Prada S/S 2016

All in the family

It’s always nice to have good sons. Miuccia has two she is very proud of, and the profession of one of them, Lorenzo, a racecar driver, rippled through Sunday evening’s stellar show.

From Formula One racers dashing across cashmere sweaters to autos driven at high speed on fabulous multi-print dresses worn by the risqué ladies in this show. A good third of the collection featured women, staged with extraordinary gusto in the latest makeover of Prada’s former factory show-space.

 Prada The shorts are short in the opening look
The shorts are short in the opening look

But what mattered here were the clothes – notably superlative redingotes in wool so fine they floated off the models to natty calico shorts or forgiving sailors pants. Prada models are often a nerdy kind of boy. Not this season, when curly-haired Romantic poets strutted about, their collarbones and chests exposed beneath smooth lambskin jerkins.

Stellar casting and featherweight coat Prada
Stellar casting and featherweight coat

Athletic fellows, considering the Tour de France retro bicycle shirts and running shoes – perforated like pasta colanders, and again featuring images of racecars. And the guys could boast the coolest of dates: hot damsels in curvaceous town-coats and sleek cocktails composed of outrageous patchworks of sequins, metallic panels and six-inch all seeing eye print patterns.

The space Prada
The space

Guests twisted and turned through a chicane of corrugated plastic, Perspex poles and curving windows just to get to their seats in Miuccia’s new muse meets stage-set. The runway was in the pale concrete of a championship paddock. So much plastic, the house’s famous cucumber sandwiches were served inside the material.

Race car driver print Prada
Race car driver print

The set must have cost a small fortune, one small reason maybe that Prada’s profits did slide by almost one third in the latest financial quarter. But if that means we get to see such enthralling fashion spectacles as this one, well, then frankly who cares. Add to that a rippling soundtrack: DJ Frederic Sanchez at his sound-bending best, blending performance artist Holly Herdon with the latest rap.

Fashion at its best, instant desire created Prada
Fashion at its best, instant desire created

“Pas mal! Eh?” exulted Miuccia backstage, a thoroughly self-assured designer fully aware she had just staged a hit show. Which is what this was.

Indeed, it felt very much like Miuccia’s whole month here in Milan. Especially as she and hubby Patrizio Bertelli just opened their rather remarkable Fondazione Prada, whose soiree Sunday night was the must attend event of the season.

 

Goffredo, our capo and Robbie, capo di Panino bar at Fondzione Prada
Goffredo, our capo and Robbie, capo di Panino bar at Fondzione Prada

An utterly impressive assemblage of installations, exhibitions spaces with a witty retro-glam Wes Anderson designed suburban bar. A former factory space that somehow felt like a medieval Italian village meets high-tech research center. And an opening which boasted brilliant displays from such diverse ideas of art as Damien Hirst tropical fish in the operating room to a brilliantly realized interpretation of Ancient Art as a serialization of heroic images. In a word, as a vista of art and ideas Miuccia managed to stage a major intellectual coup – out thinking and performing the Louis Vuitton Foundation. As the Italians like to say – 10 e lode! And yes, coming back to son Lorenzo. He found the brilliant Panino maker Robbie for Wes’ bar after a six month scooter search through Milan. All in the family. Tutto in famiglia.