Miuccia Prada took her Prada collection in a tailored and sporty direction…Christopher Bailey’s Burberry Prorsum line was stylishly citified…and Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi looks were creatures of considerable variety.

Prada: Miuccia Prada is the most exciting designer working in fashion today — and probably the gutsiest. Her impact over the past decade has been incalculable, with no competitor able to close in on her particular turf. One reason is that if a fashion designer can be even part artist, Prada is. At the same time, for all her otherworldly, tiara-wearing iconoclasm, she has a remarkable cultural intuition with a velvet-gloved finger positioned firmly on the pulse. Hardly content to create high-minded, wearable art on a fashion island, Prada instead manipulates her artistic sensibility for commercial purposes. Hence the amazing installation that greeted guests arriving at her show on Wednesday: enormous screens along two walls, flashing projected images and news tickers parodying current events with a combination of real and distorted information. The work, a collaboration between Prada and Rem Koolhaas’ AMO, was designed for her Los Angeles Epicenter in the unabashed interests of empire-building. And, as everybody knows, it’s some kind of empire.

That’s because the merch — from the wear-everyday cashmere sweaters to highly embellished skirts to robotic Gumby key chains — is fabulous, and because Prada knows when to say when. So excuse her for moving on from her recent fragile, feminine eccentricity that has so inspired designers the world over. Now, she’s on to something sportier, a look with its own plentiful peculiarities in an apparently grounded package — and only she could pull it off so masterfully. “This is how to dress for life,” Prada said after the show. “We are living in the middle of the world. The collection is done for living now.”

Touché. Prada has always maintained that her past informs her present, which is why she started her vintage reissues at retail. It’s also why this collection borrowed obviously from past efforts in little decorative mirrors and, more importantly, in the emergence of a now-fresh silhouette, unfussy and short, with an emphasis on tailoring. It harkened to her Geek Chic moment back when, which may be why she signed on one of her long-ago models, Kristin McMenamy, to open the show.

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