For a precious moment, Prada conquers the world

THE AUDIENCE, perched on their cream silk cushions in the intimate Prada showroom, were hoping for a "fashion moment". And that was exactly what they got.

Perhaps it was the fluid chiffon dresses printed with love hearts, or the dainty ruffled tops, tying at the neck, which sent the fashion clan's pulses racing. Maybe it was the elegant high gold sandals (far more desirable than last season's mushy-pea-green clod-hoppers) or the snazzy bowling bags that made mouths water.

Prada's near-perfect spring/ summer 2000 collection, shown last night in Milan, summed up what those in the know want to wear now: A suit-yourself, pick 'n' mix range of discreet styles (twin-sets, shirt dresses, plain macs) and modern quirky pieces (spotty chiffon dresses, bohemian boudoir negligees, or ostrich leather jackets).

Even if there were a few no-no's - a white beaded chiffon dress pulled up at the hem like a venetian blind, an egg-yellow polo-neck too reminiscent of Seventies soap operas - Prada will have a feeding frenzy on its hands in January when the collection hits the stores. And, no doubt, copies will simultaneously fill the rails up and down British high streets.

It's no wonder that Prada, with sales of more than $1bn (pounds 600m), recently set its sights on world domination. In August, Prada snapped up an 8.5 per cent stake in Church & Co, the traditional British shoemaker that supplies the Prince of Wales with his brogues. And a few weeks later it had moved in on Jil Sander, the German fashion equivalent of Porsche, paying $109m for a 52 per cent stake in her company.

Those acquisitions, along with the alliance formed with Austrian-borne uber-designer Helmut Lang last year, make the Prada group one of fashion's most powerful giants.

While Prada was conquering the world, the new collection from Byblos, the contemporary fashion label owned by the Italian giant Genny Spa, showed a couturier secure under the focused direction of the American designer John Bartlett.

After just three seasons at the helm, Mr Bartlett unveiled his most desirable collection to date. A trench coat pinched at the waist with a karate- style belt and a strapless white linen dress secured with a knotted sash were contrasted with some sharp, all-black ensembles. Once famous for its excessive use of floral prints and embroidery, Byblos appears to have cleaned up its act with more geometric floral patterns or scarlet pinstripes.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Internal Sales Executive - Hair & Beauty - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company supplies the ultim...

Recruitment Genius: Design, Marketing and Media Manager

£27000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: HR Assistant

£17447 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is a leading centre fo...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Case Handler

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler is requi...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence