Miuccia Prada is the Meryl Streep of the fashion world. No Oscar nods under her belt, but it’s the superlative consistency that makes her fashion’s surest thing. Like watching a brilliant Streep performance, you can signal out the very particular ‘isms’ of the Prada brand with each new collection, and Fall is packed to the brim with them.
Subversion has proven to be her most identifiable calling-card. In a collection heavy on layering and suiting, there was a set of bare-midriff coats that scaled down the backs of models like some perverse take on a man’s penguin tux. For the most part it was unequivocally femme – an emphasis on the waist by way of narrow, sleeveless overcoats, each side of the plankets encrusted in black and white tsarina joaillerie embroideries. That trick is old hat Prada. We’ve seen that kind of sensuous skewing on her rumpled and crinkled taffeta dresses back in Spring 2009.
But there was a slight mannish subtext. Those oversized rubber sole shoes should feel somewhat familiar – you don’t have to go too far in the archives to pinpoint where those came from – so should the eyewear, an even more modern take on the chic Edwardian sunglasses from her menswear show a little over a month ago (Where the mens’ were red, the womens’ were purple, ditto on the grandiose carpet that filled the same show space).
It was a veritable layers-fest. No dress came down without a pair of tailored black flares with encrusted cuffs underneath. And when color came into play, Prada sported some Mod-ish 60s Pucci-esque micro-prints that, at times, seemed to mirror the regal geometry of the purple expanse. Everyone is bound to rant, rave, shoot, buy, succumb. Just like every other season. That’s an ultimate old-hat Prada-ism if there ever was one.