While other global fashion houses on the resort show calendar continue their shock and awe strategy of immersing journalists and clients in ever more elaborate sets and locations that recreate golden eras that may never have really existed (viz Dior’s sumptuous Marrakesh adventure earlier this week), Miuccia Prada seems to have found her groove showing her resort collection in The Old Piano Building, a former factory that houses Prada’s offices in mid-town New York.
“I find it reassuring to be somewhere my own,” she says. It also happens to have expansive views of the city and the Hudson River, which roots her clothes in the here and now. That’s important. The here and now may not be comfortable – Miuccia has frequently expressed her anxiety about the state of politics across the globe and her creeping sense that free and measured speech is being superseded by screeching rants – but it’s all we have.
Like Rousseau, her refuge is simplicity. And like Rousseau, her simplicity is a sophisticated interpretation. The C19th century writer, whose philosophies encroached on fashion and what we would now call lifestyle (it was thanks to Rousseau that Marie Antoinette abandoned her brocades, panniers and powdered wigs and took up exquisitely “simple” muslin gowns, the better to live the good life on her “farm” at Le Petit Hameau in Versailles), would have appreciated Miuccia’s charming cottons – jackets, blouses, coats – often hand-embroidered or delicately printed with flowers or paisleys, and layered in charming haphazardness – together with stripes and checks which, this being Prada looks delightfully chic.(Side note: Maria Grazia Chiuri, in her blockbuster for Dior also chose cotton to reinterpret and modernise many of Dior’s iconic codes. Brush up your ironing skills).
The big news at Prada is the elongated proportions, the layering (shirts worn one on top of the other, beneath an outer layer of parka or duster coat) and the sweet medley of colours. There was none of Prada’s deliberately off jolts, not a single apocalyptic, dark moment, unlike the winter collection she showed in February.
“Maybe underneath I’m an optimist,” she laughed. Or maybe she’s intuitively reflecting the way most of us get on with our lives even when everything around seems to be heading in a worrying direction. “I wanted to keep it real and strip away excess. And then I worried that maybe it wasn’t enough”.
It was – and more. Miuccia Prada, who’s about to turn 70, showed a collection fizzing with ideas and delectable clothes. Here’s the lowdown:
Still getting your head round double denim? Don’t bother. Double shirting is the new styling trick in town. Simply layer different patterns on top of one another and peel off when the temperature requires.
These haven’t been a thing since the early ‘90s, when Prada first made contact with the fashion crowd– not that anyone used the phrase back then. Come November 2019, when this collection begins to arrive in store, nylon bags will be a major thing, assuming the high street doesn’t make them a thing sooner. Which it will.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re abstract, geometric or digital, Prada has a knack with prints. Almost every pattern she’s done has turned into a classic. And these Liberty-esque ones are already classics, yet fresh when layered under windowpane checks or over stripes.
A worthy alternative to trainers, they partnered everything from cropped trousers and embroidered smocks to dresses. There were t-bar heels as well.
The Shirt Jacket Suit
Prada’s new delicately printed trouser suit has a soft, deconstructed jacket with bracelet length sleeves, a shirred waist and 7/8 trousers. It’s part utility, part C18th romance and eminently wearable.
Like Dior, Prada has fallen in love with cotton, using it for just about everything in the collection, and splicing stripy cotton shirt sleeves onto sprig-printed dresses.“It makes everything feel simpler and more approachable,” she said, which is pretty much what Maria Grazia said. It takes a woman…
Giant sequin stripy scarves
File under items you don’t need but inexplicably lust after.