Where do city girl and country girl meet, sartorially speaking? If they hail from the great state of Prada, it’s at a place where blanket wools find a tailor; single outfits marry rough and refined, and the latest fetish boot is a hip-high, strapped-on fisherman’s wader. Here, high chic frolics with perversity — hair shorts, anyone? Yet the ample sexuality is never cheap, in large part because fabulous coats and suits — bears repeating: fabulous coats and suits! — offer elegant and sensible counterpoint to Milan’s current obsession with revved-up retro clubwear.
For the collection she showed on Sunday evening, Miuccia Prada wanted to evoke a countrified aura minus cliché and without sacrificing urbanity. The ruse made for a stellar collection in which she renewed her signature tailoring via split-open seams, some revealing flashes of bright red beneath their olives, blacks and browns. She expressed a serious fascination with the waist, belting endlessly, pulling woolen shorts over a ribbed red cardigan and using contrasting textures for the bodices and skirts of slashed-to-there dresses. Then she let go of the fixation with fabulous trapezes that swung out wide.
Prada strengthened the city-country counterpoint through her materials and her way with decoration, as solid and flocked velvets along with some major black-on-black embroideries made urbane stuff of sturdy woolens, leathers and unfussy furs. As for the leather-strip evening dresses — true, they channeled Lucy Lawless in Xena mode more than most girls might fancy for a night out, but the editorial set will likely approve.
No such limitation encumbered Prada’s accessories lineup. What girl wouldn’t love a colorful fur clutch when she only need carry her keys and some cash, or for greater utility, any one of a number of roomy, to-die-for beauties? And the shoes, whether a fringed, studded fantasy or simple blue velvet pump, were better than just gorgeous; they were walkable. Just like the lion’s share of Prada’s clothes. For all of the presentation’s intimate drama, most of the pieces will walk boldly right into real life, radiating real glamour.