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
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?