Best of: Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017

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Best of: Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017

Milan has never been one to disappoint when it comes to fashion. For the third leg of our international fashion week marathon, we make our way to the Italian fashion capital, where the collections of Miuccia Prada, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and No.21’s Alessandro Dell’Acqua went above and beyond to prove how true that statement is. This season’s foray into the hallmarks of Italian design appeared true to form with eccentric luxury and tailored beauty, offering up several new favorites from fiercely feminine frocks to empowering street-conscious shapes.

Here’s a look back at the best collections from Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017.

1. Prada

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Miuccia Prada evoked student radicals of the 60s and 70s with a collection celebrating the political and social achievements of women, and how those accomplishments have shaped society. She sent out series of soft corduroys, leather patchworks, hand-knitted scarves and feather-hemmed cocktail dresses, every look a careful study on female sensuality and strength. In a season dominated by the longing to empower women, this was the collection that started it all—for me, at least. (An easy favorite from an iconic Italian fashion house.)

2. Gucci

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Entitled “The Alchemist's Garden,” this fall-winter collection was a massive undertaking by creative director Alessandro Michele. Sending out an astonishing 120 looks of menswear and womenswear that flaunted luxe prints, embroidery or chinoiserie influences from the 17th and 18th centuries, this collection was far from being boring or repetitive. Though it was easily the longest I have ever experienced, Gucci's fall-winter runway show showcased Michele's charismatic creativity and originality. With a constant flow of head-turners, from deconstructed tees to embroidered gowns, this season marks yet another collection for a creative director who seems to be bent on rekindling my love for Gucci.

3. No.21

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Inspired by the Italian actress Anna Magnani, Alessandro Dell'Acqua opted to open his show with an exuberant, red chiffon dress. From there, this fall-winter collection was only on the ups, marked by a succession of herringbone, studs, crystals and some careful sportswear influences. Though his nod to classic Americana was far from a miss, I took a keen liking to Dell'Acqua's silk midi-length tea dresses—these were the epitome of glamour.

4. Fendi

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This season celebrated Fendi's trademark craftsmanship with an exquisite offering of super light dresses and carefully tailored boxy cuts, with key looks coming in the form of oversized herringbone, Prince of Wales checks and knee-high boots (obviously already the fall-winter shoe of choice). After last season's magical show at the Trevi Fountain, the fall-winter runway took a more laidback approach, never distracting from the printed midi dresses or the smart knife-pleat skirts. Overall, Fendi's fall-winter collection was sexy, feminine and effortlessly ultra-chic.

5. Versace

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There was a distinct streetwear vibe going on at Donatella Versace’s latest runway show. With cropped puffer jackets, beanies and signature cocktail dresses in metallic chainmail and embroidered tulle, this collection seemed to want nothing more than to empower. Keeping with the theme of the season, Versace sent out encouraging slogans—like “Courage,” “Strength,” “Love” and “Equality”—for a collection that celebrates feminine strength and diversity. But nothing was more diverse than her garments: from tailored numbers to sexy draped dresses and athletic influences, Versace seems to have covered all her bases without ever appearing redundant. Hopefully, this won’t be the last collection for Donatella (rumor is that Riccardo Tisci might be taking over as creative director), because I want to see more from this version of Versace; these past two seasons have been a surprising new take on a label I had long since written off.

Brent Taalur Ramsey is an American writer living in Paris.

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