Miuccia Prada is known to drive things forward with her work so it was a surprise to see this show which seemingly retrogazed in a way that was both familiar to Prada fans who will recognise a lot of the traits of this collection as well as actually referencing the past 50s and 60s.
Discordant jazz with a dark undertone and a comic book style animation on the screen depicting retro cliches set the scene for the troop of cinched in waists, high necks and an undeniable emphasis on the breasts all in prints that were trademark Prada. This wasn't a plus size show but curvier faces made an appearance to add some actual bounce to the printed dresses that both hugged and flared out at the right places.
Secretaries both sexy and repressed (the characters Joan Holloway and Peggy Olsen of the hit TV series Mad Men definitely came to mind) were trooping out, either comfortable in their curvy prowess or shirking away with a slightly geeky demureness. Thus the message wasn't that this collection represents some kind of idealised look of the 50s/60s or that curves are back, but that we have been missing these 'classics' for a long time and that these shapes are not to be banished to costume legions.
As with most Prada collections, the key is in the hard conviction of the entire look and here, Miuccia commits to the shapes with the cartoonish exaggeration on the chest with the use of multi-tiered ruffles, some edged with beading as well as suggestive cut-outs beneath the chest. The front frilled knitted knee highs and riffs on past Prada shoe styles (kitten heels, mary janes and loafers) added a coquettish touch. Jackets, princess coats and skirts were given tan and black patent finishes adding an off-kilter contrast to the printed pieces and the chunky cable knits moulded into sweater and skirt sets as well as jet black complex embroidery added different dimensions of texture.
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