Videos: Milan Spring 2009 – Bottega Veneta, Marni, Roberto Cavalli, Fendi, and Dolce & Gabbana.

Prada perplexed. Marni went Prada. Dolce & Gabbana went demicouture. Ah, just as swiftly as the hairpin turns unfolded, Milan Spring 2009 already draws to its close. As we sit and hold tight for Paris to blow our minds, we recap some highlights from Milan. Don’t forget to check back over the weekend as we wax rhapsodic over Jil Sander, Pollini, and even Versace!

Below we spotlight five Milan shows. Enjoy!

Bottega Venneta: As always, Tomas Maier imparted masterful restraint into his Spring 2009 collection for the thinking person’s Italian luxury house. He claims, iIt’s not about seasonal dressing anymore—that’s gone. People like clothes they can collect and wear for years.” BV customers have sworn by such wisdom for years, and the time has never been better to invest yourself in the timeless elegance of the structured, leather shifts or tiered daydresses offered here. One of the week’s more noble efforts.

Marni: Consuelo Castiglioni sent out an ecclectic variety of signature Marni pieces – dusters, sack dresses, and her trademark architectural clogs – in especially strange pairings of oversaturrated colors and patterns. Resultantly, the distinctly Prada-esque collection once again celebrated the off-key charm of being fashionably frumpy. Marni even played with quirky transparency, substituting Prada’s Fall 2008 lace for enormous pailettes and fil coupe effects. Among our favorites: the early looks involving sheer green, boxy day coats and the subsequent glace à la fraise and pistachio ensembles. Seriously, frozen dessert hues are everywhere this season.

Roberto Cavalli: OUT: overtly sensual, tarty looks; animal prints; instant translation to the red carpet. IN: subdued, almost prim ruffled babydoll dresses, slinky black jersey cut-out numbers, tapestry and decorative arts inspiration, embroidery galore, waistless, op-art gowns. In other words, this ambitious collection was all over the place. Did it work? We’ll let you decide.

Fendi: Karl Lagerfeld decided to experiment with layering and form by way of airy fabrics and uber-cinched waistlines. In theory, we love the three-tiered skirts, the starched peplums, and the Trekkie silhouettes. There were times, however, where it all became too disjointed: the addition of broderie anglaise to the already complex formula rendered the overall effect too busy. Individually, though, many of these pieces will be dynamic enough to make a fierce, standalone sartorial statement. As part of an ensemble, they will coax new tricks out of your pre-existing wardrobe stables.

Dolce & Gabbana: Naysayers may claim that attempts to sophisticate their label’s editorial appeal mean that this adventurous duo have forgotten their muse – that brassy, pneumatic Milanese vixen – but we don’t agree. For Spring, Dolce and Gabbana channel Japanese traditional dress and “barocco” inspirations into a collection of ultra-chic pyjamas, kimono dresses, dangerous-looking, sharp-shouldered bolero jackets, to mostly agreeable results. For luxury addicts with a deathwish, the ornate, stratospheric platforms rivaled only Prada’s footwear for acrophobic appeal. Overall, we liked this collection very much and applaud this extroverted duo’s renewed creative vim and vigor. Their refusal to be pigeonholed is refreshing. They’ve come a long way from the commercial realm of the salacious Little Black Dress.