There are orchestra pits in the middle of an elaborate configuration of runways at Prada, and everyone is looking at it through their iPhones. But it’s dark, which doesn’t make for the best photos. Inside the pits, instrumentalists warm up. I overhear someone saying that the setup is a carry-over from a similar stage set used during the men’s show in January. And that sounds about right. Miuccia Prada’s men and women’s shows usually operate with a one-two punch, exploring the same visuals and ideas. Curiosity piqued!
This is turning out to be a more low-key collection than the splashy, graphic spring Prada coats and dresses that the street style scenesters have been wearing this week. The opening look, a loose satin black dress, worn over a grey turtleneck and tall red boots, frankly looks somber. Sheer slip dresses and boxy, mannish coats with metallic piping follow, with not a crystal or a hint of print or pattern in sight. It honestly feels anti-climactic after spring, which had so much on the surface (color! prints! jewels!) and underneath (a radical commentary on feminism and intelligent art references).
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But it doesn’t take long before the Seventies, a decade she’s mined for years, rears its head in all of its flamboyant glory. There are brightly colored coats, embellished with thin strips of shearling and graphic, fluid dresses covered in retro prints and then — pow! — a series of long-haired fur dresses, one in red, the other in gold. Let that one sink in: long, gold, fur. Prada has an unmistakable way of making the garish look intelligent, the street style bait not look so try-hard, and the commercially appealing look artful. That’s why most of these pieces (I’m placing bets on the shearling jackets and sporty platform shoes), which would look ridiculous in anyone else’s hands, will most likely fly off the shelves. Remember, Prada has consistently posted sales growth for several years now. Even if this collection is not her most exciting, she’s still on a roll.
Hushed anticipation from every important person in the business as per usual. And the best sighting of the night: Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti.
The major trends
Seventies-inspired prints and shapes, and shearling.
Live music provided by an orchestra and the Berlin singer Barbara Sukowa, who belted out Kurt Will songs.
What this will mean for your wardrobe
Bejeweled clothes may be nearing the end of their run. They were noticeably missing from this collection. And whatever Miuccia Prada says…