Milan Fashion Week: Off-kilter Prada repulses and attracts in equal measure

 

Milan

Miuccia Prada titled her autumn/winter 2014 womenswear collection “Act II”. Given that she presented her menswear barely a month ago – and included a few womenswear pieces in the mix – that could be interpreted as a side-swipe at a constantly revved-up fashion system. The few weeks in between have been but an interlude. Tonight, we were back to the real action.

Miuccia Prada is a scene-stealer. Her fashion shows are the ones that define the season, whether men’s or women’s. In this show, models of both sexes paraded clothes to underline her  aesthetic point, while an oom-pah band and string quartet offered modern reinterpretations of works by Brechtian composer and collaborator Kurt Weill.

That chimes with fashion as a whole, which so often remixes the greatest hits of other decades. The 70s remixed the 30s, after all. This feels a little like déjà vu, because Miuccia Prada’s menswear tackled the same feel. She paraded her womenswear on an almost-identical set. It all sounds like nit-picking, but Prada is built around signs and symbols, the meaning inherent in every facet of her vision. Nothing is left to chance.

Not least of all, the clothes. That could make them sound like an afterthought, or at least a second thought, which certainly wasn’t the case. If Prada is inspired by performance, despite the theatrics, the clothing is always the star of the show. There were Deco echoes in a muddied palette dominated by bruise purple, nicotine yellow, red and black, and in the silhouettes, drop-waisted satin dresses with tied-necks, hefty overcoats with thick half-belts and linear flapper-style dresses. Sometimes streamers of goat or shearling tufted along the seams, like a Surrealist negligee.

Models wear creations for Prada women's Autumn-Winter 2014-15 collection Models wear creations for Prada women's Autumn-Winter 2014-15 collection

There’s a repulsion to that image that is quintessentially, perversely Prada. It was like the slightly dissonant notes sounded by the violinists, that seemed skewed and off-kilter, but was entirely intentional. If Prada sets our teeth on edge, it’s entirely intentional. And so good, this season, she decided to do it twice.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

    £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

    Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

    £26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

    RuPaul interview

    The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
    Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

    Mark Hix goes summer foraging

     A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
    Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

    With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

    Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
    Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

    Aaron Ramsey interview

    Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
    Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

    Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

    As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
    The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

    Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

    Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life