Prada’s marvelous monster ball
That’s what they call a great fashion show. The latest stylistic statement by Miuccia Prada presented Sunday evening in a chilly Milan; a co-ed show that referenced everything from the marginal masses to monster balls.
A brilliant re-evoking of Prada’s DNA for winter 2019, and a subtle political statement from Italian fashion’s foremost thinker, la Signora Prada. Plus, in a moment of political convulsions throughout Europe, a reminder that fashion too plays a role, even if small, in visually summarizing each era’s angst.
Moreover, talk about staging with consummate skill. The latest concrete hall to be completed inside the Fondazione Prada kitted out with soaring bleachers and a giant oblong catwalk in black foam sound baffles – which turned out to be very comfortable places to actually sit. Within that, a catwalk illuminated by spotlights and giant retro lamp-bulbs.
"I was thinking of the great mass of people, who are not rich, who struggle to pay bills and survive, and how they dress and live," revealed Miuccia, post show, after posing before a new Prada logo made in the same foam baffles. A logo on a bright yellow wall, the latest example of the revolt in France of the Gilets Jaunes seeping into Milan this season. We had already witnessed similar yellows at such diverse brands as Bottega Veneta and Versace this weekend.
Out on the catwalk, guys marched in understated suits; pants cut above the ankle, forgiving jackets and coats held around the waist with double-strand belts. Workerist and very elegant. Her other big idea was some magical midnight-blue or jet-black safaris remade as down jackets, and finished with pockets on the sleeves. Sure to ignite a major trend worldwide.
The opening female looks were also deceptively simple, like remarkably well cut little black dresses, with off the shoulder bra-like tops. Before Miuccia suddenly changed two gears, adding in a playful injection of horror movie style; like prints of Frankenstein’s face and weird deformed flowers, used in powerful to-the-knee skirts; and paired with pink mohair tops and bustiers in, what else, the signature fabric of Prada, lustrous black nylon. While pleated skirts in dense cottons, embroidered with crystals looked fantastic on Kaia Gerber and Gigi Hadid, they will also look excellent on career ladies twice their age. One of Prada’s greatest strengths as a designer is ultimately the fact that her clothes translate beautifully on women in multiple stages in their lives.
Taking the whole shebang to new heights, a great series of accessories. Like the new mid-sized backpacks finished with narrow shoulder and chest straps; or some great tractor tire shoes and boots.
A masterful soundtrack by Frédéric Sanchez blasting out Marilyn Manson, Tuxedomoon and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“I wanted to reflect what I was thinking about our times. Even if, as we are making fashion, it all had to be optimistic and fun, which the horror show helped with,” laughed Prada, dressed in a beautiful tobacco-hued suede redingote, before being engulfed by fans. All desperate for a photo of her in front of the aforesaid yellow wall.
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