Miuccia Prada has not yet tired of exposing the stomach at Miu Miu. Taut tummies appeared about a third of the way through her zesty spring show — simple denim bandeaus or swingy flannel bra tops often paired with knee-grazing pleated or pencil skirts. They made an encore near the end on Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, their bra tops resembling a tiny slice of flak jacket.
Yet here was a diverse, complex and nuanced Miu Miu collection, less viral and more cerebral in its mostly drab colors, references to military and service uniforms, and its host of bulging utility pockets. The latter appeared on low-slung utility belts that were only occasionally worn as miniskirts.
Prada opened her display with long-sleeved undershirts, layered four deep and tugged down to create pert minidresses, alternating with windbreaker and lightweight utility parkas, all zippers and toggles.
In a pitch black set, models weaved through undulating seating that resembled pipelines as videos by Chinese artist Shuang Li flashed wind farms, meteor showers in reverse, and sharks trying to take a bite out of a fiery planet.
The entire show, save for a few translucent, shimmering knits and the odd spangled skirt, felt rugged and sporty in that witty, polished Miu Miu way.
Like Demna, who declared at his Balenciaga show that he would no longer explain his collections, Prada seemed reticent to get into a deep discussion.
“Let’s enjoy fashion,” she pleaded, while allowing that a designer must always be alert to what’s happening in the world — and what is to come. “You have to translate your ideas in clothes that respect your idea, and that’s when it’s difficult,” she said.
She laughed when a German journalist remarked that all the brown leather on the runway reminded her, in a good way, of Oktoberfest. Indeed, brown leather, often uneven in coloration, was used for all manner of long coats and even a pair of lederhosen with those bulging pockets that easily could fit two sandwiches.
The Italian designer didn’t explain her sudden attraction to brown leather, or mention her unerring fashion instincts, but that’s what she was wearing, too.