Only Prada Has The Answers

Up until now, Milan feels as though it's been lacking. Aside from a handful of labels - namely Marni, MSGM, Sunnei and Damir Doma - the feeling is that there's not all that much to write home about. Notable names are missing, or opting to show somewhere else or via a new format, which leaves the schedule feeling a little empty in substance. Until Prada. Because what lacks elsewhere can be made up for by Prada. Be that in the collection it actually is and the pieces you want to buy, or by what you want to read into it. Because this is probably one of its most potent tools: the power of suggestion.

Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION

Though here there were some pretty strong themes coming through: Futurism and Cubism contributed to the cartoon surroundings of the show space, now an ingredient known to be just as much a part of a Prada show as the collection itself - but not in the Insta-flippant way we've become so used to seeing elsewhere. There were no bells and whistles here, just good clothes, which of course also absorbed the aforementioned artistic eras.

Colourful collars and boilersuits were the styling notes, high waists on lean lengths of trouser, cardigans and shirts tucked in, a nod to the Thirties and the Fifties, bags that threw back to the Seventies but with all the hallmarks of fashion futurism. Apt given that it's a movement demarcated by youth, technology, industry, moving forward - and indeed originated in Italy. To read into it, like one can't help but do, it seems like the right kind of reflection on the world today. All the while bound up in a collection of clothes that people will buy and wear - that's the industry part. "Who's going to buy me the monkey jumper?" one fashion editor was overheard saying as we left the space - finally it felt like Milan had got going.

Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION

The collection riffed on uniforms but explored creativity and expression: these workwear looks with oversized and pointed collars - the serious takeaway - rendered in bright and colourful Cubist graphics. Little boxing shorts were for die-hard fans only, but overcoats and luggage tags provided both substantial and quick style-fix purchases. And ultimately, that's what a good collection is all about - balance and excitement.