the trailblazers, part II

I don't know why I like the Prada collection, I just do. But because that's such a bad justification for anything, I shall attempt to distill the collection's appeal for me. A) The colours. I always like a moody palette, in unexpected mixes, and yep, Prada had that in spades. Prada always has that in spades, which is why I like Prada to begin with. In spite of the fact that it does not match in an apparent way, the colours and patterns to harmonise in that mumsy-chic way that I like very much - it's prim but with undercurrents. B) It's very 40s' meets 70s', which are two of my favourite eras to wear. (I love the 30s' and 20s' too, but they don't suit me, and they tend to look costume drama-ish in today's context and environs.) The shapes of the dresses are trim, almost matronly, which makes a nice contrast to the buzzy 70s' graphic prints and the Art Nouveau (Art Nouveau! Just when I buy an Alfonso Mucha book, they appear at Prada, it's destiny) chiffons they come in. C) The knits kick ass. They are nerdy, awkwardly coloured, long, and will good with jeans. It's exactly the sort of thing missing from the world of knits. D) The sheer stuff. Sheer is big this season. Sheer is overdone this season. But because Miuccia Prada once did an entire collection of sheer silk chiffons (I think it was 1999), she's an old hand at making chiffons not look predictable - pairing them with oddly-hued tights is one obvious way (which no one else has done). I've read here and there that the collection doesn't look expensive or luxurious enough, and the ideas are poorly developed, but I'm not buying the idea that luxury labels MUST look luxurious - these days, even Banana Republic or J. Crew can churn out pretty luxurious-looking cashmeres. Prada's luxury image probably has more to do with their accessories anyway. What Miuccia Prada is selling with her clothes is ideas and fantasy and well, I think I'm pretty sold on that. I'm not keen on the bell-bottoms or the velvet spats, but taken apart, there were lots of things that would work on an everyday basis, and Miuccia Prada has managed to make chiffon, Art Nouveau, the 70s', and nerdy knits look fierce and free of kitsch. Talk about trailblazing.

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