Prada delivers spectacle of fashion theatrics during autumn/winter 2014 show


Fashion Editor

The theatre of fashion - specifically, of the fashion show - is very difficult to get right. It's like walking a tightrope, where you risk falling off into sartorial extremity, or allowing catwalk histrionics to overshadow the clothing on show.

Miuccia Prada walks that fine line better than anyone. She's Italian fashion's most consistent performer. Her autumn/winter 2014 show was a paean to performance, models mounting raised podiums atop an already towering catwalk, circling the audience and a live woodwind ensemble. Spotlights and oompah band music (including snippets of Kurt Weil) conspired to a Cabaret mood. More divine decadence and a touch of decay than all-singing, all dancing. 

That was reflected in the garb of Mrs Prada's cast of fashion characters, rakish men slinking in lightweight wool suiting, shoulder-tossed scarves, stockingette knits and fur, a smattering of female models turning tricks in taut leathers and chiffon negligees with a hint of Saint Laurent circa 1972, underlining the oft-androgynous air of her menswear offerings. But there was also sportswear with the suiting, quilted utility vests and nylon bags buckled against the models bodies. In a sense, a tailored suit and a track-suit are both forms of costume, as extreme to some as the full-length furs and fox tippets Prada fastened around her male and female models alike. In the theatre, dressing the part is half of the performance itself. Look like a businessman, act like a businessman, and who's to say you're not? Prada was a celebration of the transformative theatre of fashion and the performative power of clothing.

Enough obfuscating cant: ultimately what matters is that this was a virtuoso showing, a cap to a strong second day of the Italian winter menswear shows. Some were unexpected, like the subtle pinstriped suiting in delicious shades of blueberry, grape and lychee ochre in Massimiliano Giornetti's Salvatore Ferragamo collection. Giornetti turned away from last season's trite sports and mired his clothes in pure luxury. They were superb.

As was Tomas Maier's Bottega Veneta collection which opened the day, soft clothes for hard times with hyper-luxurious thermals worn beneath - or sometimes instead of - slimline suiting. The idea was country and city combining, which is shaping up to be something if a seasonal theme, justifying outfits that fuse the formal with the sporting, or perhaps just juxtapose the two. Calvin Klein's Italo Zucchelli coloured sporty bombers and quilted nylon gilets in suiting shades of camel and slate-blue, overcoats cut on swaggering Linebacker lines. The testosterone in the air was pungent, as pungent as Klein's still-best selling stable of scents. Their names - Obsession, Eternity and Escape - were emblazoned across sweatshirts. And really that trio of iconic slogans epitomises what fashion should aim to elicit in, and evoke, to its audience. 

Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

    Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

    Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

    UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

    Day In a Page

    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan