Versace, Bottega Veneta, and Armani A/W '11



I'm still trying to dissect why I liked Versace as much as I did.  Usually the label isn't quite my taste, but Donatella has really impressed me with the past two seasons.  For fall, she employed a lot of cartoony baroque flowers that reminded me of Prada spring 2011, as well as leather and gold sailor buttons, of all things.  But somehow, the show flowed really well, and these unexpected elements worked together to create looks that I am absolutely dying to own.  The A-line leather trench especially.  Whatever it is that you're doing Donatella, keep it up.

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta was probably my favorite of these three collections.  Whenever I think of the brand, I think of beautiful, handcrafted bags, but I really never consider their ready-to-wear.  As it turns out, the clothes definitely match up to the accessories in terms of quality.  The floral dresses with delicate lace overlays made the biggest impression on me, and the closing oragami-bustier dresses were nearly as good.  I was not blown away by the opening looks (they were pretty dull), but in the end I would say that this was a strong showing by Tomas Maier.

Emporio Armani

I have to say, I'm a little bit biased against Armani.  I can't ever remember seeing a show from the label that I have really liked, as a matter of fact.  That said, Giorgio definitely knows his customer.  When I think of Armani, I usually think of middle aged business executives who want to look professional, but show that they have a little bit of an edge.  This all black collection is perfect for them.  Some of the velvet and ruffled looks were a little derivative of their fall 2010 show, but the layering was unexpected and fresh, and there was a lot of intriguing detailing.  Overall, some great clothes for the corporate, fashion forward woman.

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