NEW YORK — Miuccia Prada knows how to get people talking — even if it’s about a tag on a dress. In stores now, some pieces from her fall lineup feature two tags: one, the signature, navy-stitched Prada, and just below, another in flourishing script that reads “Holliday & Brown London Specially Re-edited for Prada.”

Highlighting the designer’s fall 2003 ready-to-wear collection are an array of eye-popping prints inspired by some of textile’s most graphic eras — the Art Nouveau age and the swinging, psychedelic Sixties. The prints Prada used are replicas of Holliday & Brown designs from the Sixties, when the London-based, high-end neckwear manufacturer poured popping colors into turn-of-the-century William Morris-inspired floral prints. Now owned by Como, Italy-based Mantero, Holliday & Brown continues to be one of the only companies manufacturing ties by hand.

In November, 2002, Marco Mastroianni, in charge of Prada’s fabric research, visited Mantero to garner ideas for the new line. Luigi Turconi, Mantero’s co-owner, showed him the Holliday & Brown archives, which include more than 135 books, and offered the looks as an exclusive to Prada. Thrilled with what he saw, Mastroianni took the books back to Miuccia, who then selected several prints to be included in both collections.

The reproduced looks made their first appearance on the men’s runway in January, then again during women’s fall fashion week. For the women’s wear collection, Prada partnered button-front blouses featuring the Holliday & Brown prints with classic tweeds, plaids and other men’s wear fabrics, as well as on key items such as a skirt and dress. And, remembering the importance of accessories, Prada also designed bags, shoes, hats and even umbrellas, all using the prints.

Turconi, for one, couldn’t be happier. “I have to give Miuccia credit,” he said. “Everyone says there is no excitement in fashion today. Well, I think this creates a lot of excitement. It’s different and it’s a very aggressive stance, which I think is needed in fashion today.” He likens the collaboration between Holliday & Brown and Prada to that of Marc Jacobs and artist Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton. “That was something that really exploded and I think this has the same potential.”Fiona Killoran, creative director at Holliday & Brown, couldn’t agree more. “We’ve gotten so many calls about those prints,” she said. “It’s definitely caused quite an interest and I think other designers will certainly follow suit.”

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