This season at Prada, we are taken on a whirlwind of a journey through many contrasting inspirations. Miuccia Prada is the queen of vulgar beauty: she never just sends out a pretty dress, there has to be a twist. This season was no exception to her pleasingly schizophrenic aesthetic.
The runway was a hint to an industrial theme: a simple stage made of flat, bright lights that resembled a factory ceiling or abandoned subway station. The first look out was a bright orange dress with broad shoulders, which resembled a hospital scrub. All of the colors were bold from the striped sundresses to the suits that hinted back to the 90's. But there's a catch. Prada did not want to be yet another to do the whole Helmut-Lang-Reincarnated thing, so she chose two opposites to unite: minimalism and baroque. Just when one would think that those two styles could not be more different, Miuccia Prada manages to make them a fusion so well.
I really loved the dresses and prints that hinted back to Josephine Baker's Paris. The very literal monkey and banana prints combined with the hair and makeup (which was, too, quite literal to that of Baker's) brought me back to a scene in my head of a crackly, old film from the twenties of Baker smiling and performing crazy dances moves - or at least crazy for the time.
The shoes and sunglasses were so amazing, too. I especially loved the wedges that were half-loafer or Italian mens' shoes and half-rainbow cookie on the bottom. And the sunglasses were a mix of candy and baroque in the shape of a welding or lab goggle. A weave of work, play and imagination.
Overall, a spectacular collection filled with all sorts of references that no one else would be successful at pulling together. Let's see we have: Josephine Baker, the 90's, minimalism, baroque, the 30's, the 20's, scrubs, and I'm sure many more that the right person could pick up on. Mrs. Prada provides a sense of mystery in her collections and often leaves viewers in a twisted mind-state on what they just saw. The irony is perhaps what makes her brand so unique and powerful. A true talent and by far the best out of the Milan shows. Prada is what fashion is about: posing and playing with questions that concern our society and everyday life.
photos via Style.com