How cultured do you need to be to appreciate a PRADA show? On one level, not at all. What we see is what we’ll get for fall: generous coats and jackets trimmed with shaggy shearling or narrow-piped edgings, Constructivist-cum–Art Deco prints, narrow silk scarves, slyly sexy thirties/seventies dresses, sheer, boxy organza shapes, sloppy V-neck sweaters, wedge-heeled boots and strappy sandals. It is all, very recognizably, the product which comes from the heartland of Mrs. Prada’s aesthetic.
Tons of eminently wearable things to buy, then. On the other hand, there’s the setting, and the performance, and the hinterland of mood to understand. No Prada show proceeds without an art-slash social commentary seeping through the walls. For spring, it was all on the walls the jolly, colorful faces painted by graffiti artists, which were transferred onto the patchworked furs and bags. This time, the show space was clad in Joseph Beuys–like dark gray felt. Miuccia Prada has been reimmersing herself in the work of the post-war German avant-garde. “Fassbinder movies: The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Lola, as well as Pina Bausch. But when you do fashion, it’s not a pure transfer,” she said backstage. “People and their emotions are what I’m interested in that kind of humanity.” And with a little shrug, she added: “How that is related to clothes, I don’t know.”
Two orchestra pits were sunk into the raised runways. Inside them, musicians struck up live arrangements of a Kurt Weill sound track, and Barbara Sukowa, who starred as a prostitute in Fassbinder’s 1981 movie Lola, sang. Well, thanks to the good offices of Google and YouTube, everyone who is interested will be able to delve into the source material which sent Prada on her journey into fall.
Drawing back for a moment, though, it’s worth considering the bigger landscape or, rather, the emotions and impulses which are flowing through fashion’s creative minds this season. The graphic schemes and jarring colors of the early 20th-century Constructivist period have been percolating through other collections. So has the notion of bringing in live music as an accompaniment to fashion shows. What does this mean? A combination for something more grounded, real, and human-scale in our relentless digitally dominated era, perhaps. But is there time to pause and reflect on that before rushing onto the next trend?
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Monica Feudi / Indigitalimages
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