Bright stripes and brothel creepers top the agenda for Summer 2011 at Prada. The staging might have scared us (metal cage for the photographers and concrete pillars on a metal grid runway). It boded something much colder and way more sombre than we actually got.
It started with a curvy, but not tight, knee length tailored shift with kimono sleeves in a punchy orange. That was followed by a suit in emerald green which was followed by another simple v necked shift in purple. Brothel creeper shoes with striped crepe soles echoed the bright colour blocks. After a winter collection of Mad Men inspired nostalgia for the 1960’s, there wasn’t even a nod to the hourglass silhouette. This was a whole different kind of feminine fantasy: strong, simple shapes, worked in a silhouette that was feminine but easy on the body. There were no corseted bosoms or cinched waists. And it was all worked in exuberantly bright colours.
The sundresses with the drop frilled hems in deck chair stripes may have been vaguely inspired by a nostalgia for La Dolce Vita and the banana printed shirts and jangly jewel-trimmed sundresses might have been a nod to Copacabana, but it was subtle as if in a dream sequence. There was something almost surreal about the dresses printed with monkeys hanging baroque scrolls that matched the scroll detailed sunglasses. And there was something trippy about the bright fox furs and technicolour striped fake furs that accessorised the sundresses. It was almost like a movie played at the wrong speed. We got it, but we didn’t.
Dresses, prints and suiting alike were cut in crisp cotton which gave the entire collection a fresh, care free feeling. Rafia woven Mary Janes were instantly covetable as were the bold striped skirts with frilled hems and contrast stripe sweaters, or the simple white shifts with kaleidoscopic motif. And you’ll want the stripey clutch bags the moment you see them.
A creatively vibrant and commercially strong collection: now there’s something you don’t see every day.
-Paula Reed in Milan