Milan Fashion Week: Prada’s Baroque Pop


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There was an assembly-line quality to the beginning of Miuccia Prada’s spring show, the highlight thus far of Milan Fashion Week. Set on a raised metal platform with industrial-style lighting, the models came out one after another, wearing boxy short-sleeve tops and pencil skirts that were uniform-like in their simplicity. Industrial orange, then green, then blue. Each model carried a neon-colored fur stole, which could have been real or fake.

Was the designer making a sly comment on fashion’s rapidly churning pace? Or the way that live webcasts and tweets are turning runway shows into mindless content, at the expense of true luxury and creativity? There’s no way to tell.


But you had to chuckle when the stripes started coming out. More like prison stripes than Breton stripes (the street fashion trend that just won’t die), they walked the line of good taste, especially because they shared space on shift dresses and button-down work shirts with cartoonish Italianate cherubs and monkeys. Call it Baroque Pop. Old world meets new, luxury meets banality -- Prada’s favorite themes.

It was bananas, and there were bananas, as the collection took a Latin turn, with banana-print cha-cha skirts, crisp cotton sundresses with a Carmen Miranda-like character on the front, and striped sombreros.

The joy of Prada is that her work cannot be summed up in 140 characters or less. So her collection was, as it always is, an amalgam of ideas. And it was fun! You only had to look down at the kooky platform creeper shoes to know that. The party did quiet down at the end, with a group of little black dresses that were uniform in their chicness, with a gentle ruffled high collar or plunging neckline, in easy summertime cotton.

-- Booth Moore

Prada spring-summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery