Miuccia Prada's subtle experimentation

02 March 2009

Prada AW 09

Huge expectation filled the room for the Prada A/W '09 show. Was the toughness of her last men's collection an indicator of what was to come? Would she too go back to the 1980s and confirm the Milanese catwalks to be in a sort of style time warp? And why was the venue so tiny: a penned-off area in her vast show space big enough for only 50 editors to get front row seats (we got two!)? When all was finally revealed it was clear that Miuccia as always has her eye on the horizon, not the history books. And while there wasn't as much big news as say the lace collection, there were some amazing pieces and many of them had a more timeless appeal than catwalk statement quality. The subtleties might have been missed in a huge venue so this was why we were huddled up so close to the clothes. Mannish boiled wools and chunky gabardines opened the show. Roomy tailored jackets were belted over flared A-line skirts. The thigh-high waders held up with suspenders were weird. But the Mary-Janes shot straight to the top of everyone's list. Devoré velvets and brocade looked like instant heirloom pieces and the studded gladiator evening dresses at the end were one of the entire season's headline pieces. Sorry Miuccia, how could we have doubted you...


Burnt orange colour palette for day – rust is the new black.

Prada AW 09

Velvet brocade coats.

Prada AW 09

The fringe finned Mary-Janes.

prada aw09

The gladiator dresses.

Prada AW 09

The boxy mannish coats.

Prada AW 09

- Paula Reed


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