--but they also sprouted it." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "It is hard not to marvel at the sheer manipulation of it all--fur that mimicked leather fringing, leather fringing that mimicked fur; fur patchworked like camouflage, shaved, tiered, striped, circled, 3D embroidered and with trompe l’oeil effects to boot." []
  • "The models with fur tidbits in their hair, furry bags with dangling stuffed owls (of fur) and a variety of outfits in bright colors like shocking pink announced a new, playful and confident mood at Fendi." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "Karl Lagerfeld embraced the idea of a 'pretty in punk' collection that had ‘a take no prisoners’ approach to the topic." [NOWFASHION]
  • "[A] sharply colored, engaging collection." [On The Runway/

    The New York Times

  • "Seemed like a not-so-subtle commentary on the conspicuous reemergence of fur in luxury collections." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "Fun is Fendi and Fendi is Very Fun for Autumn/Winter 2013 it seems." [SHOWstudio]
  • "Fendi's FF insignia was originally a sixties thing that stood for Fun Furs. Somehow it became codified as the corporate logo. Today, with his 96th (!!!) collection for the house, Karl Lagerfeld restored that original inflection." []
  • "Minimalism--and maximalism taken to extremes. Black--and colors that sang with brightness. Severity--and lashings of opulence. What something is, and what its exact opposite is, was the overriding theme at a powerful, punkish, and sometimes playful fall collection from Fendi." []
  • "It was The Last of the Fendi Mohicans that Karl Lagerfeld sent out at this morning's autumn/winter 2013-14 show." [ UK]
  • "Fur was literally flying at Fendi—on striped coats and skirts, on bags and shoes, and even as punk faux-hawk hairpieces." []
  • "A feisty treatise on graphic flash delivered with an ultracool, faux-aggressive attitude." [WWD]

Prada Designer: Miuccia Prada

  • "Italian iconic fashion house Prada transformed 1950s American housewives into would-be Bond girls on Thursday, with a lethally seductive look which gave a powerful twist to the classic hourglass dress." [AFP]
  • "Nothing was amiss. So honed and yet oblique was Miuccia’s vision (more so than ever, in fact) that noteworthy standouts were hard to come by." [Artinfo]
  • "Totally Prada, and anything but retro." [AP]
  • "She's come undone: Refined gone rogue was the vibe at Prada's always-pivotal showing." [Daily Front Row]
  • "Beautiful beaded and tweeded, 1950s inspired clothes." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "This was, dare we say it, pure sexiness of the most refined order." []
  • "Wonderfully tender." [Grazia Daily]
  • "There are designers who make expensive, glitzy clothes for rich people--a lot of these designers show in Milan. And then there is Miuccia Prada." [The Guardian]
  • "Sitting on the right side of romantic, it oozed a bohemian beauty and sexuality that guarantees these clothes are going to sell." [i-D Online]
  • "This was a New Romantic Prada of the 1980s kind, as if worn by women relieved to go back to the ease of roomy tailoring--but with a long life, make that 'sex life'--behind them." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "This was a collection that explored the idea of repressed sensuality through the prism of two iconic dress silhouettes of the late 1940s and early 1950s." [NOWFASHION]
  • "When Ms. Prada takes on ultra-feminine clothes in gray flannel and dark, rich tweeds, with small waists and exposed necklines, she is hard to beat. She pulls all the triggers (romance, seduction, good form) but then she injects a sour note of ambivalence." [On The Runway/

    The New York Times

  • "Letting go, ever so slightly, of the laser-focused precision of the past few seasons is just one of the things that makes this collection approachable, wearable, and elegant." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "They do say one man's junk is another man's treasure. Hence why the Prada hits of season's gone by all came back in new guises, from the clompy platform shoes to the perfect overcoats." [SHOWstudio]
  • "Her collection proved the power of the dress as an accessory to a life." []
  • "This was a strong, confident, and ravishing Prada collection." []
  • "There was a purity in her vision and a strength--perhaps a reaction to Italy's unsettled political climate right now." [ UK]
  • "The prim and proper lady came fabulously undone at Prada with uneven hems, askew collars, and fresh-from-the-shower hair." []
  • "Miuccia Prada delivered a masterpiece on Thursday evening, a cinematic reverie that offered a little retro, major glamour and a bounty of some of the most exquisite clothes we’ll see anywhere this season." [WWD]

Versace Designer: Donatella Versace

  • "talian fashion icon Donatella Versace brought her own spin to punk on Friday, unveiling a collection dominated by fierce outfits in shiny black, white, or lipstick red vinyls and deadly accessories." [AFP]
  • "The looks had a distinct women warrior energy." [AP]
  • "Versace's fall 2013 collection brought lots of Donatella's usual tight dresses, studded leather, and animal prints. But there were some interesting new developments too, including a number of furry black and yellow garments that made the models look like bumblebees." [The Cut/

    New York Magazine

  • "In this, her slickest, most confident and comfortable collection in some time--in that this is Versace’s comfort zone, not that vinyl and silver spikes or nails as fastenings is in any way comfortable to wear--Donatella served up a huge hit." []
  • "It's safe to say that the Versace view of this, possibly the most influential street style in history, was far from understated." [Grazia Daily]
  • "Milan fashion week wouldn't be the same without Versace's unabashed high-voltage, rock-star glitz, and this season there was simply no stopping Donatella." [The Guardian]
  • "More than 20 years after the sex fantasies of Gianni Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, studded leather looks like an adolescent rash, it’s so commonplace and down-market. No wonder Donatella Versace, in her show on Friday, made the spikes in collars and dresses four inches long. There’s no edge left to the fantasy." [The New York Times]
  • "It was full on fetish time at the house of Versace this season with 'dominatrix' Donatella Versace turning her artistic vision towards creating a collection that was unapologetically obsessed with strong sexy clothing with a feisty finish." [NOWFASHION]
  • "Punk is definitely back. Blame the Met. But this is not punk as you know it according to Donatella, no this is something new. She's dubbed it, brace yourself, 'Vunk.'" [SHOWstudio]
  • "The house has a history with punk. And Donatella is fashion's original rock chick. So when those two threads were woven together tonight, you got one convincing statement. 'Vunk!' she called it. The spiky edge of punk, the slinky sex of Versace." []
  • "Donatella Versace's punk-rock Fall '13 could safely supply the fashion set with a number of appropriately themed gowns for this year's Met Gala." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "She could have just as easily called it glunk, smashing together glam and punk, because, of course, in Donatella’s hands, that’s what her reading of the seditionary 1970s was all about; taking street culture with the greatest snarl of all time and clashing it with the values of Versace, which is about the three e’s of fashion--extravagance, exhibitionism, and elevation." []
  • "This was not a collection for the faint-hearted. It was a collection for the fearless, the brave and those who are unapologetic when it comes to wearing sex (or maybe sexiness) on their sleeve." [ UK]
  • "Va-va-va-Vunk! That’s Versace Punk, thank you, coined by the lady herself, and it was fabulous." [WWD]

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Bottega Veneta Designer: Tomas Maier

  • "Bottega Veneta's looks for women next winter project strength and decision." [AP]
  • "Under Tomas Maier, Bottega Veneta has blossomed into luxury fashion's most adroit generator of understated high-design desirability. ... This morning Maier presented a collection that exemplified his softly spoken philosophy." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "Because Maier loves women and so clearly respects them as intelligent, self-posessed, strong beings, there was an approachability and believability in what he offered." []
  • "External adornment of any kind save raffia (raffia?) was eschewed and the materials themselves were correspondingly anti-luxe and anti-bling." []
  • "A sophisticated collection where the fabric did the talking, Bottega Veneta oozed luxury, but simply, without excess." [i-D Online]
  • "So good were the designs that the brand’s bread and butter handbags almost faded into the background." [NOWFASHION]
  • "Bottega Veneta is a big luxury brand, and as such, Mr. Maier doesn’t have the experimental latitude of a Comme des Garcons, though some of his gestures suggest that he’d like to." [On The Runway/

    The New York Times

  • "A refined collection of wearable, salable, but undeniably interesting clothing." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "There was no nostalgia here, this was about precision. The narrative and fantasy of last season had been replaced by lines, pleats and folds to create shapes that were challenging and conceptual." [SHOWstudio]
  • "Wool. Is there a fabric less sexy? Maybe not, but that didn't stop Bottega Veneta's Tomas Maier from going for it this season. Not many designers have the imagination combined with the skill to turn the plain material into something so utterly un-plain." []
  • "This showing gave us a very stripped-down idea of Bottega Veneta, and a very architectural one at that." []
  • "No longer is the Bottega girl flirting her way to success. Instead she's planning on being a little more precise about it." [ UK]
  • "The designer made a strong point with fabric constructions." [WWD]

Emilio Pucci Designer: Peter Dundas

  • "It was a naughty little show, but quite a relief from the Goth fashion prevalent on the current Milan runway." [AP]
  • "This collection got to the very essence of Pucci and the House’s 1960s heyday--carefree and ultra-glamorous." []
  • "The theory being, it seemed, why use one ingredient when 10 (or 12, or 15) can make the point better?" []
  • "A hit--a palpable hit! The leggy antelopelike models bounded down the catwalk, tossing their heads under long fringes, their tops lacy, their skirts silken squares with those irrepressible Emilio Pucci prints." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "The fast paced Pucci show felt like designer Peter Dundas’s models were in a hurry to get to a party." [NOWFASHION]
  • "Peter Dundas's Emilio Pucci girl is always sexy, but this season, the designer kicked it up a notch." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "There was both 'less is more' and 'more is more' at work on the Pucci runway. Less clothing, but more embellishments. So hemlines, whether on skirts or micro shorts, skimmed the thigh and dipped at the back, while lingerie-like dresses came decorated to the max with suede applique, collages and embroidery." [SHOWstudio]
  • "Emilio himself might've been impressed with the math skills required to create the fringed minidress with its green and lavender leopard-print pattern. More to the point, it'll be a kick to wear." []
  • "Thank goodness that someone--that would be you, Peter Dundas of Emilio Pucci--has realized that when it comes to this fall, ostentation and opulence are best served in short measures." []
  • "The key to Peter Dundas' success at Pucci has been bridging the gap between its past and its future--something which he more overtly illustrated with his autumn/winter 2013-14 collection this evening, going back into the archives to revive the Otto print and bring it back to life with his own injection of sex appeal and glamour." [ UK]
  • "Call it potently Pucci. For fall, Peter Dundas delivered a strong iteration of the brand icons, employing the famous signature prints with panache and sexiness." [WWD]

Jil Sander Designer: Jil Sander

  • "Jil Sander is back, and it shows." [AP]
  • "Sander certianly doesn't need to be angst racked about her creativity. Like her come-back show last season, this was another filled with delecatable, wearable yet forward-looking minimalist clothes." [

    The Daily Telegraph][

  • "This designer reminded us what is at the heart of her vision: discipline and mannerism. Chances are, whoever's wearing these clothes, they'll have a mind as sophisticated." [Dazed Digital]
  • "Every piece was a master class in pure execution." []
  • "The collection had the grace of refusal, no doubt, but it also lacked urgency; these clothes didn’t demand anything--attention or that jolt of recognition for an unidentified self--besides respect. Which isn’t always the most potent emotion." []
  • "The overall effect was of a good strong collection, but not one to change the feminist vision that the Jil Sander label identified so many years ago." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "Calling a Jil Sander show a study in pure and composed minimalism sounds almost redundant at this point. She is the high priestess of this particular point of view." [NOWFASHION]
  • "Although there were many appealing things in her fall show, like the colors (saffron, sky blue, clay red), the thinking seemed rigid. It closed off possibilities, like a minimalist but up-to-date expression of glamour." [On The Runway/The New York Times]
  • "With Jil Sander back at her namesake label and Raf Simons settled in at Dior, doesn't it feel like the forces of minimalism just can't be stopped? Sander's Fall 2013 collection, shown Saturday in Milan, certainly made a strong case for that, anyway." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "There was more freedom in the tone of this collection compared to last season's austere palette of navy, white and burgundy. She'd opted for 'high-carat femininity', which was realised through a range of gemstone colours." [SHOWstudio]
  • "The serenity of today's presentation was unimpeachable." []
  • "In the end, though, it was Sander’s meditations on all the ways that you will want to take cover come winter that were the best moments of her show." []
  • "Luxurious and well considered, all the Sander hallmarks were here and this time engineered into something especially innovative and beautiful." [ UK]
  • "The reentry jitters, whatever they may have been, are now officially gone. As with her men’s show in January, on Saturday Jil Sander proved herself in stellar form." [WWD]

Dolce & Gabbana Designers: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

  • "'La Dolce Vita' was the name of the game at Dolce&Gabbana, where the fun-loving designing duo recalled the sacred and profane of mundane Italian life, as exposed in director Federico Fellini's 1960 movie." [AP]
  • "Byzantine beauties in bejeweled crowns and gold and turquoise mosaics." [The Cut/

    New York Magazine

  • "Could Ratzinger have inspired Dolce & Gabbana's latest collection? From the looks of what came down the runway on Sunday afternoon in Milan--the departing papa may have been the guiding light behind the collection." [The Daily Beast]
  • "The final round of scarlet, encrusted in ruby-red crystal was indeed heavenly." []
  • "While you always expect a dose of Sicilian style piety at the label, this season's Byzantine mosaic frescoes, chalice gems and blazing Cardinal red finale brought a gorgeously gaudy flavour to the Dolce & Gabbana temple." [Grazia Daily]
  • "Dolce & Gabbana ... delivered an autumn-winter blockbuster." [The Guardian]
  • "Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana mined their Catholic heritage for the rich iconography that inspired their new collection." [The Independent]
  • "With a sound track from Frederico Fellini’s films and a finale of lace dresses glowing fire red, the effect was surreal." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "There was real freshness in these silhouettes. They were boxier and more sparse than we've seen from the designers as of late, and--in spite of their elaborate embellishments and prints--felt right in line with fashion's recent pared-down mood." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "The Pope may have thrown in the towel, but Dolce and Gabbana's Catholic faith has not been shook." [SHOWstudio]
  • "Theirs is a romanticized view of the Catholic Church, to be sure, one far removed from the tawdriness of contemporary scandals. And in terms of fashion, that vision proved compelling here, blessedly less kitsch than last season's." []
  • "All in all, an upbeat and uplifting way to approach the end of the Milan season." []
  • "You can't fault Dolce & Gabbana for the workmanship or the spectacle - these are two attributes this duo, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, do oh-so well and time and time again." [ UK]

Marni Designer: Consuelo Castiglioni

  • "The Marni woman is decked out in fur for next winter. And what imaginative uses designer Consuelo Castiglioni has employed." [AP]
  • "'Austere but romantic,' said Consuelo Castiglioni after her show this morning. That conjures up one figure as far as we're concerned: Jane Eyre. Teleport her to winter 2013, arm her with Mr Rochester's full panoply of credit cards, and she'd have a surreptitious splurge on Marni's knee high riding boots, calf length, gently flaring mohair checked skirts and belted jackets." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "It was interesting to see Marni take away the colour--save the long, luxurious stoles that opened the show in gold or ruby fox--and strip away the embellishment in a Milan season that has, for the most part, gone nuts for maximalism." []
  • "Ms Castiglione focused on only two latitudes: the contrasts between 'severity and grace, opacity and shine,' which she navigated, it turned out, terrifically well." []
  • "Marni's ascent looks convincing." [The Guardian]
  • "This collection was something of a departure for the usually heavily patterned and printed brand, featuring as it did only a handful of prints--each a version of a landscape of bare trees." [The Independent]
  • "Lovely in its starkness." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "This was the chicest sartorial take on despondency ever to come down a catwalk." [NOWFASHION]
  • "Usually the Marni shopper uses her wardrobe to express her quirks and show off her personality, but this season she was retreating behind her clothing and cladding herself in armour. As a complex, smart woman, she always has an air of aloofness and distance, but those heavy zips, weighty volumes and dense masculine fabrics like brushed mohair, tweed and men's suiting wool, made her feel even more distant and lofty." [SHOWstudio]
  • "The clothes caught fur like a contagion." []
  • "The collection was furnished with beautifully modern and graphic touches of furs. (Only in Milan can you talk austerity and utilitarianism when a collection includes every luxurious down you can imagine.)" []
  • "A minimalist and fashion-forward take on

    Where The Wild Things Are." [ UK]

  • "When a scarf is the only accessory you need." []
  • "Bare trees can be as beautiful as leafy ones, and the same goes for a Marni collection. Even with very few of her demonstrative, retro-tinged patterns, Consuelo Castiglioni’s latest effort was captivating." [WWD]

Giorgio Armani Designer: Giorgio Armani

  • "Giorgio Armani had the last word at Milan Fashion Week, and not only where the clothes were concerned." [AP]
  • "Mr. Armani steered clear of the clownish, of course, while still infusing plenty of whimsy into the collection." [Daily Front Row]
  • "A startlingly masculine collection." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "A calm, refocused pitch to the Armani faithfuls." []
  • "The suiting was so relaxed in its own elegance that it was hard to resist the idea it might convey the same confidence in any closet." []
  • "The line explored an ultra elegant, boyish way of dressing which compromised nothing in the glamour stakes." [Grazia Daily]
  • "Armani’s collection was just as specific, and not actually ‘androgynous’ the way we use it now to describe sexless uniform dressing; this was much more of a costume and was full of sex, but for girls who liked girls, in Paris 1880." [i-D Online]
  • "After dalliances with dresses and the embrace of skirts, Giorgio Armani went back to his first love--pants--for his show Monday that closed the Milan season." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "Though black with silvery white was the dominant tone at Armani, and the collection retold the boy-girl theme, there were some good switch-ups." [The New York Times]
  • "The take away image from this show was how the designer reworked the classic man’s vest into something sensual for a woman to wear." [NOWFASHION]
  • "He called his show Garçonne, though this time it was comme de Rei in a different way, more attuned to the—in hindsight—almost romantic androgyny of her collections from several decades ago." []
  • "What differentiated his collection this season was the French savoir faire that ran throughout." []
  • "Giorgio Armani has had quite the weekend of shows--unveiling his Emporio line yesterday, having Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts among those taking to the Oscars’ red carpet catwalk, and showing his Giorgio line this morning. What a way to start the working week." [ UK]
  • "Armani’s attentions clearly were not diverted by his Oscars responsibilities; this was a quite complicated, labor-intensive collection." [WWD]