Prada: classy and classica
Talk about clothes that grandes dames; career ladies; female decision makers; fashion fantasists and simple, young, hopeful millennials can all aspire to wear. In a great fashion show on a balmy Wednesday in Milan, Miuccia Prada staged one of her most noteworthy collections on the opening day of action in the Italian runway season.
From Nicole Kidman to Wes Anderson and Italian Instagram influencer Chiara Ferragni, la Miuccia had a novel front row. All the way to Lee Sun-mi, a Korean star who had hundreds of teenage girls literally squealing on the outside of the Fondazione Prada, where this show was held.
Legendary for her ability to create influential exhibition spaces, this season Signora Prada reinvented her largest gallery. It was done up like a giant terrace, tiled in naïve, Memphis colors; the audience even sitting on tile benches – all laid out like an arty maze.
"A terrace if a such an Italian phenomena, but it is also a universal idea. That’s why I like it," smiled a tanned Miuccia.
Historically, this designer did once have a habit of picking essentially Caucasian casts; but here again her models were a universal, inclusive selection this time.
Initially, one felt in familiar territory – brainy schoolmarm skirts done in semi-transparent linen, ladylike blazers or double-breasted coats with contrasting buttons, and bold 3D-check separates that looked to be made of expensive menswear tie fabrics.
Also making a comeback, the little black dress, which Miuccia whipped up twice – once, slim in chiffon and cut with a surgical skill of which Dr. Christiaan Barnard would have been proud; a second completed in giant dark crystals that was hyper refined.
Yet, everything had a slightly arty twist – the raw finish to linen blouses, the lichen and fern patterns of embroideries, the wonderful green leaf pattern on an orange top coat that glistened so much one almost started searching for a Geiger counter.
All topped by oversize gold-lattice jockey caps, swept-back flapper cloches or Annie Hall-worthy New England bonnets.
Backed up by a dramatic soundtrack of churning industrial and spacey sounds from JB Dunckel (one half of the group Air), this was a tremendous declaration of contemporary style, and earned a prolonged ovation that echoed around the massive former warehouse.
"I wanted style, rather than fashion. What is everyone saying today? That there is too much fashion, too much of everything around, so I wanted something that felt like classic and, well, worth keeping," concluded la Miuccia, before taking a sip of champagne and munching delicately on an anchovy sandwich.
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