Milan show report: Prada hits the headlines

25 September 2009

Miuccia Prada designs in headlines. And this year we’re talking Culture Clash Couture, or how about Fashion Mash-Up, or maybe Look Back in Luxury. There are fashion shows you can go to where you get the message in the first few outfits, and frankly spend the rest of the time catching up with emails (or catnapping… yes, that why fashion editors wear sunglasses). But Miuccia is the advanced class. You lose concentration for a second here and you are lost. And then somehow in the end it all makes perfect sense, and you realise there is barely an outfit that is not rounding out the key message which brings us back to those headlines.

The setting was the first clue – a huge theatrical backdrop down the centre of the runway (splitting it in two) on which were projected a terrace of grand houses with open doors, showing glimpses of glossy interiors and huge chandeliers. The projection changed throughout to show sepia toned Miami beaches from the 1950’s lined with palm trees. It was Old World meets new, but in a romantic and highly stylised way. The images may have been like picture postcards, but there was not a tourist in track-pants to be seen. Miuccia once told me she hates it when people go badly dressed to beautiful places, because “it interferes with the monuments”. Quite right.

Then the clothes: steely grey zibeline suits (a traditional old world couture fabric with a gleaming rather than glossy finish generally used for quite stiff suiting) were cut in slim three quarter length jackets and cigarette pants made modern by being scissored off at hip and knee leaving ragged hems. The projected themes from an old world Miami beach were worked afresh into printed ladylike tunic tops, trapeze line jackets were cut in cloqué (another classic couture fabric that is also quite stiff and heavy) but a version so light it was almost transparent. Underneath there were some dubious silky running shorts (scarily like the ones the guys wear in the 118 118 ad…I kid you not). And then those projected chandeliers came to life as crystal trims on simple shifts or sweaters, and gradually became sparkling dresses. A tribute to 1960’s futurism, but Prada style, pumped up on steroids. And as they jingled down the runway, it was hard not to think “and she shall have music wherever she goes”.

5 things we loved
1. the zibeline shift printed with flowers and zibeline grey slim coat
2. the crystal chandelier dresses
3. the transparent cloqué trapeze jacket
4. the Miami print fitted shell top
5. the crystal trimmed clear plastic shoes

-         Paula Reed


All posts must obey the house rules, if you object to any comments please let us know and we'll take the appropriate action.