Wednesday, 8 August 2012

PRADA Fall/Winter 2012/13

Lit by overhead neon-light strips, and with purple carpet embellished with deco-Navajo motifs underfoot, Miuccia Prada’s 41-strong girl army marched out one by one with martial precision of movement, kohl-smudged eyes, and ironed hair lengthened with extensions in contrasting (but natural) shades to their own. When they returned for their final file-past, they looked even more like a fashion battalion all dressed as they were in subtly nuanced versions of the same unrelenting (and, unless you are a six-foot Amazon, relatively unforgiving) silhouette: a lean pant with a dainty flare cropped just above the ankle and a high-waist jacket (generally defined with a martingale-buttoned belt), topcoat, or tunic.

To extend the line, they wore platform shoes with the flare-heel profile evocative of the playful footwear that John Fluevog made for Deee-Lite’s Lady Miss Kier, circa 1990, only these were lacquered with a contrast latex paint strip in a broad horizontal band. (One brief passage substituted mannish Oxford’s with platform-crepe soles.) And the models each gripped vari-scaled satchels, doctor’s bags, or the daintiest minaudière-scaled purses.

This powerfully focused show opened with black pieces in the sort of thick, spongy wools favored by the Paris haute couturiers in the early sixties (as well as Persian lamb), glistening with luxe rectangular jet lozenges on revers and weighting the pant hems. The opening jacket had a bustle-pleat effect in back, and there were abstract tailcoat panels giving interest to the back of the lean 7/8 coats, Miuccia’s own uniquely idiosyncratic take on the Edwardian theme that has laced the collections.

And was that repeated crystal and jet embroidery motif a Metropolis-era comet or an eye winking through clouds? A subtle nod to Elsa Schiaparelli, perhaps, the brilliant maverick Italian-born couturiere who collaborated with the surrealists was celebrated at the Costume Institute’s exhibition this spring, in conversation with Miuccia’s own provocative, irresistible oeuvre.

Perhaps inspired by a trip through her archives, Miuccia seemed to have mined her own fashion house history for those over-scale embroideries, and also for the geometric prints and vivid color combinations. Evocative of sixties decorator David Hicks, those hexagon and lozenge designs were especially Op Art eye-popping when different motifs were used for coat, pant, purse, and shoe. Of course, back in the showroom there will doubtless be a whole universe of options, but it is the mark of Miuccia Prada’s strength that she can focus a runway show with this much acuity.

Selections  by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: © VOGUE
Photography: © Marcio Madeira/firstView


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