Patchy Prada makes a virtue of showing its stitchwork, Milan Fashion Week review

Everything was patchworked at the spring/summer 2015 presentation of the Italian luxury fashion house

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Indy Lifestyle Online

For once, there was a clue of what was to come before we even arrived at Via Antonio Fogazzaro for the spring/summer 2015 Prada show.

We didn’t realise it, but the fact the invitation headbutted latex and linen together hinted at how the show would pan out. The shag-carpeted walkway circled a surreal pile of parma-violet sand – more attractive opposites, plus that rug was a vestige of Miuccia Prada’s June menswear collection, punctuated then with suspiciously azure pools.

If that menswear selection was devoted to pin-neat perfectionism – topstitching emphasising strict seams with a Seventies inflection – this womenswear outing was more undone. Undone, unravelled, inside-out – the garments were all of the above, flaunting their raw seam allowances, artfully distressed and unravelling. And many were the seams. Pieces were Frankensteined together from disparate elements and contrasting fabric (just like that latex-linen combo).

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A model presents a creation from Prada spring/summer 2015

Even the model’s socks were patchworked from micro floral print, wool and sometimes latex, under heavy-soled clogs. The topstitching of the menswear made a reappearance, to re-emphasise the rawness rather than refine it, outlining seams as a form of embroidery (it’s the same stitching Prada uses for its handbags, which were naturally in abundance).

There was plenty to be read into these clothes: folksy, homespun, hand-worked garb, like that worn Chloë Sevigny’s polygamist in the hit US television series Big Love.

However, in emphasising the construction of these garments to such a degree, there seemed to be a glorification of the hand pulling it all together. There’s a certain perfection in imperfection like this, to the idea of clothing thoroughly worked in a way no machine could manage. It’s an emphasis on the craft of fashion, rather than the slickness of the final product. Homeliness has heart.

The disparate melange of fabrics on the Prada catwalk is also an odd response to the diversity and lack of focus seen on many others. It’s a patchworky season, physically and metaphorically. Or maybe metaphysically, as Giorgio de Chirico’s painting were one of the starting points for Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi show.

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A model presents a creation from Prada spring/summer 2015

The accessories were pile-ups of sherbert-coloured furry die and dinky purses in pistachio or Lurpak-yellow with googly troll-eyes. Those monsters, bugs and gewgaws are Fendi’s bread and butter, but they frequently obscured the architectural undercurrents of the clothing. The message came through, but only in patches.

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