“Classic film noir Hollywood but reinterpreted by a replicant from Blade Runner,” summed up film director James Lima after the Prada show. He was referring to the character Rachel in the cult sci-fi film directed by Ridley Scott. A pretty astute description of the house's fall/winter 2013 collection coming from a man who has been the creative mind behind some of Prada’s most audacious and esoteric digital endeavors including the recently launched interactive Il Palazzo app.
This was a collection that explored the idea of repressed sensuality through the prism of two iconic dress silhouettes of the late 1940s and early 1950s.
There were variations on a full-skirted coat dress and a more fitted alternative with a schizophrenic skirt that hung in longer draping fabric on one side.
From there it was just a question of how to blend different textiles, textures and shades to bring to life a glamorous woman who felt a bit undone, rubbed raw by the world around her. So a model, her hair in disheveled wet waves as if she had just come in from the rain, but with her red lips still perfectly done, would appear on the catwalk in an asymmetrical sleeveless tweed dress left unzipped to hang off the shoulders, suggesting an afternoon tryst abruptly interrupted. Elsewhere, a gingham dress, cinched close to the body by a wide metallic leather belt and accessorized with a tweed bowler bag and chunky sandals, was so sharply constructed that it gave off an aloof air.
Along with those lopsided skirts, the most memorable elements of this show were the oversized fur or fabric cuffs which showed up on the sleeves of everything from an elegant robin’s egg-blue A-line coat to short wool jackets. Both those designs, which came in daywear styles or black beaded eveningwear alternatives, are sure to fly out of stores the second they hit the racks. Because even though some might say this show was less directional than a typical Prada collection, and perhaps a bit repetitive, that actually worked in its favor. This elegant show was filled with subtle pieces that, for once, will not be so easily identifiable with a particular season, making them the most ideal of Prada purchases.
- Jessica Michault