Clomping away at her own precedent, Miuccia Prada once again defined what it means to be subversive, ahead-of-the-curve and downright didactic when it comes to fashion schooling. Her set today for fall '13 featured shadowy ceiling fans, projections of preening women and, yes, a cat – suggesting some kind of only-in-Prada-ville dreamscape halfway between Havana Nocturne and Grey Gardens. And the clothes, in their brilliant rehashing, retained as much depth and dishevelment as the gloomy staging. This was a moodier house, but even in its somberness, the impact registered as lucid and genuinely pleasurable.
Our first hint was the opening look, an innkeeper-plays-dress-up, black-sequined number over a loose, sooty knit. It set the tone for Prada’s inevitable sweet spot between the done and the unfinished, with brand staples rendered in thrilling déshabillé cinematic references (soaking wet hair, lost in the wild) and progressive undertones.
The ashen and noir converged into smart, fresh wool coats – often with puffed-up cuffs in sable and ultra-fine chinchilla. Exotics played a bigger role than usual, mainly in their maxi-proportions across the aforementioned sleeves, but also in fur topcoats of varying lengths and cola-brown croc twinsets (above, smaller image). Gingham checks, somehow both romantic and domestic (like an old-fashioned picnic), rounded out Prada’s key motifs.
Nothing was amiss. So honed and yet oblique was Miuccia’s vision (more so than ever, in fact) that noteworthy standouts were hard to come by. Color junkies will gun for her 50s-inspired, acid-teal tweed jacket lined in gunmetal mink or her washed-out cerulean leather trench over a blanket-checked skirt in classic red and white (above, main image). The less outré may take up with a prim pink-gingham coatdress, or one of the brand's exemplary crocodile clutches in a new, half-moon shape.
In any event, Prada is now the show to beat of the fall season. As the models traipsed around the dilapidated milieu to a minimal, thumping electro-beat, one couldn't help but read a sort of sweeping, animated poetry in its context, with the slightest air of humor about its melancholic mettle.