25 February 2011

MFW A/W '11 Report: Prada


In the concrete Prada space, with the sounds of Elin Klinga’s haunting voice on Spark’s ‘Garbo Sings’ and models in drop waisted coats, with deep fur shawl collars and cloche hats it only took a small leap of imagination to be transported to a nightclub in Berlin in the 1930’s.

Miuccia Prada is not naturally nostalgic. When the season is in the grip of another style revival (favourite decade this time out: the 1970’s)  hers is the show we all look forward to for some steer to the future. But she is a romantic and a modernist and so if she was going to take refuge from the future in a chapter of the past, Weimar Germany is a likely choice. The decades between the wars were noted for a creative surge in art, architecture, two of Miuccia’s passions. And last night the style icon of the time, Greta Garbo, took to the Prada catwalk in 21st century form.

Loose drop waisted shifts with box pleated skirts hovering above the knee were accessories with helmet hats fastened with straps under the chin and clutch bags gripped chest high. Boots that looked like knee socks in sturdy high heeled loafer had a distinctly cubist feeling.

Colours were very Wiener Werkstatte: golden yellows, honey browns, rusty reds and black.  Until the very end, when a series of cocktail dresses, in the same drop waisted shape, covered in translucent paillettes jangled down the runway in a pale metallic shimmer.

It’s a bit of a worry in troubled times like these when designers drift back to the thirties for inspiration.  Hopefully there’s absolutely no connection with what happened next. Regardless of the historical references: you will want the shawl collared coats and the clutch bags.

by Paula Reed in Milan


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