Giant projections of chandeliers fading into doorways fading into beaches fading into more chandeliers and more doorways. For Miuccia Prada, such imagery set the tone for a fashion locale situated somewhere “between reality and fantasy.” It’s a place where postmodern Bardot types stroll around in Bermudas under couture-inspired coats with raw edges and scuba whites under chandelier pinafores. Crystals spill over shoes and handbags, and, if a girl prefers briefs to real pants, well, she’s got the legs for them. Yet if it all sounds like youth, beauty and not-quite-innocence, stop there, as this lineup pulsed with the iron grip of the designer’s womanly control.
In a vacuum, this was a beautiful, focused collection. Chez Prada, it made for an inviting palate-cleanser concocted from beloved motifs — tailored, tacky, minimal, decorated, even a beachy postcard or several, cousins to that scenic-print outing of yore — into something that felt familiar yet fresh. Most significantly, it felt like a bridge to somewhere else. After last season’s Forties’ tour de force, which itself followed a series of major statement shows, Prada here offered what soon might prove to have been a calming interlude between major moments. She is one of the few designers working today who can whip such a transition into genuine fashion.