Turning her show venue into a theatre with plush patterned carpeting, red velvet seats and rose-tinted columns, she set the stage for a collection that was a reminder of “charm as positivity,” as she put it in her show notes, and really, the power of fashion to spark joy.
Not dressing to succeed, to impress or even to defy, dressing for oneself was what the collection was about, and how a spiky mary jane pump, jewelled hairpin or the unexpected pairing of a sailor top and a long, glossy black leather skirt, can make a day brighter. That’s why we all got into this crazy business, right?
Watching the beautiful parade of long, lean coats, some with high set rows of gold military buttons, and tiny velvet back bows adding childlike reverie, the ankle-skimming skirts slit to the thigh with blazers cinched over top, and the puff sleeve and skirt volume dresses in sheer tulle bodices, my mind started drifting to the past.
Specifically, I was thinking about Paris between the two world wars, when the city was buzzing with the creative insurrection of art, cinema and haute couture lifting spirits during the Great Depression
Maybe Prada was thinking about it, too, based on her melancholy soundtrack of “Cabaret” and David Bowie ruminating on the passage of time, and the generous scattering of crystals in the collection, which could have been a nod to the great showgirls of the Twenties and Thirties, like Josephine Baker.
Because who can ever really have enough sparkle? The colors were glorious, too — lemon and lavender and fire engine red. And how did Prada manage to cut a checked coat so close to the curves that it turned into a tool of seduction?