Miuccia’s Life Aquatic
By any standards – even for industry leader Miuccia Prada – this was a remarkable way to stage a runway show. An interior lake in a cobalt blue. A catwalk that appeared to float on the surface, the water surrounded by bleacher seating all done in deep pile chocolate carpeting, it was a charming work of landscape art, all installed in the former factory in south Milan that is Prada’s legendary headquarters.
Somewhat surprisingly into that scene marched a collection that was equal parts new and nostalgic, in a show that mixed both Prada’s spring 2015 menswear and its women’s pre-collection for next summer. The nostalgia evoked in the hairstyling – Jean Shrimpton Swinging London bouffants for the gals. Having recently worked with director Wes Anderson for a commercial, it was clear to see that Miuccia’s ideal man is very much a character out of one of Anderson’s contrived works of cinema. Hair parted, slightly long and waify in the back, the models looked like young upper class gents from Hungary and Austria representing the collection’s deeply Middle European roots. To stir things up, the key material was denim, a fabric that also made its first mark in fashion back in the 60’s.
Which is where Miuccia’s deft hand came in, cutting workerist jackets and cool wool pale gray office suits finished with bold saddle stitching, many looks trimmed with plastic stripes. The effect was simple yet telling. Her stiff young men marched by in sleek sandals, finished with clunky, futurist plastic trim. Stitching for the men, and crystals for the women outlined patch pockets, waistlines and seams of gentlemanly car coats and blazers, or crisp skirts and stiff ladylike boleros. It all seemed very in-synch with the inspiring formality of the splendid setting, though curiously sexless, just like the quirky characters in Anderson’s films, whose spiky friendships reveal their characters in his idiosyncratic works.