Versace showed off a bold collection with knee-high lace-up boots, red fur coats and military epaulettes as a decision nears for the sale of a minority stake in the family firm.
Creative director Donatella Versace said the collection was about feminine "attitude" and the typically brash Fashion Week catwalk began with the gates of an imaginary palace being opened.
It was a palace inhabited by models in asymmetrical skirts, figure-hugging sailors' jackets and see-through lace dresses judging by Versace's designs for the autumn-winter 2014-2015 season.
Founded by the late Gianni Versace in 1978, the company is looking to sell a stake of about 20 percent in the first quarter of this year amid high foreign interest in Italy's luxury sector.
The company is currently 30-percent owned by Gianni's brother Santo, who is the chairman, 20 percent by Donatella and 50 percent by her daughter Allegra.
Day three of Milan fashion week also saw Etro's rich fabrics and patterns, inspired by the Silk Road and Central Asia in a kind of "folk couture".
Giorgio Armani's youth line Emporio Armani instead featured a muted palette of greys, blacks and whites, offset only with the occasional use of turquoise.
Blumarine's Anna Molinari looked to Japan with a flowery and silky collection that also featured black tailleurs with gold embroidery and sexy leather trouser suits.