Disclaimer: time travels quickly and what was new is now being examined in retrospect.
Miuccia Prada showed her fall collection yesterday in Milan - it was a collection of great precision and familiarity. It was nostalgic, even, in the way it collaged the past collection of Ms. Prada together. Her greatest hits, so to speak. Nevertheless, it was a collection of remarkable distinction: it was a darker fantasy than we've seen in her past few seasons, reveling more in the silhouette of a film noir woman rather than that of a Twiggy type.
The set lent itself generously to that of a melodramatic film, playing very much with industrial settings and shadows. I couldn't help but elicit images of Jane Russell in that infamous haystack, what with the thermal Henley shirts and soft sweaters draped across the model shoulders. It was a interesting mix. Prada's woman was both shrouded in despair and mystery (see: wet hair, sultry undershirts) whilst remaining incredibly forceful, as she always manages to make her woman. For one, Ms. Prada worked with her thick wools to create armor out of the feminine shape of a bell skirt. Hits of her fall 2009 collection (jeweled wool coats and thick-soled platforms not unlike that of a fisherman's boot) were ample, this time around embellishing the asymmetric skirts.
What struck most significant about this collection - beautiful clothing aside - was the actual concept of revisiting past works. Miuccia Prada never has a shortage of ideas, so to go back to her old favorites was quite an interesting decision. For one, I think it represents this greater need and importance of revisiting the things that we've done well - and do them better. This collection was a healthy synthesis of all the main ideals of Prada: the soft vs hard, masculine vs feminine, luxury vs practical, beautiful vs ugly. Yet, the synergy was done in a way that didn't compromise the subtleties and qualities unique to this collection.