Autumn/ Winter 2014-15 Prada
AT a Prada show, the scene is almost as crucial to the collection as the clothes. Mrs Prada is a woman who considers everything. And so, walking through a dark felted tunnel, with padded insulation lining the floors and walls, one begins to wonder. It led to a room with two sunken orchestra pits dotted with music stands and microphones.
It transpired Barbara Sukowa would be performing live rearrangements of Kurt Weill. Were we transported into a sound-proofed recording studio?
The fact is, with a collection as good as this it didn’t really matter where we were. This was one of Miuccia Prada’s strongest outings in recent years. First came a series of grey jackets and coats, mannish and a little oversized (but not verging on the ridiculous like some we have seen this season) with seams bursting with tufts of shaggy Mongolian fur. They came with loose Seventies shirtdresses, and like every other look here this evening, they were finished with a thin silk scarf and a pair of stomping pumps lifted up on wedged soles.
They progressed into fraggle shearlings, in shapes that are more familiar with a Seventies market trader, but in poppy hits of mustard and red, or purple and yellow with wide lapels and fluffy trims. This idea of accenting edges continued through to dresses too. Here, the seams on the wispiest, sheerest chiffon slip dresses sprouted the tiniest slither of goat hair and Mongolian fur, while trims were piped in soft gold leather. Colour combinations were beautifully surprising: one comprised khaki silk, with teal hair and black Mongolian tufts, another version brought together stormy grey silk with blonde goat hair and black Mongolian. They were gently layered over plunging V-neck sweaters in fine wool or see-through silk shirts. Elsewhere, Art Deco geo prints, a Prada favourite, popped up on wool crêpe dresses and overcoats. But beauty – and aching desirability – was even to be found on the simplest of plain black dresses. Like the way in which metallic piping traced a triangle bust line, the waist and hips, even, the edges of an inverted pleat before disappearing at the back into a perfect display of crisscross over the shoulder blades.
As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that a new way to hold a bag has emerged, according to Mrs Prada. Tonight firmly heralded the end of the “hug” technique. Chain-handled satchels were worn over the shoulder, but aggressively tugged down so the bag flipped on its side and jutted out from behind. Like everything else here, it felt entirely new. It’s these kind of nuances that set Prada apart from – probably – just about every other designer working right now. From those opening tailored jackets with added fuzz, to the jaunty prints, to the dresses, and bags – women everywhere will want a piece of this collection.
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