February 22, 2013

Prada Fall 2013: Jack the Ripper and Italian Beauties

Fashion week has moved to Milan and the always much-awaited Prada collection showed earlier this week. Along with Gucci (although Gucci was disappointing this season), we'd say it's the one worth waiting for. Miuccia Prada is one of the most anticipated fashion barometers among anyone who is anything in fashion i.e. the intellectual fashion crowd. We aren't name whores and really don't give a rat's ass about labels but Prada is worth getting hot flashes over. One of very few in our opinion of the big labels to break into a stress sweat over (Nina Ricci, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Marni the others we like to gauge) These designers influence what and how we wear things season after season.

So, back to the Prada show: Last year was Asian-themed more specifically Here's my Geisha (demure, high-necked heavy satin with embroidered flowers symbolizing purity and the forbidden at the same time - a kind of Amazonian Geisha) This season, the sinner/saint thing is still very much present but taken to a different era and geographically leans West rather than East. The collection was a mix of ate-19th century lady of the night with mid-20th century fashionable virgin. At least that is what it evoked in our heads.

Opening with artfully ripped bodices, unbuttoned sweaters, these dresses took me to a dark foggy cobblestone street, London anno 1888 when Jack the Ripper put fear in a hooker's heart. The models with the wet, greasy looking hair seemed devil-may-care, walking toward a gruesome fate - albeit in style.

Then Ms. Prada showed a Dior-esque silhouette Christian Dior introduced after WWII - cinched waist, billowing, swinging skirts and a soft chemise easily slipping off the shoulder. Coy, coquette, a tease a la Gina Lollobridgeda and her consorts.

Yet another era was conjured up with the dripping teardrop sleeves (with soft fur or artful folds) on many of the coats and jackets: reminiscent of medieval times.  Quite gorgeous. Practical they are not but  who cares about that?

All in all, wearable without screaming "I'm wearing Prada". Well, at least not quite as blatantly as last year's Japanese-flavored theme. So was there a message? Even if you stop with the personal hygiene, wear fabulous clothes? Does Miuccia Prada anticipate a water shortage? Who knows. All in all, our take-away was times are dark, go dance on the volcano.

to view the entire collection, visit style.com
for the best of fall winter collections of New York, Milan, London, visit my pinterest boards

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